Obama Feed

Be Aware of Bo Obama!


In November, 2008, I commissioned a limited edition series of Folk Art Obamas, by 10 of my realistic artists and was very pleased with the results.   I thought it only fair that Bo Obama not be left out of the process.   Bo makes a charming Danger Dog!

I'd love to donate this portrait of Bo to President Obama.   Any ideas of how to get this to him would be greatly appreciated.   I think Malia and Sasha would like it, too.   Imagine the White House gate with a Nepali signboard warning off White House gatecrashers!  The president told Oprah last night that he gives great presents - this would qualify.  

Up on a sunny rooftop in Kathmandu, Sabala begins by painting a rough outline of Bo, the president's Portuguese Water Dog.  

Giving Bo a touch of blue, Sabala paints quickly and confidently.  

The process was fascinating to watch.   Dressed in orange from head to toe, Sabala hails from Kerala in South India.   He speaks Hindu and English fluently, but not Nepali.

Bo Obama is starting to take shape here.

With the background filled in, Sabala is ready to let this first layer dry and begin work on a second piece.   Sabala paints his Nepali signboards in three layers:   a first base coat, a second layer of detail, and the final finishing touches.    I had never watched an artist create an image, though I've seen many works in progress by these artists.   The difference in their style of putting the paint on metal is just as great as the difference in their results.

Here is Sabala on this very same rooftop with his adopted son Sonu in November 2008.   This was the very first of the Folk Art Obamas that I saw, and I knew that the project would work after seeing this great portrait.  

The Folk Art Obama series of 26 were very popular at the Santa Monica Museum of Art.    For more information on this museum, please go to smmoa.org.    They only have a few Folk Art Obamas left, so hurry!

For more information on the Danger Dog project, please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com, and visit my website at NepalDog.com.

More final Danger Dogs!

Yesterday was fabulous as I traveled across the Kathmandu Valley picking up Danger Dogs.    100_6688

First, we have the adorable Sport aka Good Boy in two of his incarnations by Sabala (top left) and Nara (top right ).   Bo Obama by Sabala is there on the bottom in green.   I'm sending it to Barack Obama as a gift.   Does anyone have any idea how to insure he actually sees it?   I still have that picture of a Danger Dog signboard guarding the White House -- maybe it can ward off uninvited gatecrashers.

Above is Stella in two of her guises by (top left) Sabala and (top right) Nara.   Below is the charming portrait of Jack the Black Lab by Sufraj.   I like the way Sufraj has included Jack's nametag.

Next we have Frank Zappa, Belle and Gracie all by Sufraj.   (clockwise from top left.)

Here, all by Sabala, are Compass, Rudy and Red.   It is interesting that so far all of Red's portraits have a reddish background, without the artists being told Red's name.  I really like the way Rudy commands his portrait, with his feet going outside the frame.

Danger Cats are not to be neglected during this trip.   Above we have (clockwise from top left) Zia the black Danger Cat, Lula, a Tonkinese Zen Kitty - both by Sufraj.   The bottom two paintings are Marble the Calico Cat by Nara (bottom right) and Sufraj (bottom left).

Peaches (all descriptions clockwise from top left) has a peachy glow in this portrait.   Arrow the Black Lab wears a rhinestone collar, Ruthie relaxes and the Super Dogs, Jojo and Maggie pull up the rear.  All paintings in this photo are by Nara.

Again by Nara, this photo features (clockwise from top left) Grover, Rudy and Miles the Black Chow.

More by Sabala:   The finished portrait of Jasper, which I was able to document the first layer of painting earlier in this blog, Scooter and Cheeto - a pair of Danger Cats, and Wallechinski the Teddy Bear.  

The top two portraits of Nanuq and Red are by Ram Krishna.   He had not finished the Nepali writing, so I'll pick the balance of his work today.   Below is a double portrait of Lucky and Odi by Sufraj and Sufraj's portrait of Fugg.

Last but not least, still drying on the rooftop is Grover and Gabby by Sabala.  

On the way in to work this morning, I saw these young boys with their puppy named Rocky!

Lots to pick up today.   Check in tomorrow when I begin the series 'Three of a kind' - see which one you would choose!   I should have at least 12 complete sets.   Stop in and tell your friends!

