Current Affairs Feed

Rainy Days at the Boudha Stupa

The monsoon rains are late this year.   Nepal has received only half of its normal rainfall this June.

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The umbrellas come out around the Stupa.  

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This evening they were setting up a large screen to show the World Cup semi-finals when a huge squall came up.   By the time the game started, the rain had mostly stopped.


Stranded in Pokhara

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It has been two days now that the flights are canceled due to rain.   The monsoon was late this year, and light last year, so heavy rain is a good thing for the farmers and the region in general.

We took advantage of the lull in the rain to sit by the side of magnificent Lake Fewa and have unlimited Nepali organic filter coffee and a breakfast.

The water hyacinths have flourished in the two days of rain and seem to be taking over the center of the Lake.   Our chickens like to eat the hyacinth in our pond at home and I wonder why they don't feed it to the livestock here.   Though lovely, water hyacinth is a famous but noxious weed that has blocked waterways from Thailand to Jamaica.   

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Friday evening we stopped at this rooftop restaurant overlooking Lake Fewa for a quick beer and a game of dice.   It soon filled up with young Nepalis ready to start their weekend.   Saturday is the day off here in Nepal.   Sunday is a work day to many.   Just as we were leaving 4 beautiful young Nepali girls dressed to the nines pulled up.   Let the weekend begin!

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The young man who runs this coffee stall studies geology and wanted a signboard that showed the formation of the Himalayas.   This is a replacement sign and the original had been painted by Shahi - one of my artists that has 'disappeared'.   The replacement was painted by Santosh but he may have it redone by Shree.   The rumors you hear on the street!

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Speaking of Santosh, he painted this fine wall with everything you could ever ask for in a travel shop.

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Pokhara used to be filled with hand painted signs advertising everything from massages to elephant rides in Chitwan.   Now most are pre-printed and not as interesting.   I have to admire Santosh' choice of phone above.

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The Yeti is a common feature of businesses here in Pokhara.   Always shown kneeling with one big foot behind serving something on a tray -- I'm not sure I'd want to be offered a drink by a Yeti.

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This body builder is impressive.

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Speaking of Yetis, this is the impressive garden at the Yeti Guest House.   The large rooms are 500 Rupees per night off season and 1000 rupees in season.   (500 Nepali rupees converts to just under US$7 per night).   This includes an attached bathroom.   Contact the Yeti Guesthouse at yetiguesthouse@hotmail.com.  

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Also featured at the Yeti Guest House is a pair of bunnies.  

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They are friendly, love to be petted and happily gobbled up the fruits we found on the grounds of this lush garden. 

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Yellow fungi on a fence log in Pokhara.   The humid climate of Pokhara is conducive to many lovely flora.

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Leika is a white shepherd who deserved a 'beware of dog' sign to guard her traditional Nepali compound.   We heard a low growl from her as we passed admiring the sign.   I gave this to Leika's young master last year and this is the first time I saw where they hung the sign.   The sign was painted by Santosh Shrestha.

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While we were applying for a TIMS trekking permit, I came across a new quirk of Nepali bureaucracy...

Nepal recently recognized the rights of gays, lesbians and transgenders, and this may be the result!   Look carefully.   You have the Gender choice of Male, Female or Third!   Bravo Nepal!

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Passing by the artist Poon's studio, I took a few photos of his favorite works that line the walls of his studio.   I'm not sure what is happening in the bright painting in the center of this photo.   The self-portrait on the left is Poon as a young man.

I hope to be in the mountains when you read this, but you can see that it is not too hard to be stranded in the resort town of Pokhara.

If you would like to order a Danger Dog, there is still time.   Send me a photo of your pet and I will give it to at least 3 Nepali signboard artists.   You pay only after you choose which one you prefer.  All artists are paid fair trade wages whether you choose theirs or not.

Please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com with any questions or comments or with a photo of your pet.  Or go to NepalDog.com for more information.

Be reassured that your order will be received and taken care of. 

The Danger Dog project promotes signboard art from Nepal which is fast disappearing, being replaced with ordinary and common digitally produced advertising.   I believe in Micro-finance through Art Patronage - a rod instead of the fish.

Nepal Art Dogs are for pet lovers who collect art and would like to make a difference.   

Give a gift to someone you love of a portrait of someone they love!


