Introduction:

"This blog is not necessarily for lovers of art, it includes a variety of topics and whatever. I'm a painter who likes to know what's really going on in the world today. So you might find anything from Shamrocks to Salmiakki mentioned here on my blog. There will of course be some boring, factual and informational posts, but I'll keep them to a minimum, I promise!

And I might get a bit nostalgic now and then.

So you have been warned!"


- Alan Hogan



Showing posts with label Karis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karis. Show all posts

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Dead Poet's Breakfast!




This is a repost from 2011. I'm trying to restart my blog yet again. And what better day to reboot it than this special day in the Finnish calendar. Since Finland is celebrating it's 100 year birthday as an independent nation this year 2017 I hope to repost a few old stories here aswell as some photos from my time living in Finland.  

The 5th of February is known as Runeberg's Day in Finland, named after Finland's national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg who was born in the town of Jacobstad, Finland on this date 1804.




'Runeberg's most famous work is Fänrik Ståls sägner (The Tales of Ensign Stål, Vänrikki Stoolin tarinat in Finnish) written between 1848 and 1860. It is considered the greatest Finnish epic poem outside the native Kalevala tradition and contains tales of the Swedish War of 1808-09 with Russia. In the war, Sweden ignominiously lost Finland, which became a Grand Duchy in the Russian empire. The poem, which is composed episodically, emphasizes the common humanity of all sides in the conflict, while principally lauding the heroism of the Finns. The first poem "Vårt land" (Our Land, Maamme in Finnish) became the Finnish National Anthem. Runeberg is celebrated on 5 February each year.'
- taken from Wikipedia


While the National anthem of Finland is sung in the Finnish language by the majority of people over here, it is also sung in swedish with the same passion and pride by a part of the Finnish population living in the west and south of Finland. In my opinion there is something very special and respectful for the people of Finland to have their anthem in both languages.

   


And it is also on this day Feb 5th every year that a certain cake named 
Runeberg's torte (Finnish: Runebergintorttu; Swedish: Runebergstårta) is eaten all over in Finnish homes to celebrate this great national poet. The story goes that the poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg enjoyed a torte with some brandy punsch for his breakfast every morning.





And not wanting to be disrespectful, I am only too happy to carry on this good tradition in my own home today. A little too late for breakfast, I will be eating one of these two little beauties here with a nice cup of tea later on this evening.



Thanks for reading my blog and please share it with all your friends.

-Alan

You are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button here.


Original post from 2011.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Kick-off! - football in Finland

It was time to give my BK-46 football jersey a good wash
in preparation for this year's football season in Finland.



This year's football season has just started here in Finland and I took myself along to the local derby-match between my local team here in Karis/Karjaa called BK-46 and nearby neighbours EIF in Ekenäs/Tammisaari





Ekenäs / Tammisaari


This Finnish League second-division match took place yesterday in the beautiful seaside town of Ekenäs with the home supporters wearing their EIF green shirts and the visitors wearing their BK-46 red and white shirts. The second division or Kakkonen in Finnish is the third-tier of Finnish football.




BK-46 fans arrive at Ekenäs train station





Having watched my favorite English team Liverpool lose out to Manchester City in the English Premier League title race I needed a bit of a lift.

Some matches are already over in this years Finnish football season, in both the league and the Finnish Cup. But for me it really feels like the beginning when the weather improves and I can leave my coat at home. And this was just the case yesterday afternoon. Blue skies and warm sunshine made for a great afternoon as myself and other fans boarded the train and made our way to the game. 



EIF Ekenäs and BK-46 players line out before kick-off.

The match began in a very competitive manner as expected and my team BK-46 were playing good. The home team EIF have beaten BK-46 in their last three meetings. Supporters from both sides were in full voice cheering on their respective teams with plenty of colour added from waving flags, jerseys and scarves. There was even a Norwegian flag being waved from the BK-46 fans in honour to their neighbouring country's national day which is celebrated on May 17th. 

As the match progressed the home team were gaining more possession and control of the game, and eventually scored the first goal in the 34th minute of the game (EIF 1-0 BK-46). It stayed that way until half-time. 

