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Danger Dog news!

It's good to be back in Danger Dog mode.  

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They needed more chickens at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and I was happy to comply!   They are opening a new exhibit this Friday night from 7-9pm at Bergamot Station, so please stop by if you are in the neighborhood.  Above is the rooster Nigel Too by Sanjib Rana and Ginger by Shree Shrestha.

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Flowers from the garden...   I am back and cooking up a storm every night in my own kitchen and couldn't be happier.  

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Bo Obama by Sabala will be included in the upcoming Artful Living section of the Venice Art Walk on Sunday, May 23.

For all of you out in Palm Springs, there will be a Danger Dog exhibit at the Terrence Rogers Fine Arts Gallery at the end of June and early July.   Stay tuned for more details.  


Dyptych Danger Dogs for the 2010 Venice Art Walk

I guess I am a lucky dog as the prestigious Venice Art Walk has asked the Danger Dogs back for a second year.    Last year was their 30th Anniversary and 30 Danger Dogs from 30 different struggling Nepali signboard artists were put up for silent auction -- 14 were scooped up.   Quite a coup for this Fair Trade art project!

The Venice Art Walk is a major fundraiser for the Venice Free Clinic which has been helping people with free, quality health care since 1970.

Now I'd like some help choosing which of these diptychs are the best to show the diverse work of these endangered Nepali signboard artists.

  Desi Havanese by Punam_1  Desi Havanese by Sagar_1

These are both of the Havanese puppy Desi.   By Punam and Sagar left to right.

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This is Jasper the Weimaraner.   Jasper lived next door for a while in the early '90's.   He was a handsome Weimaraner.   Here Shree Shrestha places Jasper on a magic carpet ride.    Shree paints in Pokhara and lives with his wife and 2 kids.   Each year he moves to a smaller space.   Shree tried to emigrate to South Korea for a 3-year contract -- going so far as to learn the Korean language, travel back and forth from Kathmandu several times, and be willing to leave his beautiful and beloved family in order to give them a better life.  But the deal fell through - leaving him all the worse off for trying.  I'm happy to have him stay with his family and keep painting for this Nepal Art Dog project.  

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Here Jasper floats on a sea (or a blanket) of blue, as painted by Arjun Karki - also from Pokhara.   A pastel masterpiece.   Arjun used to paint for Thapa Arts but has since moved on.   These artists are itinerant.

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Here is little Gigi -- innocent as a puppy could be.

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Sagar caught another side of Gigi!   Sagar paints his dogs to be thugs, but who knew?   A malevolent Gigi?   This was from my second Danger Dog trip in November 2007 and Surya was still trying to tell me that all the fabulous work coming out of his studio was done by him.   I told him I was amazed at his range of styles!   But this is the cynical hand of Sagar for certain.    I'm sure his sense of humor ran off with him on this one.  

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NK Art of Beni gave Gigi a frightened 'deer in the headlights' expression.   One rule of thumb is that owners will always buy the portrait that looks most like their dog.    When asked by the Nepali artists how I'd like the portrait framed or what background to use, I tell them that they are the artists and that they can choose.  The owner chose a portrait that looked like her dog.   Another reason to have 3 painted!

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Cooper is a Zen Black Lab that lives the good life in Northern San Diego County.   As painted by Hari Prasad, Cooper enjoys his favorite toy frog while looking rather maniacally at you.  

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Here's a blurry Cooper by Shahi.   I must have been jet lagged when I took this photo!   I'll replace it soon, I promise.   Anyway, Shahi - who goes only by his last name - was in his long time studio when I ordered this painting and when I came to pick up, he had moved to MUCH smaller and inconvenient digs in the Lakeside district of Pokhara.   He is a talented artist and I hope he is thriving in his new studio.  A bicycle repair shop had moved into his space.   They had previously been next door.

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Shahi in his old studio in happier times.

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Danger Dog Gabby by Sabala.   Next, her doppelganger...

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Sanjib Rana put the mountains of Malibu behind Gabby.   This painting is 15 inches high by 12 inches.   Sanjib Rana is my only 'fine' artist.   Sanjib had never painted on metal before I commissioned his first Danger Dog.   He is a muralist for various discerning households in the Kathmandu area.  

More tomorrow!   Please let me know either by comments or on Facebook or Twitter what you think.   Any favorite pairs of Danger Dogs?   You can also check out my website or go to the Nepal Dog YouTube Channel to see more about this Fair Trade art project.  

The time to order your very own Danger Dog is right now.    I will be leaving for Nepal in early June, coming back in early August with the commissioned portraits.   Each order will get a choice of three different paintings by 3 different Nepali artists.   You tell me what you'd like it to say, what style or artists you prefer, then send me a jpeg of your pet.   You pay nothing until you choose which Nepal Art Dog you would like.  

Please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com for more information, or go to NepalDog.com for more info.



Gallery Hopping in Stellenbosch

Saturday nights are no different in this part of the world.   People come from near and far to look at art.

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Guests came from as far as Capetown and Johannesburg to attend the opening of Wayne Barker's exhibit 'Super Boring' at the SMAC Art Gallery -- part of the Joberg Art Fair taking place from 25-28 March 2010.   This exhibit at SMAC is open through 23 May 2010.

