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Signboards of False Bay

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Simon's Town Museum has a fine mascot!   We saw a couple of South African tourists who had bought the Captain's hat, but they were not as striking as this fellow.

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We took the train from Muizenberg to Simon's Town and then walked back.   It was a sunny, blustery day -- perfect for appreciating the beaches of this Indian Ocean coastal paradise.   

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I'm not sure why the painting of the ship has the stencilled lettering over it, but this sign caught my eye and is an example of what we lose when all is pre-printed.

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I enjoyed this series.   Ghana is not the only African country to have good barber shop art!

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Sandwich boards are the best type of advertising for this type of signboard.

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Nellie is definitely on a roll with these two.

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I'm not sure why in these two double portraits one person has their eyes open and the other closed.   Anyway, stop by and get your hair done by Nellie next time you are in Fish Hook!

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This signboard that is on all train platforms made us laugh.   Apparently one is not supposed to knock out the train's windows with one's fists.  

I will be writing more on Tuesday.   South Africa takes Good Friday and the following Monday seriously and all the cyber cafes will be taking a much deserved break.   The next time you hear from me, we will have passed from the beaches back into Stellenbosch wine routes and then off to the Klein Karoo!

Have a wonderful Easter.


Artists' Studios in Nepal

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Above is Amar Shrestha's studio in Kathmandu, Nepal.   These are works in progress of Flick the Golden Retreiver, Moose the Rottweiller, Dexter the Coton de Tulear, Chester the Basset Hound, and Veera the Boston Terrier.

Flick and Dexter have been sold, but the others are available.   Amar's studio is on the second floor, he works in natural light, sitting on the floor.  That's a silk screening apparatus on the right bottom, where they make business cards the old fashioned way, on hand made Lokti paper.   Lokti paper, a specialty of Nepal, is also made the old fashioned way.

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This studio is NK's and is located in Beni, a small but thriving town in the Myagdi province in Nepal.   The town supports at least 3 signboard painters.    Above is Jack the French Bulldog (looking like a pig dog), Gigi the puppy, Yoko the French Bulldog, and the last is another of Jack the French Bulldog.   The first two are still available.   NK finished the pieces with a dark blue background in the finished pieces.

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Dilip Niroj at work on his Folk Art Obama commission in November of 2008.   The finished portrait was spectacular and sold immediately.

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Here is Hari Prasad's work drying in the sun.    Many of these have been sold, the four portraits of the Great Dane's are in my personal collection, but the Collie and the Westie are available.

Hari's studio is in Kathmandu.

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This is Lal Karki's Studio in Pokhara, a lakeside resort town in Nepal.   I liked this photo so much that it is the cover of my book 'Danger Dogs from Nepal Volume 2'.   I really like Lal's work, but his pieces have never sold, so the Dalmation, Fox-like Dog and the Spitz are all still available.

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You can see how close Megh Raj works to the street in this one!   Megh Raj works in Kathmandu, and recently he redid his studio completely, so it was very spiffy the last time I saw it this past November.

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Prem's studio in Pokhara no longer exists.   This studio was torn down and is now a bank.   The portrait of the Rhodesian Ridgeback, the Bearnese Mountain Dog and the Dalmation were all snapped up, but the Nepali dog, the Boxer and the Saint Bernard are still available.   I love the cow's hoof just outside the door.

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Ram Mohan Patel's studio is a room off his house where he lives with his wife, two beautiful daughters and a son.

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Sufraj Khadka cleans his brushes by painting anti-smoking graffiti on his walls.

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This is the studio of Yuba Raj Adhikari of Pokhara.   These paintings are all portraits of rescue dogs.   I think all of the yellow dogs are still available, if they haven't sold yet at the Ghetto Gloss Gallery in Hollywood.   This group is a little larger than the standard size for these signboards at 12" by 15".   

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Shree in his studio/home with a portrait of FloJo the Italian Greyhound on a couch.   Shree lives and works in this one room with his wife and 2 children.   The art on his walls always includes at least one Danger Dog.   The first time I met him, he had a painting of a 'beware of dog' sign on his wall.

The Nepal Art Dog project promotes the endangered art of Nepali signboards.   Signboards are painted on recycled metal, using synthetic enamel and are meant to hang outdoors.   Over 1400 portraits have been commissioned to date, giving these artists real work.   I have worked with over 58 artists.

On my last trip to Nepal, the Danger Dog commissions were the only art these artists were still hand painting -- all their other work was digital or printed on flex.   These artists can and will paint anything.  I decided to concentrate on pets as there was a tradition in Nepal already of 'beware of dog' placards and I knew that people would like them.

Each commission will be given to at least 3 signboard artists - giving 3 people work, the pet owner a choice and museum shops Nepali folk art.   No money is accepted up front.   If you don't like any of the 3 choices, you pay nothing.  

Please contact me at [email protected] with any questions.

This project is for pet lovers who collect art and would like to make a difference in these artists' lives.

More information is available at NepalDog.com.


Artists walls in Nepal

Nepali signboard artists have the best walls.   Some use them for practice, some to dry brushes, some as backdrops for spray paint, some for all of the above and more.