BK-46 looked alive for a brief period in the second half. But they lacked leadership and it was evident that individual performances were substandard. This allowed EIF to improve their already good performance and add a second goal in the 52nd minute. It didn't look like any response was coming from the BK-46 players with most of the play taking place in their own half of the pitch. And when one of their players was red-carded it became an impossible task. Heads were down among the many fans including myself who had made the trip from Karis. It came as no surprise when a third goal by the team in green arrived in the 79th minute, and eventually EIF 3-0 BK-46 was the final score of the match. I must mention that three key players on the winning team have moved from the opposition team over the last two years, which along with the appointment of a new trainer at BK-46, must be considered as factors in this poor result.




... a bad day at the office!


Luckily it's only the beginning of the season, so a lot of work can be done to improve the side from Karis. One thing's for sure though, BK-46 still have the best fans (aka the Pälkka Sviinen) around these parts of Finland to help out and support their team.


  




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Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends.

You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.


- Alan 



                     




Monday, October 7, 2013

Art and the Autumn fair.

Autumn in Finland

The autumn market is popular here in Finland and I will be going to my local one here in Karjaa/Karis this coming weekend. The market takes place on Saturday (12.10.2013, 9am-4pm).
I recently went to another autumn market in the nearby town of Ekenäs/Tammisaari, which is a much larger event with more stalls, a beer-tent and a fairground (video below). 






I managed to pick up a few items including some berries and liquorice. I also got the chance to catch up with a few friends for a chat in the beer-tent. I'm always curious to see if there's anything new when the market begins, but I usually end up seeing the same products and features every year. I suppose it's good to know what to expect sometimes!



Autumn market advert in local newspaper (Finnish and swedish text)

This year's autumn market in Karjaa/Karis will I imagine be somewhat the same as last year, with all the old favourites such as long string liquorice/candy, Dutch cheese, makkara (Finnish sausage) and of course a selection of thermal clothing for the coming winter, brrrr!!! As well as taking a look around the stalls at the market this Saturday I will also attend an art exhibition I am currently taking part in at Galleri Fokus which is situated near the market stalls in the centre of Karis/Karjaa. I have five paintings on display alongside work by several other local artists.  

Paintings at Galleri Fokus, Karis/Karjaa, 2013


On Saturday I will have a few more samples of my art in a small book that visitors can look at and also a few postcards and Christmas cards for sale. The gallery is open at 10.00-14.00.



I was very pleased to notice a few newspaper articles on this exhibition which mentioned my name and my paintings in a good light. 
In the Etelä-Uusimaa newspaper the text read "Irlantilaissyntyisen Alan Hoganin pointilistiset maalaukset ovat jännittäviä varsin suurikokoisine pilkkuineen. Ne ovat myös jollain tavalla iloisia maalauksia. Aiheina on perinteistäkin perinteisempiä suomalaisaiheita, kuten maalausten nimistä voi päätellä. Kannattaa käydä katsomassa, miltä näyttävät Raaseporin linna, ”Piilopirtti” ja Ahvenanmaalainen maisema pilkutettuina.", which basically means that my paintings reflect traditional Finnish image subjects in a positive and happy manner. Iso kiitos Etelä-Uusimaa sanomalehdelle!!

clipping from Etelä-Uusimaa newspaper 6.10.2013
(click image to enlarge)



Here in the Länsi-Uusimaa newspaper I also got a few lines!

clipping from Länsi-Uusimaa newspaper
(click image to enlarge)


And lastly in the Västra Nyland newspaper for Swedish speakers here in Finland, I got a special mention for which I am most grateful. The full article can be found on the Västra Nyland newspaper website.

clipping from Västra Nyland newspaper
(click image to enlarge)


So if any of you are planning on going to the Karjaa/Karis autumn market this Saturday, you are welcome to drop in to the exhibition at Galleri Fokus (under the town library). It's open 10.00-14.00, 12.10.2013.

Instrument of reflection I-IV
2013, acrylic on canvas


I am also involved in a group art exhibition in Helsinki at the moment. It's entitled 'Reflections' and it ends this coming Sunday, 13.10.2013. I have four paintings on show here called 'Instrument of reflection I-IV', which I made especially for this exhibition. More on these paintings can be read on my last post called 'Eyes without a face'. Myself and the other artists all had a great opening night at the Stoa cultural centre, with many visitors enjoying and commenting on the artworks. Here's a short video featuring my own work and the venue. 






Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends. Have a nice Autumn! ....(or Spring if you're in the southern hemisphere!!)






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- Alan 



                     
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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Who'll Stop The Rain



It's been a while since I've had a little blog post here, but then what's new about that eh? 
I had planned on posting a few photos over the past few months but I've just been so lazy. To be honest, I reckon I spend too much time on my computer between reading emails and social media, most of which seem increasingly to be just spam or scams. Are any of you having the same problem?

Anyway I wanted to post this item on my blog for my own record, so here goes!
It concerns a bit of bad weather in the town where I live.
Coming from Ireland I'm fairly used to a drop of rain. I use the word 'drop' lightly here as it's an Irish thing. A drop of rain to an Irish person is usually equal to torrential rain elsewhere in the world. I say this just so you know where I'm coming from. It's not often you hear an Irish person go on about the RAIN!


new swimming pool


Anyway the rain arrived yesterday, and flooded out the garage under my house.
I use this garage as an art studio space, which I call 'The Art Garage'. This is where I keep most of my paintings and drawings. Lucky for me however I managed to get most of my work out of danger before the water level got too high. Only a few items were damaged. Also, stupid old me didn't have any wellies (wellington boots). I only had a pair of crocs to wade through what was freezing water, made so by a pile of large hailstones just outside the door!




My garage wasn't the only casualty in Karis, a lot of other premises where flooded also including the local supermarkets. Here's a video somebody else shot in Karis centre. It's hardly a state of emergency I know, but nice to keep a record.



Next time it would be nice to have some kind of weather warning from the met office. Only a small thunder and a small amount of rain was the given forecast on this occasion. But nevermind, everything is back to normal here now though. Hot sunny Finnish summer, just the way it should be!


Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends. Big Hello to any readers living in NYC, thanks for all your greetings and support! 




You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.


-Alan 





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Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Sunshine, the Snow and the Sandwich!

Here I am, back again in wonderful Blog-land. It's been a while, after yet another one of my untimely blog-gaps. My last post was a quick Christmas greeting to my exciting worldwide readership. I won't mention or list names, you know who you both are!  

So I suppose I should firstly wish everyone a Happy New Year 2013 (better late than never!)
I had hoped to have a nice New Year photograph to post here today. Just a simple photo of a snowy landscape with a few trees or an old house thrown in. I can't stand any of those photo-shopped images which are floating around the internet. It's like God or whatever didn't do a good enough job creating the world, so someone has to go and change things around a little. I know it's called being creative and alternate visions, but I build up great images and expectations of my old country Ireland just to get washed away every time I go back. I suppose I should know better, but after a few shots of whiskey the visions become more real and the leprechans always tell me it's true!   

Anyway, the sun came out today for the first time since I don't know when, and it looked like Finland had become paradise on earth. Well at least until I opened my front door! - HELLO AGAIN MR.FREEZE!!!
Actually, after I ran back in to throw a pair of long-johns on under my jeans and walked about outside for a while it wasn't too bad. I do like the Finnish winter generally, especially the snow (when I don't have to shovel it of course). It's really nice to see everything all white and sparkly when the sun comes out. However I don't like it when temperatures go below -10C. That's under my comfort-zone radar. I know I've passed over the edge of my comfortzone when I can no longer feel my smaller fingers and icicles start forming from under my nose. 

Anyway, I took myself out of hibernation today and went for 'a nice walk' as the Irish say. Then, after a half-hour I eventually reached a good spot to take some photos when I discovered my camera battery was dead. Yet another Homer Simpson moment added to my collection...Dooahh!!!
With nothing to show for my efforts today I will just have to give you a few old images. Here's a few shots taken in Karis from last year. 

Wonderful place Finland!







Now we haven't had as much snow as last year, but there still another few months of winter left to go here. My snow shovel is nervously waiting nearby.
I just hope I don't have the same trouble as one of my neighbours had last year. His unfortunate car received, as I like to call it, the ultimate Finnish Snow-sandwich! 
I kept this clip here to remind me of how bad things can get!!

video

Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends. Big Hello to any readers living in NYC, thanks for all your greetings and support! 




You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.


