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


Monday, June 12, 2017

Eyes Wide Open

Visiting Finland during the summer months offers the chance to experience long evenings and for a certain period the midnight sun. In most parts of Finland it doesn't get very dark at all. Where I live along the south-west coast the darkness is set at twilight, so it can be bright enough to play a game of football.

Having spent almost ten years now living in Finland I am still amazed every June as the Midsummer period arrives with it's seemingly endless hours of light. It's an eerie sensation which can create wonder and plenty of sleepless nights. Black-out blinds are an essential purchase if you want to sleep!

While I still haven't been to the northern part of Finland yet, I can almost imagine what it must be like to have the sun up all day. It's something I would still like to experience sometime. One reason I haven't been so far north in the summer may be the presence of Finland's not-so loveable mosquitos. While we do get quite a lot of these bloodsuckers here in the south of Finland, I have heard stories of mild discomfort caused by the amount they have up north. This may be over-exaggerated, but during my first few years of living in southern Finland my legs were constantly under attack. After several days of itching and scratching they resembled a pair of crusty old pizzas! I think I offered the mosquitos a new dining experience of Irish blood which they took to like a vintage wine!

Nowadays my blood may have altered a bit or become less tasteful as they don't bother me too much anymore. Perhaps my tolerence for them has levelled out,  I honestly don't know!

Anyway I thought I'd reactivate my blog here today having read about a short-film been shown at a Finnish film festival this week. It's certainly an apt film to show as it's relevent to the festival's location and this time of year. It's called 'How a Mosquito Operates', a silent animated film made way back in 1912 by American cartoonist and animator Winsor McCay. It's just one of many films been shown, full list here

This Wednesday June 14th 2017, the Midnight Sun Film Festival begins it's five-day event in Sodankylä, Finland. It's an unusual film festival as it shows films around the clock without any breaks, just as the sun shines around the clock! 
The festival began in 1986 in the village of Sodenkylä, located in Finnish Lapland, some 120 kilometres above the Arctic Circle where the sun doesn't set at all in the summertime. So if you suffer from insomnia, this is the place for you!!

..and don't worry about the mossies!

Share this blog!

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

- Alan


The Art Garage, Finland

The Art Garage, Finland
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