Nepal politics Feed

Big trouble in Kathmandu City

Today I leave for the airport.   It's a late flight, leaving at 10 pm, but there has been a Chakra Bandh called for today and tomorrow!   Chakra means 'wheel' and bandh means 'strike'.   No wheeled vehicles!   How to get to the airport with my 120 pounds of luggage?   (Those Danger Dogs weigh a ton.)

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On a happier note, Ziggy Stardust in all his glory from Sabala, Ram Krishna and Hari Timsina.   (Clockwise from top left.)

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Valki the Enlightened Doberman Pinscher by Sabala, Sanjib Rana and Dilip.

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Polly by Sabala, Sanjib Rana and Megh Raj.

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Popo by Sabala, Megh Raj and Dilip.

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Gus the White Labrador Retriever in three different poses by three different artists:   Megh Raj, Dilip and Sabala.

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Arrow, a black lab, by Sabala, Nara and Raaz.

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Emma, a Catahula Leopard Dog in the snow, by Amar, Sabala and Hari Prasad.

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Nanuq, the friendly Samoyed by Ram Krishna, Dilip and Sabala.

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Miles, a black Chow, by Sabala, Nara and Megh Raj.

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Sierra, an Enlightened Pit Bull, by Dilip, Sagar and Sabala.

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Here is Jack the Black lab with a favorite toy,  by Megh Raj and Dilip.   

Better get off this computer and try to arrange some transport!!!!

This has been a great Danger Dog trip with lots of great paintings commissioned.   I'll be back twice next year if you'd like your own Danger Dog or Danger Cat done.   Please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com  with any comments, questions or orders.   Also check out the Danger Dog website at NepalDog.com.

Wish me luck on getting to the airport!


Exciting Days in Kathmandu

Yesterday was one in a million.   The good news is that I was able to watch Sabala paint the first layer of two paintings.  100_6398

Here Sabala starts on his portrait of Bo Obama, the First Dog. 

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It was fascinating to see how he mixed the colors.

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Here he finishes what is the first of 3 layers.   Once this is dry, he adds more touches, and will do a third finishing layer.

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Sabala begins by doing a rough sketch with light brushstrokes defining the general outline. 

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Here, working on the portrait of the lovely Jasper, he adds color highlights.

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It was fun to watch Jasper begin to emerge on the hot rooftop where Sabala was painting.   It was also good to be warm.   Kathmandu is 5 degrees centigrade at night, but it warms up nicely in the daytime.

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Sabala always dresses in orange from head to toe.   Originally from Kerala in India, he is one of my premiere artists.

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The first layer is finished!

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When I showed Sabala this photo, he said 'Black and White'.   I would have said short and tall! 

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Meanwhile, back in Boudha, Amar and his paintings of Emma, the Catahoula Leopard dog in the snow, Ruthie and Lucy are underway.

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Shelby, Sophie and Stargell, and Compass here as works in progress by Amar Shrestha.

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Amar begins his drawing of Jojo and Maggie again on a rooftop.

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On a funny note, here is Surya Prasai, owner of Surya Art, in his latest role as a victim of lung disease in a Kollywood production.   Kathmandu's film industry is still in its infancy, but Surya plays many roles - in this film he dies, in another he showed me, he plays a big brother to a young bride.   He says he makes little money in these roles, but enjoys them immensely.

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I walked miles yesterday, looking for some native Danger Dog signs, but came up mostly empty handed.   This little Danger Corgi is an exception.   A different take of the ubiquitous stenciled signs, it is a welcome change.  

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Took the bus to the end of the line yesterday and ended up in Gokarna, an old community surrounded by a forest that is growing quickly.   The little girl with wet hair spoke great English and wondered what I could possibly be doing so far away from the tourist areas.   Children here are not afraid to talk to strangers, that's for sure.

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Check out the eyes on this signboard!

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Here we are at the 'Headache Beauty Salon'.   What could possibly have caused them to choose such an unhappy picture?

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Last night, around the Boudha stupa, there was a massive demonstration protesting an upcoming mass animal sacrifice at Bara.   Brought out the orbs.

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A monk swings his scensor.   The Gadhimai Mela in Bara takes place every 5 years and is a mass slaughter of animals to appease the goddess Gadhimai.   Many Buddhists and animal activists are up in arms. 

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The stupa was festooned with lights under a lovely crescent moon.

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This last photo is for Daniel.   Shorty is alive and well and hanging out with his friend.   Shorty is the red and white dog, who lives near us in Boudha.   He hates being called Shorty!

Cut off time for your order is approaching!   Contact me at ampage1@gmail.com for more information or go to my website at NepalDog.com.


Busy day in Kathmandu

My official morning started with a meeting with my artist Sanjib Rana in the Dragon Guest House gardens.

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I was glad to find Sanjib, as his mobile kept saying 'not accepting incoming calls'.   Sanjib paints his signboards on a larger format than my other artists, approximately 12" x 15" instead of the standard 1 square foot.   He will be working on his painting while taking his mother to the hospital 3 times a week for dialysis.  His daughter is 12 and studying hard.   He mentioned that he had never left Nepal, and I asked where he got his fluent English, since I have always assumed that he learned in India, since he is so proficient.   He replied that he picked up most of it from foreign friends.  I gave him a poster of Australian parrots to add to his collection of pictures of birds and horses - his specialtes.

