The monsoon rains are late this year. Nepal has received only half of its normal rainfall this June.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
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).
The streets of Thamel are filled with the flags of participating nations.
Just across from our hotel (the Downtown), people from all over Nepal watch the action on a big screen.
Last trip particularly, there were many commissions that starred pets named after famous musicians.
The Danger Dogs featured above are available with the exception of Elvis. Please contact me at email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional available dogs are here.
You can always find out more at NepalDog.com.
This year you will get the chance to bid on Danger Dog Diptychs at the 31st Venice Art Walk.
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.
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!