"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 Karjaa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karjaa. Show all posts

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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- 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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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!!

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

When Saturday Comes

It's been quite a while since my last proper blogpost here. This is partly because of my own pure laziness, and also because I have been preoccupied with other things. One of those things has been my interest in my local sports club - Football team BK-46 from the town of Karis here in southern Finland. 

Pallohonka v BK-46, Esbo 2012

It's been a long summer and today brings the last game of this year's Finnish football season for most clubs. It's the second division or as it's called here Kakkonen. You can see the league table and results here. Unfortunately the fate of BK-46 was decided last month when they were beaten by division leaders ÅIFK from Turku. 

After fighting hard all season with a lot of great performances, only a series of player injuries and a few missed chances could keep BK-46 from going forward to qualification for promotion. 
Now with the consolation of second place in their division, BK-46 travel to Helsinki to play Klubi04 this afternoon. By all accounts Klubi04 should be well above BK-46 in status as they have a larger selection of players as well as the backing, facilities and funding of big brother club HJK. In fact they have beaten BK-46 twice already this season, 2-0 at Helsinki in June and 3-4 at Karis in August.

Klubi04 v BK-46, Helsinki 2011

So with the season practically over for the Karis team, there may be still some pride to fight for in this last match of the season. While BK-46 have sealed their second-placed position in this division, it would be somewhat gratifying to end with a victory in the capital. And it's definately not impossible if last season is anything to go by. Last year I travelled with the rest of the club's supporters to witness one of BK-46's sweetest victories as they beat Klubi04 in the Sonera Stadium. Here's a reminder of that match last year, just go to 7:55 in this video.

A performance like this would be great to see again today. A famous bird resident in Helsinki came to support the good Karis folk last year, let's hope Bubi the owl can come out and support us again today! The match kicks-off at 14.00 at the Sonera stadium in Helsinki today. So come out and support the best team in Finland, BK-46!

For anyone interested I used the title 'When Saturday Comes' for several reasons. It is traditionally the day when most football games are played in most footballing nations. Also, today is Saturday. And mainly because it is the title of a good movie starring Sean Bean about a footballer who plays for another team wearing red and white stripes, Sheffield United. The full movie is here below if anyone wants to watch it. It's worth it just to hear BBC commentator David Coleman say the words  "Manchester United were cruising, they're not cruising now!".

Finally, one of my favorite songs from a band who's home team Derry City FC also known as 'The Candystripes' as they play in red and white stripes. This is The Undertones with their song 'My Perfect Cousin'.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Daniel's Art Group in Fokus

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a special art exhibition being held at Galleria Fokus, my local art gallery here in Karis, Finland. The organiser of this exhibition was Daniel Enckell, a local and well-respected artist who has set up his own art group classes over the past few years and is now showing the fruits of his teachings at this art exhibition. 

Daniel Enckell stands next to his painting 'Tessi' at Galleria Fokus, Karis.

Daniel Enckell's art group is represented at this art exhibition in Gallery Fokus by a total of eleven fine artists. Visitors to this exhibition have a unique chance to see a sample of Daniel Enckell's artwork also. 
On walking into the gallery last Saturday afternoon I could not help but notice Daniel's stunning portrait painting titled 'Tessi (Terese)'. It is a richly coloured painting of a young woman in a dark baroque style reminiscent of the great masters. What a wonderful showpiece to greet visitors at the gallery!

Solveig Eriksson standing next to her Still-life oil painting at Galleria Fokus.

One of the artists taking part in this exhibition has recently been involved with a book about Helene Schjerfbeck, one of Finland's biggest and best-loved artists. The book titled in Swedish 'Hon drog sina streck' has been translated into Finnish by Solveig Eriksson. As part of this group art exhibition Solveig and her co-artists displayed some fine still-life oil paintings. It was interesting to see and compare the techniques and brushstrokes of each individual artist. 

Fine art and refreshments at Galleria Fokus
From left to right,
Carola Welin - 'Under platanerna i Paris'
Nina Hackman - 'Stenhus'
Nina Hackman - 'Känsloflöden'

Visitors to the exhibition can find a variety of styles and subjects, including some wonderful landscape paintings. One painting I particularly liked was 'Stenhus' by Nina Hackman, a peaceful scene painted with wonderful attention to depth and light.

