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 culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label culture. 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...






81/100
... 'Kivimiehet', aka the Stone Men of Helsinki. This is a graphic impression of Emil Wikstrom's big statues outside Helsinki railway station. 

A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on


82/100
.. these Finnish Christmas pastries are called Joulutortuu or Jultรฅrta, and I'm having a pre-festive #instatasting ! ๐Ÿ˜Š

A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on




83/100
...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!
A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on



84/100
..for that retro look you can't beat Marimekko's classic 1965 'Unikko' design. ...Nice curtains! ๐Ÿ˜€

A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on



85/100
..clearing snow is part of life in Finland. And like everything else, it's good in moderation! ⛄
A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on




86/100
.. 'Snow Tango' (acrylic on canvas) ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐ŸŽถ - 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!

A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on





87/100
...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! ๐ŸŒ‹
A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on





88/100
...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! ..๐Ÿ’ฏ% Christmas!!
A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on




89/100
...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, Rรถrstrand and (a piece of my Irish heritage!) Waterford Crystal. ๐Ÿ˜€
A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on








90/100

Oh..Star Wars, you never let us down! ..Brilliant!! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿš€..got to watch it in 3D (recommended!) at the Bio Forum cinema in Ekenรคs. 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!! ๐ŸŽฅ
A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on



Click below for more:

1- 10

11- 20

21- 30

31- 40

41- 50

51- 60

61- 70

71- 80

81- 90

91- 100


















Share this blog!







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








- Alan









 

Monday, December 11, 2017

My Finland 100 : 41- 50







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 41-50...






41/100

The sandwich cake! .. the smรถrgรฅstรฅrta can be found at many celebration parties throughout Finland. This savoury dish has been perfected in Finland, as shown here by a great chef from Bromarf! These two sandwich cakes were made specially for my birthday and were delicious! ..Thanks Tanja!! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿฐ

A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on






42/100
'Autumn Birches' (acrylic-on-canvas) #finland100_igchallenge 42/100
..posting a series of random images (including some of my own art) from or associated with Finland to celebrate the country's 100th birthday! ...'probably should've posted this earlier, all the leaves have fallen at the stage! ☺๐Ÿ

A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on





43/100
..late night snack! A national dish of Finland 'The Karelian Pie'! ..yum!!
A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on






44/100
...in Finland you're never too far from nature. I took this photo only 2 minutes from my house today. ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฒ
A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on







45/100
..I was never too fond of mustard back in Ireland except for a tiny bit of Colmans on a toasted ham & cheese sandwich. But the mustard in Finland is more to my liking, especially 'Turun Sinappia' on makkara (finnish sausage).

A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on









46/100
...these ABC service stations are everywhere in Finland, at least everywhere I've travelled. They're a one-stop shop for petrol, grocery shopping and dining! ๐Ÿš˜⛽๐Ÿš˜๐Ÿšš๐Ÿš• ... 'took this photo at my local ABC today!
A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on







47/100
...a painting of a house in my neighbouring town of Ekenรคs in Finland. 'The Green House' (acrylic-on-canvas), ...well it was green when I painted it! ๐Ÿ˜€๐ŸŽจ
A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on








48/100
.. a crafty old Finn I once knew handcarved these butterknives from old juniper wood. Some say Santa Claus started this tradition but these ones are definately the upgrade! .๐ŸŽ…..
A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on






49/100
...as world leaders in coffee consumption Finland needs to have the best coffeemachines! That's why you will find one of these in most Finnish households, the 'Moccamaster'. I have this Ferrari red model and it makes an amazing brew! Although the machine is made in Holland I regard it as a part of my Finnish experience! ๐Ÿต
A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on











50/100
... throwback Thursday ..the beautiful Havis Amanda photographed last summer in Helsinki.

A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on


Click below for more:

1- 10

11- 20

21- 30

31- 40

41- 50

51- 60

61- 70

71- 80

81- 90

91- 100


















Share this blog!







