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 design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label design. Show all posts

Thursday, November 23, 2017

My Finland 100 (7-13)






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 lacklustre 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, here is number 7 to number 13 ...




7/100 

Yum! Finnish pea-soup isn't just for Thursdays!! ðŸ˜˜


A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on










8/100


...'got a soft spot for this old Finnish band despite not understanding most of their songs. Nice melodies and compositions! 


A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on

9/100

..clouds and rain today in Finland, so posting a sunny painting of a red house to brighten up my Instagram! It's called 'The Red House in Finland'.


A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on


10/100


....driving home on a lazy Sunday afternoon!


A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on


11/100


Moomin troll is off on a trip today!


A post shared by Alan Hogan (@alanhogano) on



12/100

So up goes the big midsummer pole in Bromarf and midsummer (Juhannus/Midsommar) celebrations can begin. 



13/100

Midnight photoshot, well 12.15am to be precise. 'Could be a bit warmer though, had to wear long trousers tonight!





More of my Finland 100 coming soon, but for now I want to share this video I found online which asks the question "What do Finns think about the Finland 100 Years of Independence?" 



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






- Alan










 


Monday, November 26, 2012

Speak to Me! - Art Exhibition in Helsinki

  
Last Tuesday November 20th I went to the opening of an art exhibition called 'Speak to Me!' (or 'Puhu Minulle!' in Finnish). The event was held by the HIAA (Helsinki International Artists' Association) and it's members come from various countries worldwide including Finland. All of the members live in Helsinki or close by. Preparation for the exhibition began last June with a meet-up to view the gallery venue and to also meet the other participating artists.

Preparations for the Annual HIAA Art Exhibition at the Kanneltalo, Helsinki.


As a member I had the privilege of having my work displayed alongside works from a group of amazing and very talented artists. The artists I'm referring to are Paul Takahashi, Outi Debnam, David Flood, Elise Gegauff, Connie Heik-Jokinen, Hong Liu-Sertti, Kirsi-Marja Moberg, Semra Türkmen, Kenan Türkmen, Susan Wilander, Victor X and Emine Özdemir. The turnout for the opening was impressive and very encouraging, with plenty of interested and curious visitors. A special thank you is owed to all those who attended.

The 'Speak to Me!' exhibition continues until December 8th 2012 at the Kanneltalo Cultural Centre in Helsinki, Finland. 
Here's one of the six paintings I have on display during this exhibition. It's called 'Connections'. All of my paintings at the exhibition are currently for sale if anyone is looking for a special Christmas gift. Also, if you're quick I left some free Christmas cards next to my work for anyone visiting the gallery.


'Connections' - Alan Hogan, 2012
Some more of my paintings can be seen in the lobby gallery area.

Some of the participating HIAA member artists at the Kanneltalo exhibition:
(left to right) Semra Türkmen, Hong Liu-Sertti, Susan Wilander and Alan Hogan. 

Elise Gegauff was one of the artists present at the opening and she made this short video while she was there which included some of her paintings and one or two of mine amongst others.

 




Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends. You can find out more about the HIAA on it's website here and opening times for the exhibition can be found on the venue's website here . Also, thanks to Elise Gegauff for her video and I have to plug her blog here now, so why not check it out! 'Elise's World'


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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Monday, May 21, 2012

The Soft Parade


Sorry, I had planned to write this blogpost earlier, but a few incidents such as entertaining Irish visitors in Finland, an anti-virus meltdown on my computer and a few important barbeques amongst other things got in the way. But anyway, here it is now!

artist Emmi Vartiainen and dj Ville Kotka at Jade Gallery in Helsinki
I didn't want to forget about writing this post for a wonderful art exhibition I attended earlier this month, especially as there's still plenty of time to visit it. The opening of Emmi Vartiainen's exhibition entitled 'Soft' took place at Jade Gallery in Helsinki on Friday 4th May. The exhibition continues until the end of May 2012. 

I had seen some of the artist's work previously through online social media, but I wanted to see more of her creations and view them in person. I will admit that I was a little apprehensive about seeing this exhibition as I detected a major influence of Manga art, an eastern art form which I find a little uninteresting and used as a 'street-cool' art for far too long now. But having seen Emmi Vartiainen's artwork I could only feel a slight influence of the manga. On the contrary, I felt there was more influence from the art nouveau style from the late 19th-century. Names such as Klimt and Czech art nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha come to mind.
  
When viewing Vartiainen's work one can't help but feel relaxed. This may be because of mellow colours and a softness to the atmosphere they create. However, there is a touch of the grotesque and macabre in her paintings. It is introduced in a soft manner though, and only adds to each painting's individual appeal. I enjoyed the mix of old school nouveau, street cool modern imagery and subtle decadence.  

Emmi Vartiainen -  inhale



Having looked at all of the art on view at the exhibition I got chatting with dj Ville Kotka who accompanied Emmi's art with a musical mix of tasteful background beats and tunes. I had a pleasant talk with both the artist and the dj about a lot of things including their hometown Lahti, music, history and of course Emmi's art. 
I managed to buy a small print while I was there, which the artist happily signed for me. It was a copy of the main image used for the art exhibition. Here it is below, it's called 'Little Star'.

