folk art Feed

Three of a Kind Danger Dogs beginning to come in!

There are some tough choices ahead!


One of the first triptychs to be completed this trip is this white Westie, Maggie.  The choices include one from Santosh Shrestha, Sufraj Khadka and the bottom is by Shree Laimecchaine (clockwise from top left).

The original photo (in front of the wine) includes a railing where Maggie is gazing off into the Hudson River.   Shree includes the rail in his portrait and Sufraj hints at its presence wth his Nepal lettering suggesting the rail.   Both Shree and Sufraj replace the Hudson with greenery.   I wonder if they even knew that a river could be so wide.   Santosh (as always) ignores all backgrounds.   Alll 3 feature Maggie's cute pink ears prominently.   Notice the different ways they handled Maggie's backside -- Santosh ignores it, Sufraj give the rear a blurry back and Shree imagines a curled white tail.   The jawline emphasis is also handled very differently in all 3 pieces.

Sorry for the wonky photo.   My camera may be on its way out.


Maggie's sathee (means friend in the Nepali language) and companion Yuki, a Shiba Inu, was painted by the same trio of artists -- Sufraj, Santosh and Shree (clockwise from top left).   The owner of the pair had requested 'naive and colorful'.

Of the 3 artists, only Shree included the furniture giving a Nepali home makeover to his portrait.   Shree also included both forepaws even though only Yuki's left front paw is in the photo provided.   All 3 paid careful attention to Yuko's lovely black and tan markings though Shree's Yuki is black and white.   Both Shree and Santosh chose to give Yuki a halo of writing.

The whiskers should be compared as well.   Short, medium to long!   If dogs used Maybelline's Great Lash Mascara on their whiskers, Santosh's painting would be the result.

Above is Ernie the Schnoodle and his final 3 choices.   By Sufraj, Shree and Santosh (clockwise from top left).

Ernie looks like a happy dog, and all 3 artists have caught that.   To me, the portrait of Ernie by Sufraj looks like Ernie as a puppy.   Much like Yuki's whisker progression, the size of Ernie's tongue varies greatly in the 3 portraits.   Shree puts Ernie in the mountains, Sufraj places him in a green field and Santosh lets Ernie stand alone in a deep blue background.

I have an order for a portrait of Hanuman this trip.   You can imagine my surprise when I arrived at the shop and found Hanuman in such a compromising juxtaposition!   Or maybe he too needs an umbrella in the monsoon!   Hanuman is a Hindu God sometimes referred to as the Monkey God.   Hanuman is a provider of courage, hope, knowledge, intellect and devotion. He is pictured as a robust monkey holding a mace (gada) which is a sign of great bravery.  This version of Hanuman is painted by Sagar.   Sagar signs his signboards with a Japanese chop as he teaches young Japanese artists.

I dropped by Megh Raj's studio and found him hard at work painting a beauty shop portrait of the Indian beauty Aishwarya Rai.   A former Miss World, Aishwarya is a popular celebrity in Nepal and a huge movie star in South Asia.


As usual, Megh Raj is doing a great job with her image.

Megh Raj has a number of portraits that are waiting for the Nepali lettering.   Here is Marley, a charming mix of Corgi and Beagle looking content and thoughtful on a favorite blanket.

Above is Marley's good friend Reign, a blue-eyed Corgi.   I had never seen one before and I think you will agree that she is striking!    Again, Reign is awaiting her Nepalese translation.


More tomorrow, including the completed works of Megh Raj.

There is still time to order your Danger Dog (or Cat!), but time is running out.   Write to me at ampage1(at) for more information and to order.   I do not accept money up front but will try my best to give you a memorable portrait of your pet from Nepal.

This is a fair trade art project and all artists are paid whether you buy or not.   Over 1500 pieces have been commissioned to date giving the artists a lot of much-needed work.

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

More information at

Stay tuned!

More New Danger Dogs from Nepal

We are back in Dogmandu!

Bat Boy makes a brilliant Danger Dog.   A giant mastiff, he looks enlightened as painted by Santosh Shrestha.

Next is the lovely white Westie, Maggie by Santosh.

Maggie's pal Yuki the black and tan Shiba Inu is next, looking Enlightened drying out in the sun.

Little Ozzie is next by Santosh.   Ozzie is the first awesome dog in the Danger Dog series.

The finished Ernie the Schnoodle by Santosh.

Max looks good in red.   Again by Santosh.

I am now back in Kathmandu and will be picking up more Nepal Dog portraits!   Stay tuned.

There are still a few more days to order, but you must hurry.   Remember, satisfaction is guaranteed, as I accept no money up front.   You pay only if you like one of the Danger Dog portraits.