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








- Alan









 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Two Landscapes and a Council of Trees!






Here's two paintings I made a few years ago.



'Sophia's Landscape'

The first here is called 'Sophia's Landscape' and it shows a typical summer scene from western Finland. This particular painting was from a photograph taken near the town of Nivala in the province of Oulu. The original painting is now owned by a private art collector in Helsinki.


This original photo from Nivala/Finland
was inspiration for 'Sophia's Landscape'







'Fourteen Angry Trees'

The second painting is made up of four individual frames each sized 70cm x 50cm. I decided to call it 'Fourteen Angry Trees', but I might be willing to change the title if anyone has a better suggestion. It depicts an imaginary landscape behind fourteen distressed and bitter-looking trees with a lot on their 'mind'. To achieve the image above I photographed the four original paintings and joined them together using image-editing software on my computer. The original painting or tetraptych (size 70cm x 200cm) can be seen in the video below.

    





Prints of 'Sophia's Landscape' are available here!




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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 

    

Friday, November 29, 2013

Pikkujoulu! Party time!




Pikkujoulu begins this weekend here in Finland. This date on the calendar always confuses me. Correctly translated from Finnish to English, Pikku joulu means Little Christmas. For swedish-speaking Finns it translates as Lilla Jul. But when the word Pikkujoulu is mentioned in Finland it usually refers to Christmas Party-time, and more so by Finnish speakers. It's time for groups, companies, friends and colleagues to hold their Christmas parties! 
The reason I get confused is because back in my old country Ireland, we also have Little Christmas or 'Nollaig Bheag' as it's called in Irish. But it is celebrated after Christmas on January 6th. I always remember it occurring just before the end of the Christmas school holidays. My parents used to meet up with friends at the local bar and invite them back to our house afterwards for some food, a few drinks and sometimes a sing-song! 

The fact that there's no term for the Irish equivalent of Pikkujoulu does not mean to say that Irish people don't have their own version of it before Christmas. Indeed, the festivities are very similiar to Finland with non-stop company parties and all other gatherings throughout the whole month of December. Because of their popularity and the difficulty in finding or booking a venue, some Christmas parties can often begin as early as the first week in November!

One of my favourite days while living back in Ireland was the last day of work before breaking up for Christmas holidays. It was a day of very little work and more about drinking coffee and eating as many of the boss' chocolates as possible! And all this while been presented with bottles of whiskey from customer reps and suppliers, and not to mention the Christmas bonus!! 
After all that it was straight to the pub at 12.00 for a free bar and finger-food (I imagine these pleasures have been trimmed back a little since the bank crisis a few years ago)
Having left work-colleagues at the pub in the afternoon during the usual half-drunken rendition of either 'You've lost that lovin' feelin'!' by The Righteous Brothers or 'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues, I usually headed into Dublin city centre to meet up with my own friends. This is the best time to be in Dublin or any other city in Ireland, as the atmosphere is really warm and friendly. As an Irish person I would go so far to say it's better than St.Patrick's Day (unless it happens on Christmas Eve Dec 24th when most city pubs close at 9pm! ...that's a bummer!!)


Happy 10th Birthday Fake Argos Christmas Tree!!


Anyway I'm all set for Pikkujoulu here in Finland. I've dragged my old fake Christmas tree out from storage and the lights are up. I can't believe that the same lights which came with this tree are still working! I must admit I hate untangling any sort of Christmas lights. I think I'm gonna add it on to my Love/Hate list on facebook (you can follow it on my Facebook page here)

Christmas Lights!!! :)

It's a momentous year as my tree celebrates it's 10th birthday! I bought my tree from the Argos store in Dublin while living in Ireland and it has served me well every year since. I like to look at it as been ten real trees I have kept alive. Although I confess, I have cut one down for someone else as a favour while in Finland.


Guilty!



"Happy Pikkujoulu!!!"


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



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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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