Emmi Vartiainen - little star

I highly recommend this exhibition if you happen to be visiting Helsinki. If you are on Facebook, you might like to visit the event page here. Or you can find details at the Jade Gallery website here. 


Thanks for reading my blog and please share it with all 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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Monday, March 12, 2012

Stripe-show!


I just had a friend point out a fashion photo to me from a Finnish catalogue which arrived in the post yesterday. The reason for pointing it out to me was that she thought it reminded her of one of my artworks. This didn't surprise me, as I realise how easy it is to create a new design through research and modern design manipulation. In fairness, the similarities between my design and the catalogue's  design were only mild in my opinion. But I thought it was worth a blogpost at least if anything to get some publicity for myself. I reckon I need it more than any fashion catalogue! For you the reader, make your own mind up.


Here's the original ink painting I made way back in the late 1980's called 'Zebra one'.


I was inspired to create this painting by artwork I found on the insert of the american band R.E.M.'s 1984 album called 'Reckoning'. Just an example of some of the weird places I find my inspiration. 



I adapted this Zebra image to several t-shirt designs of my own also, which are only available through a website called Redbubble. While most of the customer's payment goes to the manufacturers, designers like myself only get a small percentage of the costs (€4). Unfortunately tee-shirt prices can be quite expensive, so sales don't occur too often if ever.
At least it is nice to know that some of my artwork is inspiring others, as perhaps in this case below.

Zebra one: The Anttila version (left) and my version (right)
   
The fashion catalogue called NetAnttila  has also produced a reversed image top on sale which can be seen here. I won't publish a photo of Anttila's version, but instead here's a photo of someone modelling my special reversed zebra design called  'Neon Zebra'.



But be warned Anttila! 
Pinch this design and I'll be coming to get you!!!


You may like to read an article called 'Finding you Inspiration' by american social media specialist Alexandra Mecoli, which describes more about my inspiration for this painting.

Thanks for reading my blog and feel free to share with all your friends.

-Alan



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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Helsinki Artoteque celebrates 17 years!




Last weekend I was invited to birthday celebrations held at an art gallery in Helsinki. But this wasn't just any art gallery, this particular gallery was called Artoteque, or Taidelainaamo in Finnish. 


This gallery is situated on Rikhardinkatu, only a five minute walk from the main Esplanade walkway, right in the heart of Helsinki. The gallery is part of the Rikhardinkatu library, a fine old building also worth a visit.

The street entrance to Artoteque (left) which is situated only a few steps away from the main entrance to Rikhardinkatu Library (right). 


On this occasion I was greeted with a nice cup of coffee and some biscuits served to me by the lovely Eeva Muona, manager of the Rikhardinkatu Artoteque. On this day they were celebrating 17 years since the gallery was established back in 1995.  The Artoteque displays works of art by members of the Helsinki Artists' Association, which comprise of over 700 professional artists. The selection of art works include 3000 paintings, drawings, graphics, sculptures and photographs. I must mention and say a special thank you to Riitta, a friendly and informative lady working at the gallery who talked to me during my visit. The Artoteque is open every Tuesday to Friday,12.00-18.00 and Saturday/Sunday, 12.00-16.00.

The main collection and reception area at the Artoteque in Helsinki.


The concept of the Artoteque allows members of the public to come and view art from a selection of Helsinki's best professional artists. If interested they have the option to buy or rent the artworks available. Customers can also be private persons, corporations or organisations. The idea of paying for a piece of art through installments is quite refreshing for me as an artist. I realise that purchasing a piece of art can sometimes be expensive, so I think it's good to have such a set-up in place. It makes art more accessible to those who really desire a certain work but can't afford the full cost immediately. It may also suit those looking to purchase from a notable artist as an investment.

I can't imagine this arrangement would work everywhere however. I guess a high level of trust and respect must be adhered to between the customer and the seller for it to work smoothly. But then, trust is taken very seriously here in Finland, so it doesn't seem to come into the equation too often. There are a few similar artoteques to this in other cities and towns around Finland, but I have been informed that the Rikhardinkatu Artoteque has the largest selection of artists and artworks to choose from in Finland.





My own impression from my visit last weekend was one of inspiration and ideas. I found the variety of styles, colours and techniques that surrounded me truthfully inspiring. I am always seeking to adapt new ideas and techniques to progress my own art, and I wasn't short here! Also, in commercial matters I have only ever sold my art in one single payment, whether it be selling locally or to someone on the other side of the world. Having said this, if I suddenly receive any interests from clients in Finland enquiring about either renting or buying my work through installments I would certainly consider it.





To sell your art at Artoteque you must be a member of Helsinki Artists Association. Which is why I paused with the thought of joining this association. But the fact is that I would need to be a resident of Helsinki to qualify for membership to both the association and the gallery. Nevermind, I took with me back to my home in Karis a bucketful of thoughts and plenty of ideas for my own artwork.

This little anniversary celebration was filmed by YLE, the Finnish national television broadcaster, which you can check out here at 05.50 on this link. YLE news
The footage is of course in Finnish, but you can see some of the wonderful art and layout of the gallery. And you have the bonus of watching me looking like I know something about art. Don't blink now or you'll miss me!!!

Happy Birthday Artoteque!


Thanks for reading my blog and feel free to share with all your friends.

-Alan

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The Art Garage, Finland

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