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

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Finland 100 : 81- 90

Finland became an independent state on 6 December 1917. Already there have been numerous events staged throughout the country to celebrate this centenary year. The theme of the centenary year is ‘Together’. 

As I have been a resident of Finland for the past ten years I wanted to do a little something. For this I decided to post 100 images to my Instagram account on social media with the hashtag #finland100_igchallenge .

Anyone familiar with the Instagram application will be aware of the vast amount of wonderful photography posted every day online. There are so many amazing images to be found featuring Finland's stunning nature and landscapes. I imagine my photography may be lack lustre in comparison and as a result may not be noticed. So I decided to simply look closer in and around my new home for another approach. I have posted a variety of images found around my own house and neighbourhood. I didn't know much about Finland before I moved here, so I view this as an opportunity to show others a few things I discovered about or associated with Finland and it's culture. I have included everyday items, nostalgic items, locations, food and also some Finnish-themed artworks which I painted myself while living here. In other words, a bit of everything!!

The images are in no particular order of importance or preference, so I'll continue with 81-90...

... 'Kivimiehet', aka the Stone Men of Helsinki. This is a graphic impression of Emil Wikstrom's big statues outside Helsinki railway station. 

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.. these Finnish Christmas pastries are called Joulutortuu or Jultårta, and I'm having a pre-festive #instatasting ! 😊

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...when summer arrives many Finns disappear to the countryside or out by the sea to a place I call 'The Escape Hut' (acrylic on canvas). A small summer cottage which usually has a sauna, just like the one in this painting had. I took my first finnish sauna in this one!
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..for that retro look you can't beat Marimekko's classic 1965 'Unikko' design. ...Nice curtains! 😀

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..clearing snow is part of life in Finland. And like everything else, it's good in moderation! ⛄
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.. 'Snow Tango' (acrylic on canvas) 👫🎶 - it's not uncommon to see people dancing the tango in towns around Finland during the summer and every year in the middle of winter the world snow tango championships take place in Tampere city, no matter how cold it gets!

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...originating in Italy, the celebration of St Lucia is celebrated in a spectacular manner at the Helsinki Cathedral Finland every year in December. Here's this year's Lucia leaving in her carriage. ...Bringing some light into darkness! 🌋
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...having grown up beside the Cadburys chocolate factory in Dublin I've been a fan of chocolate for a long time. I've tasted a lot of it from near and far. This large Finnish Christmas chocolate bar or Joulusuklaa is one of my favourites! ..I used to take several bars of it back to Ireland with me every Christmas for friends and family, and they love'd it too! ..Sadly the bars aren't to be found anymore. Maybe they'll bring them back again. They only have them in sweet form now, but i really miss the big chunky bars! ..💯% Christmas!!
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...scissorsisters!! ✂✂✂...every artist needs a good pair of scissors and I can honestly say there's nothing better than Fiskars scissors. Their factory a short walk from where I live. A company who now own Iittala, Wedgewood, Royal Doulton, Gerber, Rörstrand and (a piece of my Irish heritage!) Waterford Crystal. 😀
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Oh..Star Wars, you never let us down! ..Brilliant!! 😀🚀 to watch it in 3D (recommended!) at the Bio Forum cinema in Ekenäs. It's Finland's oldest cinema, operating since 1912 and it doesn't seem to have changed much since then. No computers, just one old lady behind the desk selling popcorn and tickets while scratching seats off a piece of paper. A nostalgic gem!! 🎥
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Click below for more:

1- 10

11- 20

21- 30

31- 40

41- 50

51- 60

61- 70

71- 80

81- 90

91- 100

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

- Alan


Friday, December 13, 2013

No Snow in Finland!

Karjaa, Finland - 12.12.2013

Okay, so this blogpost was meant to go out a few days ago. It was meant to be a short post with lots of pretty snow photos from Finland. I even took a quick video from where I'm actually sitting right now which was going to be followed by more winter images. There was a drop in temperature to -13 degrees celsius, so everything was looking all nice and glitzy. I could almost hear the Jingle bells ringing!

But then all of a sudden the temperature rose to +8C degrees! And did I get a chance to take my Christmas photos? ...No!
Instead, after seeing awful weather on tv from the recent memorial for the late Nelson Mandela in South Africa, and hearing about the first snow in Jerusalem for over 60 years, I stood at my window taking photos of grass outside my Finnish home. This is truly terrible! It's now less than two weeks to Christmas and there's no snow in Finland! What's up with that?

Here lies possibly the last piece of snow of 2013. 
It is now in my freezer in case of emergency.

I realise the title of my blogpost isn't entirely true, of course there is snow in Finland. It's such a big country, you only need to drive 200 kilometers north and you will be guaranteed snow. But if anyone is travelling to the capital area of Helsinki, beware for you may be disappointed, especially as one of Finland's finest events occurs today.

Today marks the crowning of Lucia, an annual event on December 13th happening in various towns across Finland with the largest and most media-covered crowning being held in Helsinki against the backdrop of the fabulous Helsinki Cathedral.  

 Click to see original painting

I have seen this event without snow before. I remember a group of students from Sweden brought their own Lucia celebration to St.Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland about 10 years ago. It was something special indeed, especially when I first saw the group all dressed in white gowns with red sashes walking up the freezing stone floor in their bare feet. It was a very cold evening and walking barefoot didn't look easy. While I still remember that occasion in Dublin very well, it is still not as spectacular as the proceedings in Helsinki. 
If you missed the Lucia celebrations at the big white church in Helsinki today don't worry, you can watch it all on the Finnish National broadcaster's channel. Just click this Link

Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends. Let's hope the snow arrives here and wherever you are for Christmas!


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- Alan 

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The Art Garage, Finland

The Art Garage, Finland
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