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After a quick pass of the Stupa, I noticed that Buddha Boy would be at the Boudhanath Stupa today.   Posters and fliers announcing his visit (in Nepali and Tibetan script) were everywhere.

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Next, after a long ride (packed like a sardine) on  local microbus into Kathmandu proper (Jyatha, to be precise), I ordered the last of my signs with Nara, formerly known as Asha.   Mr. NB Maharjan (above) took my order.  

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Right around the corner, on my way into Thamel - the tourist district - I came across this Hindu procession, consisting of 4 palanquins each held by 4 men.   Passersby would bow and touch the colorful shrine as they passed much like a Catholic might give the sign of the cross while passing something holy. 

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My favorite part of the display is the radishes placed decoratively about the altar. 101_6273
The chaos that is Kathmandu.

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Next I stopped off at the Lotus Gallery to see my old friend Santosh.   Lotus is alone in  promoting contemporary Tibetan Art here in Kathmandu.    101_6278

Many famous artists such as Tenzing Norbu Lama - featured in the Oscar-nominated film 'Himalaya' (aka 'Caravan') are represented by the Lotus Gallery.   I was happy to have met Tenzing at my last stop at Lotus in August.

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But Jim Aplington, who has run the gallery for 12 years, has a wide variety of artists on the walls.

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Besides these modern works, Jim's also a good source of traditional Thankas. 

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You can find out more about the Lotus Gallery and it's artists at LotusGalleryNepal.com

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Or you can stop by.   It is near the heart of Thamel across from the Delices de France restaurant, on the main road down from the Kathmandu Guest House.

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Then it was off to the Kathmandu Guest House to check on my friend Susan Sakya and her fabulous shop Susan's Collection.   Susan is blessed with a depth of knowledge and the good taste to go with it.

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Look at those chandeliers!!!   Susan's Collection is housed in the old Rana Palace section of the Kathmandu Guest House with the lovely high ceilings and detail of a hundred years ago.

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I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to see my friend Meredith and her Morris Minor drive by.   She stopped and we had a quick chat....

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...then off into the traffic sunset.

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Kathmandu is full of marvelous old wood carving, but somehow this window caught my eye.   I don't believe I've even seen the Nepali flag carved in just this way.   Nepal has the world's only 5 sided flag.

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Dan and I have often bought seeds from the Annapurna Seed Company in that charming building in the center of the frame.

Dark days are coming to Kathmandu.   Load-shedding - the local euphemism for planned power outages - is coming in 4 or 5 days.   17-hours-per-day with no electricity.   Supposed to last for only a week, but we shall see.  

If you have any orders for the Danger Dogs, better hurry, as the light on the Valley is fading fast.   Hard to paint in the dark. 

More tomorrow.  Write me with any questions or comments.  I love to hear from you.   ampage1@gmail.com


Odd days in Kathmandu

First, the good news.   I found another beautiful native 'beware of dog' signboard.   101_6225

This one appears to be fairly new and  a fine example of the 'beware of tongue' tradition that is popular here.   Tongues are more frequent than teeth! 

Now for the bad.  One reason that you are not seeing many new photos of these signs is that these are difficult times for the Nepalis, making me stay close to home.     Not having my husband to accompany me compounds the problem.

The Maoists - while part of the official government now - are blockading the streets, most recently the Home Minster's building which was made impassible for 2 days.   They threaten to do so again in a few days.   Many many cadres of Maoists have been brought out from the countryside.   This is not a direct threat to tourists like me, but makes travel far afield risky, as I may not be able to get back home to Boudha.   It completely restricts the possibility of travel to Pokhara, as the perimeter roads feeding Kathmandu Valley were cut off last week, making for a long walk with luggage back into town.  

For those of you who have requested artists in Pokhara, I hope you understand.   Next trip!

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Love the painting of the Tibetan hillside.   Hate the stenciled sign!

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A dog feeding frenzy with orbs!   This Tibetan granny feeds the street dogs every evening.  

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In the midst of the throngs who are circling the Boudha Stupa, she feeds them.   They are surprisingly patient while waiting their turn, and the Amahla (Tibetan for 'revered mother') makes sure the bounty is fairly shared. 
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This little guy barked at me on the way to breakfast this morning.    101_6243
His friend ignored me.


More tomorrow.   I'm off to order from more artists today.

Please get your orders in soon, if you intend to.   This trip is more of a challenge than others, but I will still promise satisfaction.

Write to me at ampage1@gmail.com for more information and to order.   You can also check out Nepaldog.com for more photos of this Fair Trade Art Project.

Micro-finance through art patronage.


Sufraj!

Sufraj was also ready today!
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Above is Roger with Ganesh, Lucy the Jack Russell, and Sonny, now a golden Retriever.   Love those legs off to the side.  
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Here is Sufraj with Pinky the Jack Russell and his prototype beauty shop signboard.
Please remember that these guys can paint anything you can dream up!  
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And, while I was at it, I had him do a few more portraits of President Obama.   Luckily, he made him a person of color.   Last November, I had a slight problem when he gave Obama the 'Fair and Lovely' skin-whitening treatment.   When I took the photo of Sufraj above and showed him his image, he shook his head and said 'so black'.   I replied 'Kala ramro ho' ('Black is good.' in Nepali.)