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Amar Shrestha works in Boudha, the Buddhist area of Kathmandu Valley. The above picture was taken as I showed him photos of his work at the Craft and Folk Art Museum here in Los Angeles. Amar speaks very little English but he loves the word ‘exhibition’ and is proud that his work has traveled far. His work has even been in the window at the Craft and Folk Art Museum!
His portraits are very soulful, and if I ever get a commission of a resting pet, Amar is the first to get it. He loves a sleeping dog or cat.
He often uses pastel or Easter egg colors in his work. Amar’s style is almost watercolor-like. He often forgets to sign his work, so I always bring a Sharpie. He signs them ‘Pushipati Arts, Pented by Amar’.
Once, in Kathmandu, a German lady came up to me saying “I went by Amar’s studio and saw him painting ‘Be Aware of Dog’ and I corrected him.” Technically, in Nepali, that’s the literal translation: Be Aware of Dog. I loved the mistake and have incorporated it into many signs since. One studio came up with ‘Be Aware of Danger Dog!’ which I loved. I wish that lady had been around when they mangle the word ‘Enlightened.’ But I can only imagine how I would fare with Sanskrit.
I give Amar a lot of work when I’m in Nepal and always look forward to his easy smile.
Once Amar painted a 1962 Alfa Romeo convertible and was able to show the dashboard capturing the transparency of the windshield. Quite a feat.