From left to right,
Asta-Maria Wikström - 'Madonna'
Helena Laitinen - 'Midsommarnatt i Savolax'
Nina Hackman - 'Stenhus på Gottland'

Daniel Enckell's Art Group exhibition continues at Galleria Fokus, in Karis, Finland until the 29th of January 2012. 

The artists on show are 
Asta-Maria Wikström, 
Helena Laitinen, 
Solveig Eriksson, 
Carola Wilen, 
Tuula Masalin, 
Christine Oesch-Börman, 
Rolf Grandell, 
Tor-Bjorn Sjöholm, 
Nina Hackman, 
Ann Glader, 
Lauri Stählberg 
and Daniel Enckell.

Monday-Thursday 11-19
Fridays 11-17
Saturdays 10-14
Centalgatan 90-92, Karis  -  Keskuskatu 90-92, Karjaa

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Are you ready for your close-up?....Not quite!

Hello and thanks once again for visiting my blog here. You're very welcome and I hope it's a nice day wherever you are!
Two weeks ago I decided to take part in my first ever photo event. Now I don't have much experience of photography, but I am quite aware of the elements involved and skill-level required for creating good images. I also have a little understanding of dark-room procedure having worked in a printhouse dark-room a long time, not that it's relevant in today's digital age. As a traditional artist I like to capture nice images which I can use to create my paintings. I do however find myself taking more and more photographs, especially with the ease of a digital camera. However only a few of them are ever used in creating a painting. This got me thinking that I should perhaps spend my time taking fewer pictures but with more attention to quality and technique. I felt the need to find out what kind of quality and standard I should be aiming at. So I took myself down to my local photographic gallery.

I had read in the newspaper about this event called FotoZAFARI, a 2-day annual event run by the owners of GalleriZEBRA, in which you sign up, pay a small fee and spend the day taking photographs around the town of Karis here in southern Finland. On this occasion several sub-themes were issued each hour to everybody taking part, but the main theme maintained throughout was 'CLOSE-UP'. The second day of the event involved the choosing of best images and the prize-giving.

For my first step into my new world of photography I brought along a simple low-budget camera. Well, in the eyes of the avid photographer it certainly would be. But for me this little Sony of mine in the photo here would have to do. I'm not ashamed of it as it takes a great photo in my opinion, and after all it does have 14.1 megapixels, nothing to be shushed at!  I found myself surrounded by big bazooka-like cameras and serious hobbyists. I felt it was all a bit out of my league.

All of the day's spoken instructions were in Finnish, a little unfortunate for me as I only understand Swedish, the other official language in Finland. Luckily for me a kind Finnish gentleman by the name of Kai Jauhiainen was nearby and happy to translate the proceedings into English for me.
As I mentioned before, the main theme of the project was 'Close-up'. It is important to stick to a given theme, a lesson I learnt torwards the end of the day. I realise now that it will take me a long time to grasp the rules and true artistry of photography. I succumbed to the simple idea of looking for interesting subjects and simply snapping away. The sunny weather also helped me to relax, perhaps a bit too much. When one of the sub-themes I was given had the title 'Liquid' I made a quick dash to a nice restaurant for a delicious cold milkshake. Well the sun was beating down quite strong and it was the first thing that came to my mind. I suppose I was quietly enjoying myself too much at this stage to get the slightest bit serious about the event in any competitive way. I was also enjoying talking to some of the other participants about the day.

Yep, here I am standing in the red shirt with the FotoZAFARI gang outside galleriZEBRA in Karis. 

Having said all of the above it will come as no surprise to anyone that I was not included in the awards and prize-giving. In fact I was a little embarrassed by some of my final entries in the competition. And I hope to throw them straight in the bin as soon as possible. I was however happy with one or two of my final photos, even though they weren't exactly true to the 'Close-up' theme. All of the images taken by participants (including mine!) during this special event are currently on show at GalleriZEBRA in Karis until May 28th. But for now I can only show you a couple of my better efforts below. I hope to return next year with better results and hopefully a bigger and better Bazooka!

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The Art Garage, Finland

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