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Above Barker combines images of Steven Biko with African trees and an assemblage of objects.   Neon is often included in Barker's pieces.   The exhibit included work from 1989 to present, and was spread out through several rooms in the huge gallery space.

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The art was anything but super boring.   SMAC stands for Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery.  

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These 'paintings' are created 100% with glass beading.

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This piece was striking in person, sorry again for the poor quality of these photos.   

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The crowd thoroughly enjoyed both the art and the venue.  Ivor Powell gave the opening address.

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There were snacks and wine served, including small samosas, prosciutto and melon balls, salmon and cucumbers -- many delicious treats from the kitchen of the adjacent Wijnhuis Restaurant.  

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The fun didn't stop at the Gallery, though, as down in the courtyard, live music and dancing topped off the night at the 'Super Boring' after party.  


Hello from Cape Town!

After a long but comfortable flight from LAX via London, we arrived in South Africa.    After we quickly settled in to our 'Backpacker's' guest house in the area known as Seapoint, we put on our walking shoes and took a scenic hour's walk towards Camp's Bay.    The wild coast of Cape Town is a wonderland of spectacular vistas.  

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Above is a view of Clifton Beach, an area of magnificent homes overlooking sandy beaches.

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There are many imaginative and beautiful ways used here to keep out unwanted intruders, including this lovely metal landscape.

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Absailing over the sandy beaches of Camp's Bay - a chic and sunny beach with sidewalk cafes and beautiful people.  

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Camp's Bay is also home to a large and active cricket pitch.   South Africans in general seem to bask in their balmy summer weather.

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Milnerton Dunes Beach with it's view of Table Mountain and surfers in the foreground.   The waves were high today.    Kite surfing is also available here.

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It turns out that this Sunday Cape Town will host largest bicycle race ever.   Lance Armstrong is among the 35,000 cyclists from all over the world who have come here to compete.   I have learned that the question to ask is their start time, as that will show their rank.   We rode in from the airport with a Brit who had promised himself to participate in this famed race 10 years ago at age 50.   His start time is 6:47 am, so he must be a fast and fit 60-year-old.    Needless to say, the hotels and cafes and streets are full of people with lycra cycling suits.

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This delicious breakfast of eggs over a dark rye with sweet cherry tomatoes set me back 20Rand (at 7.5 to the dollar that comes to less than $3).

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At lunch, we ate at a restaurant with a 'gangster' theme, as evidenced by this wallpaper in the ladies room.   The waitrons wore black fedoras.   Waitrons is a quaint South African term for servers.  

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We went to the Milnerton Flea Market and met this pair of rescue pups.   Originally from Bloomfontein, these dogs charmed their owner - who had never had dogs before.   They are quiet and friendly, and were happy to be petted.   The owner says they are a Maltese and Jack Russell Terrier cross.

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This Border Collie fetches sea weed tossed from the balcony above by his lifeguard buddies.  

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This Chow Chow enjoys the sea breezes.

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There are a few interesting signboards here in Capstad.   Of course, Africa is famous for their barbershop signboards, but so far this is the only one I have seen in practice, but it is a doosy!   That large gaping mouth on the right is part of an adult bookstore.

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There are also some stenciled dog signs, but if I see any hand painted ones, I'll keep you posted.

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This hand painted couple grace a curio shop on Long Street in downtown Cape Town.  

More later.   Please check the follow button at the top of this post to see more of our adventures in Cape Town and beyond.  


Nepal Art Dogs in the Snow!

Over here on the left coast, we can only but commiserate with the blizzard conditions on the Eastern Seaboard.   Maybe these will cheer you up....

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Emma, the Catahoula Leopard Dog, frolics in the snow.   This painting is by Sabala.   Catahoulas are the 'State Dog of Louisiana' and known as hunters.    It is not unusual for a Catahoula to have at least one blue eye.  

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Madeline, an extremely happy (and smart) poodle plays in the snow.   As painted by Nara of Asha Arts, Madeline enjoys getting her paws frosted.

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Williwa, a Canadian Samoyed, in her icy northern climes, happy to run the Dog Bar at Flake Restaurant here in Venice, California.   Williwa is named after Mount Williwa, in the Alaskan Chugach Range, near Ankorage, Alaska. 

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Schatzi lives in Malibu and is normally to be found rollicking in the sands of Broad Beach.   Here the Labrador Retriever enjoys her time in the show.   By Pulkit of Nepal Arts in Kathmandu.

The hand-painted signboard art of Nepal is quickly disappearing, being replaced by modern mass-production images.   You can support this endangered art form by ordering a Nepal Art Dog of your own, or by buying an already existing signboard.  

These Danger Dogs featured today are still available, ranging in price from $150 to $200 each.   Please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com with any questions or comments.   Also check out my website at NepalDog.com to see what else is available.

This Fair Trade art project is for pet lovers who collect art and want to make a difference in these struggling artists' lives.   Each commission generates work for at least 3 different Nepali artists giving 3 people work, and you 3 portraits of your pet.