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Even their windowsills are beautiful.   Three Kitties by Sabala.   Sold to the 3 Kitties' owner.

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This is what I came upon at Chandra's studio.   I was 2 days late in picking up, he was even later!   At least he had started some!

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Walls in Govinda's studio.   All three of these Danger Dogs are still available.   The lettering is reflective tape cut out and applied.   The real color of the letters is a bright orange red.   Great for outdoor use on a driveway gate.   Thanks to Oscar, Hilda and Ruby the dogs!

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Jit Gurung's wall at Munal Arts in Pokhara, Nepal.   Only Gubby, the Danger Dog is still available in this bunch.

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I loved Lal Karki's wall so much it is the cover of my 2nd book "Danger Dogs from Nepal Volume 2".   The book is available at Lulu.com.       All the paintings are available.  

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This lovely wall belongs to Ojna Studios.    These are painted on extremely heavy recycled metal and will last for years.   The French Bulldog (2nd from the left) is sold, but the other 3 are available.   Krishna Ojna is a professor of economics that paints signboards in his spare time.   When I was interviewed by the young (early 20-something) reporter from the Kathmandu Post she seemed surprised by this fact, and asked why he would do that.    "For the money, of course,"  I replied.   Ah, youth.  

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This wall is in Om Sai Art's back studio.   Painted by ShaShi, the 3 middle paintings are still available.

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Unfortunately, this wall no longer exists.   When I went to reorder from Prem, the building had been torn down and it was only after a lot of detective work that I found him in his new digs.   Ask about availability, as Prem's artwork has a few holds.  

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Here is another wall that is no longer an art studio.    Just this last trip, Shahi lost his storefront studio and moved.   This wall is now the site of a bicycle shop in Pokhara.

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This is the studio of Ram Mohan Patel, in red on the right.   

Later, I will feature shots of more studios.   Get out and enjoy your weekend.

Do consider either buying one of the existing signboard featured in this blog or commissioning your own piece.   Prices range from $125 to $200 for most paintings.   Some are more, some are less.   These artists make their art in very difficult circumstances, but nothing is easy in Nepal.   Please help these signboard artists to continue doing what they do so well.    Pre-printed signs are taking over due to the quest for modernity and progress.   But the hand-painted art here is the best.    Commissions start at $250.

All signboards are on metal, approximately one square foot, and are painted with synthetic enamel.   They can be hung outdoors or in. 

Please contact me for more information at [email protected].   Or you can go to my website  www.NepalDog.com to see the full range of 56 (!!!) artists that I have worked with to date.

When you send a picture of your pet, I will give that photo to at least 3 different signboard artists.   You then choose which you prefer and then, and only then, you pay $250.    A portion of all proceeds goes to various charites in Nepal.   You choose what you'd like the portrait to say and can request certain artists.

Today is Nepal's 'Day of the Dog'.   The 2nd day of the Tihar festival.   I'll write more on that tomorrow.   There are some happy dogs in Nepal today!


Missing Danger Dogs! Reward!

As I work hard at making a catalogue of the Danger Dogs (or is it a Dogalogue), I realize that some Dogs have gone on an adventure and never returned.   Surrendra.singer
Believe it or not, this Danger Dog went missing at a charity event.   It was a 'Top Dog for the Under Dog' silent auction in May of 2008.   Animal Planet's Dina Zaphiris had won the auction, and somewhere while packing up, this Dog disappeared never to be seen again, leaving the fundraiser's organizers with a dilemma.   I was in Kathmandu at the time but arranged a substitute Danger Dog, so Dina wasn't left empty handed.    This particular signboard was one of my favorites.   Surrendra of Beni painted it from a rescue advertisement, and I don't know where the tuxedo collar came from.   It looks like this Dog needs a microphone.  
And as for the person who walked off with it -  what kind of karma is that?

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This lovely (male) dachshund is from my first Danger Dog trip, and he was painted from a stock photo of a dachshund by Lal Badahur Chaudhury.   He was purchased at a gallery in Ojai.  
In January 2008, I was walking in the Ruben Museum of Asian Art, in New York City, carrying some Danger Dogs in a clear bag.   I heard a voice asking, 'Is that a Danger Dog?  I have one!'   It was a young woman named Elspeth and she described the above sign.  I showed her a picture of her Danger Dog in my book 'Danger Dogs from Nepal (Volume 1).'
Later this signboard got lost on an airplane.   Elspeth did replace her sign with a commission of her own Jasper the Dachshund.  All's well that ends well.   But if you ever see it....I'm sure Elspeth would like it back.  

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Little Niki the Pomeranian by Shree was stolen from a mailroom in Brooklyn.   I learned a lesson with this one - insure and track!    They got a nice replacement by Jit Gurung, but it wasn't their first choice.

Please contact me if you see these Danger Dogs!

We are going to Nepal soon, so please if you want to commission your own Nepali Pup Art, now is the time.   Please send your files to me at [email protected], let me know what you want it to say, and which artists you prefer.