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 events. Show all posts
Showing posts with label events. Show all posts

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Autumn Fair in Finland




Today I took a visit to the Autumn Fair in the nearby town of Ekenäs/Tammisaari here in southern Finland. The weather was unusually bright and warm for this time of year here. Like myself most visitors to the fair were dressed for cooler temperatures. But after only ten minutes of arriving I had to remove my jacket and 'wished I had kept my shorts on before leaving home!

I decided to let this blogpost become a photoblog as it's been a while since my last post and my writing skills are a little rusty. This is mainly due to the fact that I accidently deleted a lot of the photos from my previous blogposts on this page via my smartphone.

Anyway, here are my photos of the day.  




Jams and Juices






Hats!





Suit your #Selfie - High Fashion!





The Usual Suspects






Fancy Hats!





Italiano






East of Edam!




Suomi selection

Hello Helium!



















Local Wildlife





Balloons!





Candy liquorice





Honey






Angry Birds Top Shelf





Spacious rides!






Big Wheel!




Blood Donors Welcome!






More Candy!






Carousels!






Mr.Balloon Man!!





Maybe I'll go back tomorrow, I hear there's a beer-tent!!!




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- Alan 

                     

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Out from the winter duvet!




Hogan's Blog is back from yet another winter pause. These pauses have become regular and probably occur because of the weather. Up here in Finland the dark winters can affect one's motivation to do anything, especially during long periods of cloud cover. And this winter we've had a lot of it, in fact it's been exceptional. In the southern area of Finland where I live only 50 hours of sun has managed to get through the clouds since the beginning of December. It's been quite depressing to say the least.  In fact, it reminds me of the endless summer days of rain I often experienced while growing up in Ireland. Yes, it's that depressing! ... (this is why there are so many good pubs in Ireland!) 

The lack of sunlight here this winter has been the lowest for the last 25 years. With the absence of leaves added to snow coverage everywhere and endless grey skies you might think you've been transformed into a dog. Everything looks so grey! 



Fortunately the weather seems to be getting better this week though, even if it is still freezing cold. The huge duvet-like cloud cover has been gradually falling away and the wonderful colour blue has entered our lives once again. Occasionally the snow gains a light yellowish glow which brings to mind the return of some much appreciated sun. I haven't seen the actual sun yet, only it's light hitting against some buildings and treetops. But it's on it's way slowly along with blue skies and scenes just like the ones in the video below. Yes, believe it or not it does get this nice in Finland!




On another good note, I went to visit the annual Snow day-out on Sunday February 17thin the nearby town of Ekenäs/Tammisaari (it's a bi-lingual town, hence the two names in Swedish and Finnish). The main attraction at this event are the snow sculptures. While held on a frozen beach with dull weather and cold temperatures, the spirit of the locals is upbeat and a fun atmosphere is always present. Despite the longer timespan of darkness this year was no exception. Smiles, laughter and chatting could be found everywhere. I managed to take a few photos of the day with my camera, and later needed to fix the contrast on them because of the weather. Here's are my photos with a video I made comprising of images from both the 2012 and 2013 events below.













You may have noticed from the video above the difference in the weather between 2012 and 2013. It can make a difference to have a big blue sky instead of the monotones from the snow and clouds. Luckily the people at this event bring enough colour and cheer of their own every year to make it a success no matter what and a fun day out for all the family. If you liked this you can read all about what happened in 2010 on one of my previous blogposts called 'There's no art like snow art!'


Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends on Facebook or wherever.
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, May 23, 2011

Soul Inspired!




When most people think of Irish music festivals they think of fiddles, tin whistles, lively dancing and the odd refreshment. But times have changed and nowadays Ireland has many other musical festivals to offer, and for many different tastes. Festivals such as the Cork Jazz Festival, the Electric Picnic, and the Castlebar Blues Festival for example. And this month another festival which has only been around for 5 years comes back to Ireland's capital. Set up by a group of young dedicated Dubliners in 2007 the annual 'Dublin City Soul Festival' is an event about creating positive feeling through soul music. It's a way for musicians and like-minded people to come together and show their passion for what's best about Ireland. One of the big attractions of this year's festival I reckon will be the amazing and charismatic Mirenda Rosenberg, a singer from the U.S. now living in Ireland since 2005. Tickets are only €15 to see her, an absolute bargain! Check her out here in this video, fantastic!



There has been a wholesome connection between the roots of soul music and various musicians in Ireland over the years, and a great bond of musical respect has been established because of this. Well-known Irish artists such as U2, Van Morrison, Sinead O'Connor, The Chieftains, Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan come to mind.



And I suppose we shouldn't forget that little movie by director Alan Parker called 'The Committments'. This is the band that came to my mind first when I heard about this new festival in Dublin. It's a film I really enjoyed for the energy, the acting and of course that sweet soul music! Although I don't recall anyone singing soul music on the buses when I was growing up in Dublin. Weddings perhaps, but never on public transport!



It's not a bad redition of the old classic soul tunes. But let's be honest here and say that the originals are the ones to savour and add to your cd collection. The Committments were at their best an excellent covers band, not unlike a lot of the cover bands doing the pub circuits around Ireland at the moment. It is however nice to see that the old gang are back together again these days, and they have a 20th Anniversary Reunion Concert planned for next November in Dublin's Olympia Theatre. In fact they play two nights on November 9th and 10th, 2011. If you're lucky enough to be in Ireland around those dates you might like to enter this competition here to win some tickets. They recently had a comback concert last March with all of the original line-up. Here's a little video from Irish television with a few of them singing the classic 'Chain of Fools', and yes, that is the gorgeous Imelda Quirke singing!!...sorry I mean Angeline Ball!







  
The Dublin City Soul Festival's big banner-call this year is 'Cead Mile Failte', which is an Irish welcome as described in this short poem here.

An Irish Welcome
Here's Céad Míle Fáilte to friend and to rover
That's a greeting that's Irish as Irish can be
It means you are welcome
A thousand times over
Wherever you come from, Whosoever you be.

I recently received an email from one of the Soul Festival's event people asking me if I'd like to take part in this year's event. The organisers have a project called Eye Candy where they ask artists to donate a piece of their work in aid of the festival's charity. The charity in question is called the 'Musical Youth Foundation'. It is the aim of this charity to provide more access for every Irish child to music through free lessons and musical instruments. I did of course donate a painting. I didn't have a lot of notice about the event, but I hope this little piece which I sent over can help somehow. I call it 'Soul Inspired' with a slight pun towards Dublin city's most controversial landmark called 'The Spire' on O'Connell Street (see photo below). The 'Dublin City Soul Festival 2011' is on from May 26th to May 29th 2011.








Finally, speaking of charity events, for anybody living in Ireland there's a great little table quiz being held in Dublin on June 1st, 2011 in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. It's called 'The Hogan Quiz' and it's organised by a wonderful bunch of people with plenty of heart and soul. And they also happen to be cousins of mine so you will definately have a great night. For more information check out their event page on Facebook here!



Thanks for reading my blog and please share it with all your friends.

-Alan

You are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button here.



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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!







Thanks for reading my blog and please share it with all your friends.

-Alan

You are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button here.



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The Art Garage, Finland

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