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May 2015

Live from Kathmandu: Which would you choose?

Things happened fast and furious on this trip, but even after the earthquake that decimated the country, the signboard artists stepped up to the plate and gave me some great art.

 

Folk art Beware of dog sign hand painted on metal in Nepal
Rascal's final 3

Rascal is immortalized by Sagar Bitsa, Megh Raj Thapa and Nara(clockwise from top left).   Rascal was dearly beloved and is gone but not forgotten...

 

 

Folk art Beware of Dog sign hand painted on metal in Kathmandu
Phred and his final portraits

Phred takes care of his 89-year old companion and is well deserving of the star treatment.   His three portraits are by Sanjib Rana, Nara and Megh Raj Thapa (clockwise from top left).

 

Folk art Standard Poodle hand painted on metal in Nepal
Kearney the Happy Poodle

Happy is the word for Kearney the Standard Poodle.  Such a pretty face, captured here by Sagar Bitsa, Nara and Dilip Niroj.

As a matter of fact, Dilip was painting Kearney when the 7.9 earthquake hit Nepal.  He had been working in his studio with the metal door closed, as it was Saturday and he did not want to be disturbed.   He pulled up the metal door and ran out into the street and held onto the light pole.  

He mentioned that he was still nervous after the quake (there have been over 150 aftershocks since - one a 6.7).  Dilip has left the Kathmandu Valley to return to his home village in Morang District to look after his family for 15 days.

 

Folk art Chihuahua hand painted on metal
Ayla the Chihuahua and her 3 finals

Ayla is about to emerge on the world stage in her portraits by Sagar Bitsa, Megh Raj Thapa and Nara (clockwise from top left).

 

 

Folk art Chihuahua Rat Terrier hand painted on metal in Nepal
Big's final 3

Big is a Chihuahua and Rat Terrier mix and here are his final three portraits by Paras, Dilip Niroj and Megh Raj Thapa (clockwise from top left).

Folk art Cocker Spaniel English Setter Dog hand painted on metal
Angel by Sagar, Nara and Megh Raj (clockwise from top left)

Angel, part Cocker Spaniel and English Setter, and her final three portraits.   Angel was loved and will be missed.

Folk art portrait of a White Shepherd Dog hand painted in Nepal
Juno, looking like a Polar Bear

Juno in small medium and large format.   Like Goldilocks and the 3 bears, Juno got 3 size treatments by Nara, Megh Raj Thapa and Dilip Niroj (clockwise from top left).   Megh Raj had a little trouble with Juno's spelling...

Folk art Beware of Shepherd sign hand painted on metal in Nepal
German Shepherd by Sagar Bitsa.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The 7.9 earthquake has much of Nepal down but not out.   It will take a long time to recover from the devastating loss of life and homes.   Many of their most treasured, beautiful and religious buildings have also been destroyed.

Stay tuned to see how you can help.   Please be careful who you donate to, as you want the money to go to aid, not into someone's pocket.   I am researching carefully to see how best to help.

Thank you again to all who have reached out to find a way to help.  

I am leaving Kathmandu early to raise funds for Nepal's people.   In 2 short weeks -- though it felt like a lifetime -- the 6 artists that were able will have painted 48 portraits.  I believe that it helped them return to normality.

 If you would like to order a portrait of your own pet, I plan to return to Nepal in September to continue hiring these artists.   I know they need the money now more than ever.   Please go toNepalDog.com to see how to order.   I will update that site when I return to the US.

I pay fair trade wages and every artist got a raise this trip - without them asking.  

Let's keep these artists working.

  

 


Live from Kathmandu! Finals are in!

Even during the worst of times, these Nepali artists have come through with flying prayer flags...

Folk art Beware of Cat sign hand painted on metal by artists in Kathmandu
Luna the Cat by 3 artists in Kathmandu

Luna's final three by Sanjib Rana, Sagar Bitsa and Megh Raj Thapa (clockwise from top left).   Sagar did not know Luna's name, but he put a Blue Moon beside her.  This beautiful cat is going to be a tough choice.

Folk art Tuxedo Cats hand painted on metal in Kathmandu
Jimmy and Philly as Danger Cats

Jimmy and Philly are such good looking Tuxedo Cats, here looking dapper in their hand painted portraits by Sanjib Rana, Sagar Bitsa and Dilip Niroj(clockwise from top left).   I think the artist had fun with this pair...

 

Folk art Norwegian Forest Cat hand painted on metal in Nepal
Mr Gracie immortalized by 3 artists

 

Mr Gracie and his portraits by Sagar, Nara and Megh Raj (clockwise from top left).   

Folk art portrait of a Black Dog hand painted on metal in Kathmandu
Zaire is Zen!
Zaire is Zen in these 3 paintings by Sanjib Rana, Nara and Sagar Bitsa (clockwise from top left).
 