Danger Dogs in Kathmandu - Works in Progress

It was a long day yesterday, starting with my hotel telling me that there was a message.   'Someone has called and said that their work is ready.'   When asked the name of that someone, I got a shrug.   Then I went down the list...'Amar, Raj, Megh Raj, Surya, Ram Krishna, Sufraj...'   'Yes, that's it.'   Of course, it wasn't.  
I ended up going to see most of my artists yesterday, clocking almost 20,000 steps on my pedometer in the process.  Course, I had a great time.

First stop was Amar, where I found him in the fresh air of the rooftop, painting the last of his orders and getting 3 new ones. 

Next stop was at Hari Timsina's shop in Old Baneshwor.   He was finished but had forgotten to sign them, so I'll see him again on Friday.   Here is Duke the Weimaraner, Ziggy the multi-color eyed cat, Grace the Pitbull with a giant smile.

Lucy Wilson by Hari T. is a Dangerously affectionate cat!  

Dilip, just down the street, is not quite ready, but his paintings of Shelby and Nanuk look pretty good.

As do Gus and Sierra.   Love the tongue on Gus and Sierra's breast freckles.   Yes, that's really what they are called.  

Here is the dramatic and beautiful Valki.   Doberman Pinschers are Dilip's favorite type of dog.   Here he captured her intensity.  

Popo as a work in progress by Dilip.   Great smile, Popo.

Jojo and Maggie ready for their close up.   Dilip says it will be another 2 days to finish up with the eyes and lettering.    100_6547
A slow trip across town to Maharajgung and Sufraj's studio.   I had printed a copy of his Obama series up at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, and he put it in his window.  

I was early for pick up, but I had gotten that mysterious message.   'Someone is ready.'   I still don't know who it is!   Here is Arrow the Black Lab as a work in progress.

Here is Marbles the calico cat as a work in progress.

At Ram Krishna's studio, I found him hard at work on a piece for a local from the Everest Kennel Club calendar.   That's a cute White Lab. 

That's it for today.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog -- Live from Kathmandu1

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. 

It was fascinating to see how he mixed the colors.

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.

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

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

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.

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

The first layer is finished!

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

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

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

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

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.

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.  

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.

Check out the eyes on this signboard!

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


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

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. 

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

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.

Obama in Nepal - the Folk Art Obamas

In honor of President Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize this morning, I thought I'd show the few remaining Folk Art Obamas.  


Here is Sagar holding his rather older version of Barack Obama.   This was painted in November 2008, as part of a limited edition series for the Santa Monica Museum of Art.   This is the  Obama of the future.   There are even a few stray gray hairs.


This Folk Art Obama by Amar includes details such as his five o'clock shadow.  


Obama by Sufraj is lighter skinned, perhaps reflecting Sufraj's thoughts on his own skin tones.   Sufraj comments on his own photos by shaking his head and saying  'So dark.'   I remind Sufraj that it is a good thing that Obama is a man of color.   When interviewed about what he thought about painting Obama, he said that it was 'ekdam mito' - meaning that it was a very pleasing experience.  He claims that he has never made such a 'personal' painting before.   He also stated that he has never done a painting of such a powerful person as Obama.   


Govinda Kalikote's portrait of our President brings to mind the young basketball player that he once was.   Govinda insisted on painting this on plywood instead of the usual metal. 


No collection of Obama paintings would be complete without a piece after Shepherd Fairey.   In this version by Sabala, Obama looks like Martin Luther King.    I also enjoyed the misspelling of the word 'to ward'.  


Here are 3 more by Sufraj at Gracie - the shop at the Santa Monica Museum of Art.   Go to smmoa.org for more information.

Congratulations again to our 44th president.

I have made my reservations and will be returning to Nepal in November to order more signposts on metal.   I'll be back with the paintings in early December.

I have mostly concentrated on pets, but as you can see above, these guys can and will paint anything you can imagine -- home portraits, portraits of people, cars, children, movie posters.   If you order it, you will get it.  

To order a personalized signboard on metal from Nepal, please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com.   You can also go to www.NepalDog.com to find out more about the project.

This is a Fair Trade Art Project dedicated to promoting the endangered signboard artists of Nepal - Micro-finance through Art Patronage - appealing mostly to pet lovers who collect art and would like to make a difference to the world.