-Alan 





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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Double Vision


Last week I got to attend two opening events on the Finnish art calendar. I had also hoped to attend a third exhibition only to be stopped by bad weather. But nevermind!

The first exhibition I attended was at the Fokus Gallery on Monday, 8th October in Karis, Finland.  The artist exhibiting was Catarina Honkaharju  and the show was titled 'Kohtaamisia' meaning 'encounters' or 'meetings' in english. Among the many paintings on display was 'Valon Taika' or the Magic of Light in english, a wonderful oil-on-canvas depicting a collection of trees in front of golden yellow sunlight. This painting appealed to me for it's bright colours and the feeling of positivity and hope for which it radiated. A sample of this painting can been seen in this advert below for Catarina Honkaharju's exhibition. Those of you lucky enough to be able to attend the gallery will find out what I mean.



As the artist illustrates, Catarina Honkaharju's images of nature can describe or suggest a person's state of mind, often opening and displaying features of strength or weakness. Expect to see a variety of colours and subjects as this is achieved.
There are also other paintings to see at this exhibition which do not involve nature. The artist's states that she has examined the interaction between the environment and people, and how such encounters affect the private and public life of individuals. Here is another sample of the art you can find at this exhibition. This is called  'Vihdoinkin vapaa' which means 'Free at last'. 

Catarina Honkaharju's exhibition continues at the Fokus Gallery, Karis until 27 October, 2012.

Catarina Honkaharju - 'Vihdoinkin vapaa'

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The second exhibition I want to mention is 'Off the Skin' which opened last Tuesday October 9th. This was a special exhibition which began it's planning two years ago as a collaboration between two individual artists, each working with different forms of art. The first, Petri Horttana, works with various aspects in painting and sculpture, while the second, Jesse Laitinen, is a fashion photographer working with some of Finland and Sweden's top models. After meeting at an exhibition back in 2010 they discussed with each other and talked about both their individual skills and the possibilty of combining their talents. And so it was that the 'Off the Skin' project was born.




Two years later and their creation has matured to greet the public as a three-week show at the Ant Gallery in Helsinki.  The result has not been a disappointment and the positive reaction from guests at the opening night was evidence of a promising and successful exhibition.  Considering how miserable the weather was on the night this event attracted a sizeable audience. With barely enough room to move at the entrance to the main room, I had to shuffle my way through to the second area of the gallery, stopping off for some much appreciated wine and cheese snacks. Having spent twenty minutes looking at some of the art I finally got to speak with one of the artists Petri Horttana. It was interesting to hear from him about the various processes used to attain the creations I saw before me. I must admit though, the first thing I noticed was the source of the material they had used as a base for their images. Having worked in a printing house for many years before coming to live in Finland I immediately recognised old aluminium printing plates. This added another dimension to the art for me, almost nostalgic!  I'm all for using recycled products in art wherever possible and this was a good example.

Moving on to the images themselves, most were flat-surfaced works in a variety of natural and luminous colours. Several had the added treatment of a hard glaze and a three-dimensional element created by Petri Horttana. The photographic images taken by Jesse Laitinen were both beautiful and striking to the viewer. It is clear that the combination of both areas of art complemented each other to create a common visual language. For me personally, I found this exhibition to be very fresh and quite an inspiration. If you happen to be in Helsinki any time soon, pop in and take a look yourself. The exhibition 'Off the Skin' continues at the Ant Gallery until November 2nd 2012. 
I suppose it would be only fair to add this as a recommendation for World Design Capital Helsinki in 2012. Here's a few photos of Jesse and Petri relaxing with their series of paintings called 'Neoflage' in the background.


Jesse Laitinen and Petri Horttana finally get time 
to chill out after a busy opening at the Ant Gallery in Helsinki. 
Photos;Alan Hogan 09/10/2012




Finally I want to play a video here before I end this blog. 
It's a little song by one of my favorite bands the Fountains of Wayne. The song is called 'Strapped for Cash'. It's a great tune!  As most of my online media comes through free websites it helps when visitors visit the ad links on my pages. It may only mean a few pennies or cents, but it could help towards building a better website aswell as paying for a little sugar in my coffee. ........ I like sugar! ...So, give a little, helps a lot!!!











Share this blog!






Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends.

You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.


- Alan 



                     



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The Art Garage, Finland

The Art Garage, Finland
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