Folk art Labradoodle and French Bulldog hand painted on metal in Kathmandu
Louie and Stella as Danger Dogs
Louie and Stella are cute in their Double Dog portraits by Dilip Niroj, Megh Raj and Nara (clockwise from top left).   I like it when they all get different background colors.
Folk art Golden Retriever hand painted on metal in Nepal
Sunny the Enlightened Retriever
Sunny times three in portraits by Sanjib Rana, Sagar Bitsa and Megh Raj Thapa (clockwise from top left).   
Folk art German Short Haired Pointer hand painted on metal in Kathmandu
Indie the German Short Haired Pointer
Indie is well represented here by Sanjib Rana, Sagar Bitsa and Nara (clockwise from top left).   This is going to be a hard choice.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The 7.9 earthquake has much of Nepal down but not out.   It will take a long time to recover from the devastating loss of life and homes.   Many of their most treasured, beautiful and religious buildings have also been destroyed.

Stay tuned to see how you can help.   Please be careful who you donate to, as you want the money to go to aid, not into someone's pocket.   I am researching carefully to see how best to help.

Thank you again to all who have reached out to find a way to help.  

I am leaving Kathmandu early to raise funds for Nepal's people.   In 2 short weeks -- though it felt like a lifetime -- the 6 artists that were able will have painted 48 portraits.  I believe that it helped them return to normality.

 If you would like to order a portrait of your own pet, I plan to return to Nepal in September to continue hiring these artists.   I know they need the money now more than ever.   Please go toNepalDog.com to see how to order.   I will update that site when I return to the US.

I pay fair trade wages and every artist got a raise this trip - without them asking.  

Let's keep these artists working.


Live from Kathmandu: Sagar's new works in progress

Despite the earthquake, or perhaps because of it, the artist, Sagar Bitsa, is hard at work painting new Danger Dog from Nepal signs - and a few Danger Cats, too.

Folk art portrait of a German Short Haired Pointer hand painted on metal in Nepal
Indie the Pointer as a work in progress by Sagar


Sagar's portrait of Indie, a lovely German Short-Haired Pointer in her prime,is hand painted on metal by Sagar.  This one is going to be pretty.

folk art portrait of a Norwegian Forest Cat hand painted on metal by a sign painter in Nepal
Mr. Gracie the Norwegian Forest Cat in the desert

The handsome Mr Gracie, a Norwegian Forest Cat, lounges in a surreal landscape in Sagar's early work in progress.  I guess Sagar did not realize that Mr.Gracie was a forest cat!

Folk art Golden Retreiver hand painted on metal in Nepal
The Enlightened Sunny the Retriever by Sagar

Sunny the Golden Retriever has found his place in the sun in this early work in progress by Sagar.

Folk art Chihuahua hand painted on metal in Nepal
Ayla's work in progress by Sagar

Ayla the Chihuahua looks cozy in her early work in progress.   Sagar paints in many layers.   Sometimes it is disconcerting to me to see the dogs without eyelights.   Sagar does those last.

Remember these are early works.   They often change drastically along the way.   Here is a sample of my series:   Anatomy of a Danger Dog, showing the artists' processes. 

Folk art Cocker Spaniel, English Setter mix hand painted on metal in Nepal
Angel surrounded by a blue moon by Sagar

Angel the Cocker Spaniel and English Setter mix has settled into her celestial home in this very early work in progress by Sagar.   I can't wait to see this one completed.

 

Folk art Standard Poodle hand painted on metal in Nepal
Kearney the Standard Poodle by Sagar

Kearney the Happy Poodle looks even happier in her verdant fields.

Folk art cat on easel in Kathmandu
Zaire and Luna await their final touches

Luna has been given a moon in her portrait by Sagar. 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The 7.9 earthquake has much of Nepal down but not out.   It will take a long time to recover from the devastating loss of life and homes.   Many of their most treasured, beautiful and religious buildings have also been destroyed.

Stay tuned to see how you can help.   Please be careful who you donate to, as you want the money to go to aid, not into someone's pocket.   I am researching carefully to see how best to help.

Thank you again to all who have reached out to find a way to help.  

I am leaving Kathmandu early to raise funds for Nepal's people.   In 2 short weeks -- though it felt like a lifetime -- the 6 artists that were able will have painted 48 portraits.  I believe that it helped them return to normality.

 If you would like to order a portrait of your own pet, I plan to return to Nepal in September to continue hiring these artists.   I know they need the money now more than ever.   Please go to NepalDog.com to see how to order.   I will update that site when I return to the US.

I pay fair trade wages and every artist got a raise this trip - without them asking.  

Let's keep these artists working.

...


Live from Kathmandu: More finals from Nara

Maharjan has some extra money to build his house, and the Danger Dogs has some lovely new work.  His house was badly damaged by the 7.9 earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25, 2015.   Now, thanks to a generous Danger Dog patron, he has some money to start to rebuild his home.

sign painter in Nepal signs his work
Maharjan signs Rascal's portrait while a friend looks on

Maharjan is very grateful for the support.  I also got him some more work up in Thankot where he lives.   Every bit helps.

Folk art German Short-Haired Pointer hand painted on metal in Nepal
Indie's final portrait by Nara

Indie's final portrait by Nara elongates that distinctive Pointer nose.