All commissions receive a choice of 3 paintings on metal from 3 different struggling Nepali signboard artists.   The works are synthetic enamel on metal and are about one foot square.   You can put them indoors or out.   All artists get paid fair trade wages whether you choose them or not.

The Nepal Art Dog project is designed to promote Nepali signboard art.   Signboard art is rapidly being replaced by sterile, computer-generated digital art, not the vibrant hand-painted signboards of the past.

You can help by ordering today.   Please send me a file of your pet and I will give it to 3 artists, giving you a choice of 3 works of art and giving 3 artists work at the same time.

Write to me at to find out more, or go to the website.

Hurry!  Only a few days left to order.   These portraits make great gifts.

Pokhara Danger Dogs!


This was the happy sight that welcomed me when I came to pick up from Shree.   Here is (from top to bottom) a spec sign that Shree made of the black labrador Leila, an order from a previous trip, a Double Dog of Max and Ernie, and Shree's portrait of Yuki, an Enlightened black and tan Shiba Inu.    Displayed alongside Shree's original art, for all the world to see.

Molly is up top with a rainbow background and Yuki's Westie friend Maggie is painted looking off from her perch over the Hudson.

Next we have the handsome Schnoodle Ernie painted in the mountains of Nepal.   And a reprise of a painting of the always popular Barred Rock hen Sirius Black.   When I came by earlier to drop off Nepali neighbors were snickering at the Dharma Chicken translation.

Next it was on to see Jit Gurung.   As always his portraits of the dogs were fabulous, but he mispelled the Tailwaggers Dog!   Tailwaggers is a store in Los Angeles (on Bronson) featuring natural pet products, and I will have the Tailwaffers changed to Tailwaggers!  Above is Jit with Logan the german shepherd, a Tailwaggers mascot.

As always, Jit forgot to sign his art.  On top is Danger Dog Zach.

Here is the final trilogy of the three Tailwaggers Dogs - Buddy, Dexter and Logan by Jit Gurung.

This is Leila, a beautiful dog from the Pacific Palisades by Jit Gurung.   Again Jit substitutes the G for an F, making Leila an Enlifhtened Dog.

Surprisingly, one of my more stable artists, Santosh, was not finished even though I gave him 2 weeks to complete the 6 Danger Dog portraits and I returned after 3 and a half weeks.   Maybe it has something to do with the Kurt Kobain t-shirt?   Is he trying to tell me something?  Here he is with his wife and a not-quite-dry portrait of the lovely Lhasa Apso mix Max.

I knew something was up when I saw 4 Danger Dog portraits drying in the sun outside his shop.   Left to right we have BatBoy with a yellow background, Maggie the White Westie, Ernie the Schnoodle and the first Awesome Dog Ozzie as works in progress.    The Digital Store signboard at top is made of flex plastic and is less than a year old.   Faded and damaged by holes, these 'new and improved' signs are  the traditional hand-painted colorful signboards on metal's replacements.

It is still not too late to order a signboard for this trip.   But time is running out.   Send me a photo of your pet and I will give that photo to 3 Nepali signboard artists - giving you 3 choices and 3 struggling artists work.  I pay fair trade wages and there is no risk to you as I take no money up front.   Satisfaction guaranteed - no bad karma here.

Send your photos to me at or go to for more information.

They make the perfect gift for the pet lovers in your life.




Dogs of Pokhara

Since I have been stranded here due to the monsoon for a few extra days, I have time to walk the streets of Pokhara and interact with some not-so-Danger-Dogs.


This dog has a bounce to his walk and is a big dog in every respect but his short legs.   He came right up and got the petting that he deserved.   I think the Nepali dogs like tourists very much.

This is a male dog named 'Maggie'.   He is gentle and friendly and has a lovely notched ear.   His owners were foreigners here who have since moved on to Indonesia.   The owners of the Lama Restaurant took him under their wing and he now live the life of riley and is well fed and loved.

This little puppy is Maggie's friend and they play together on a large construction sandpile.

I ran into this little boy with this adorable puppy.   Dogs here jump up on you if you are not careful.   And this is the rainy (muddy paws) season.

I haven't seen many 'Beware of Dog' here in Pokhara.   This one is on its last legs.

This woman rests parkside with her happy dog.

I may be off trekking, but you can still order your Danger Dog signboard.   Of course, your pet may be Enlightened, Happy, Smiling or even a cat!   I will be back on the grid soon and ready to give your photo of your pet to 3 endangered Nepali signboard artists.   You pay nothing if you are not satisfied with the results.  

All signboards are approximately one square foot and are painted with synthetic enamel and are good indoors or out.  

Contact me at for more information and to order.   Also, you can go to to see more about the project.

Stranded in Pokhara


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!

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


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.

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.

This body builder is impressive.

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  

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

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

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

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.

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!

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 with any questions or comments or with a photo of your pet.  Or go to 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!