Katmandu and the World Cup

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This cat was at the Netherlands vs Brazil game in Kathmandu.   We watched the game at the Electric Pagoda on a huge screen with every seat filled with revelers rooting for both sides.   The Electric Pagoda has a nice outdoor garden space in the Thamel area near Satgumpti (7 corners).

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The streets of Thamel are filled with the flags of participating nations.

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Just across from our hotel (the Downtown), people from all over Nepal watch the action on a big screen.

 

 

Rock Star Danger Dogs (and Cats).

Last trip particularly, there were many commissions that starred pets named after famous musicians.

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It all started with Mick Jagger.   His is such a stunning pose that I have given his handsome mug to many artists.   This is Mick by Sabala studios.

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Another view of Mick Jagger by Punam of Pokhara.  Punam painted this portrait in 2007 with his left hand in a cast.   I truly believe that Punam should be an animator for Disney.  

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Ziggy Stardust by Sabala.   Ziggy's kaleidoscopic eyes seem to follow you to all corners of the room. 

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Ziggy by Hari Timsina.   Very nice whiskers.   This is the first time that an artist has dated a painting for me.

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Gracie Slick by Sufraj Khadka.   The aqua background with the shades of coral calligraphy and edging give this piece a charm.  Her polkadotted collar with the heart locket is prominently featured.

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What would the world be like without Elvis the smiling dog?  Elvis by Amar Shrestha.

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Frank Zappa by Sufraj.   This portrait of Frank seems to come off the signboard.

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He shakes my nerves and he rattles my brain...   Jerry Lee Lewis by Sabala.   This incarnation of Jerry Lee is in Soho at the OK Harris Cigar Store on W. Broadway near Broome.   Go in and buy him!

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Here is Jerry Lee Lewis by Hari Timsina.   The artists enjoy the teeth and gum on this Danger Dog. 

The Danger Dogs featured above are available with the exception of Elvis.   Please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com to find out more. 

I am due to leave again for Nepal in a few weeks and will be accepting new orders until mid-July.  

Please send me your photo of your pet, tell me what you'd like it to say, which artists you prefer and I will give that photo to 3 struggling Nepali signboard artists who will paint your pet on (often) recycled metal about one foot square, using synthetic enamel paint.  

Satisfaction is guaranteed, as you pay nothing up front and only pay after you choose a portrait of your pet that you like.   I will be back from this trip about mid-August.

Questions, comments, requests?   Please contact me below or at ampage1@gmail.com.   Additional available dogs are here.

You can always find out more at NepalDog.com.


Danger Dogs of the Venice Art Walk

This year you will get the chance to bid on Danger Dog Diptychs at the 31st Venice Art Walk.

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Punam of Pokhara painted this romantic version of Cheeto and Scooter -- 2 tabbies from Riverside.

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Another version of the same lovely cats by Jit Gurung of Munal Arts.   These two will be offered at the Venice Art walk as a diptych.  

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NT Arts of Beni painted this sweet puppy.   Part one of a diptych.

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Here is the same puppy, by Sagar, with a decidedly different spin.   Part 2 of the diptych.

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Gabby on a hike by Sanjib Rana, part one of the diptych and...

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Gabby by Sabala part 2.   Gabby seems happily exhausted after her hike in the Malibu hills.

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Punam from the resort town of Pokhara painted this Pirate Dog.   Desi is a Havanese puppy.

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Desi the Havanese puppy by Sagar.   Part 2 of that diptych.

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Another cat diptych begins with Cruiser by Ram Krishna.  

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Cruiser part 2 by Karma.  

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Above is a single poodle.   I could not resist this Spiritual Dog by Sufraj Khadka.   Louis was recently featured in a post by an Indian humorist.   Nepal recently passed a non-discrimination law in favor of gays, lesbians, transgenders.   Even same sex marriage is allowed.   This is unusual in this part of the world and shows how progressive Nepal can be.

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And who could resist this painting of Bo Obama by Sabala.   I was lucky enough to watch the first layer being painted on a rooftop in Maharajgunj on a hot fall day.   You can watch the process on my YouTube Channel here.

Please bid on these folk art pieces from Nepal.   You will be helping the Venice Family Clinic as well as the Nepali artists!   Join us this Sunday May 23 at the Westminster School and bid!