Folk art portrait of a Rascal Dog hand painted on metal in Nepal
Rascal by Nara

Rascal's first final by Nara.   This is a classical 'Beware of Dog' sign in that Rascal looks more menacing than in person.

Folk art portrait of a Shikari Kukur hand painted on metal in Nepal
Phred hand painted by Nara

Introducing Phred, a dog that looks like a Nepali Shikuri Kukur (hunting dog).   This handsome boy looks like he is saying Namaste in that portrait.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Things are still rocking here with fewer aftershocks daily, but nerves are definitely on edge still.   Yesterday afternoon there was a hailstorm with small golf balls pelting the many tents that are still everywhere you look here in Kathmandu. 

The 7.9 earthquake has much of Nepal down but not out.   It will take a long time to recover from the devastating loss of life and homes.   Many of their most treasured, beautiful and religious buildings have also been destroyed.

Stay tuned to see how you can help.   Please be careful who you donate to, as you want the money to go to aid, not into someone's pocket.   I am researching carefully to see how best to help.

Thank you again to all who have reached out to find a way to help.  

I am leaving Kathmandu early to raise funds for Nepal's people.   In 2 short weeks -- though it felt like a lifetime -- the 6 artists that were able will have painted 48 portraits.  I believe that it helped them return to normality.

 If you would like to order a portrait of your own pet, I plan to return to Nepal in September to continue hiring these artists.   I know they need the money now more than ever.   Please go to NepalDog.com to see how to order.   I will update that site when I return to the US.

I pay fair trade wages and every artist got a raise this trip - without them asking.  

Let's keep these artists working.

...+

...


Live from Kathmandu: Finals from Nara Arts

I went to pick up some first finals from the artist Nara today. Maharjan, his studio manager had lost his home to Kathmandu's 7.9 earthquake.

One of my very great clients who had commissioned a Danger Dog has graciously donated $150 to him to help. Maharjan was absolutely thrilled. I could only give him $100 today, but I will give him another $50 on Saturday. I am working locally so that I can get him some more help. But there are so many people that have lost their homes. The Nepali papers today mentioned that they estimate that 65% of homes are safe in Kathmandu Valley, but that means that 35% are red or yellow tagged.

Maharjan lives to the north of Kathmandu in Thankot.   This used to be a rural area, but Kathmandu's sprawl has taken over.   The artist Nara also lives there, but fortunately his home was spared.

I apologize in advance for the glare on the photos.

Folk art beware of dog sign hand painted in Nepal
Louie and Stella by Nara

Louie and Stella are a handsome pair of dogs.  I left the chalk marks on, so that is what those lines are...

Folk art Border Collie hand painted on metal in Nepal
Angel hand painted on metal by Nara

Angel was a Cocker Spaniel and English Spaniel mix and this is her first final by Nara.   This good dog had a good 13 years with her young companion and is dearly missed.

Folk art Black Dog hand painted on metal in Nepal
Zen Zaire by Nara

Zaire the Zen Dog is hand painted on metal by Nara.   The Nepali script here reads 'Dharma Kukur' or Religious Dog in Nepali.

Folk art Chihuahua portrait hand painted on metal in Nepal
Ayla by Nara

Ayla the Shy Chihuahua by Nara is adorable.   This is her first final.   Two more portraits of Ayla to emerge soon!

Folk art Standard Poodle hand painted on metal in Nepal
Kearney the Poodle by Nara

Kearney the Standard Poodle by Nara Arts.   This happy pup certainly has a big smile.

Folk art portrait of a Tuxedo Cat hand painted on metal
Mr. Gracie the Norwegian Forest Cat by Nara

Mr. Gracie the Norwegian Forest Cat relaxing in this folk art portrait by Nara.

 

Folk art portrait of a big white dog hand painted on metal by a sign painter in Nepal
Juno's final by Nara

Juno looks like a big Polar Bear in his final portrait by Nara.

Folk art portrait of a German Shorthaired Pointer hand painted on metal in Nepal
Nara's work in progress of Indie

Indie's portrait is almost done.   Nara just needs to do more work on her eyes.

The 7.9 earthquake as much of Nepal down but not out.   It will take a long time to recover from the devastating loss of life and homes.   Many of their most treasured, beautiful and religious buildings have also been destroyed.

Stay tuned to see how you can help.   Please be careful who you donate to, as you want the money to go to aid, not into someone's pocket.   I am researching carefully to see how best to help.

Thank you again to all who have reached out to find a way to help.  

I am leaving Kathmandu early to raise funds for Nepal's people.   In 2 short weeks -- though it felt like a lifetime -- the 6 artists that were able will have painted 48 portraits.  I believe that it helped them return to normality.

If you would like to order a portrait of your own pet, I plan to return to Nepal in September to continue hiring these artists.   I know they need the money now more than ever.   Please go to NepalDog.com to see how to order.   I will update that site when I return to the US.

I pay fair trade wages and every artist got a raise this trip - without them asking.  

Let's keep these artists working.