Artists participating in the Plein Air Painters group on Facebook have been enjoying the updates coming in from outdoor painters from all over the word, from Holland to the Himalayas. One recently stood out — a participant from the place with the tallest mountains on earth reports that painting in Nepal and neighboring countries is downright magical.
“Tibetan Prayers,” by Gurung Dhwoj, pen-and-ink and watercolor, 7 1/2 x 11 in.
“It is great fun to paint around our country, which is rich in cultural heritage and natural beauty,” says Gurung Dhwoj. “You have to hire porters if you want to go around the hilly region due to the lack of good roads. There are lots of beautiful places, such as the Pokhara Valley and the Kathmandu Valley, where you can paint stunning landscapes and streetscapes. It is great fun to chat with local, warm-hearted peoples and paint their surroundings. Some of them have never seen painters; I have seen many curious faces during my outdoor painting trips. Sometimes they ask me, ‘What will you do with these paintings?'”
“Cloudy Morning,” by Gurung Dhwoj, watercolor, 11 x 7 1/2 in.
“Janabahal Street,” by Gurung Dhwoj, watercolor, 15 x 22 in.
“Nepali House,” by Gurung Dhwoj, watercolor, 11 x 15 in.
Gurung says art materials are available in the Kathmandu area, but it is still advisable to bring your own plein air painting supplies. He’s been painting in his native country for 10 years, from snow-capped mountains to the low-lying terai, or Himalayan grasslands. He extols the beauty of the region, but avers that a plein air painter may find a deeper connection to “the roof of the world.” “In my experience to paint around the Himalayas is not just to go there and paint the beautiful landscapes, but also to experience the direct spiritual contact to nature,” says Gurung. “You will be totally lost within it.”