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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Art Scam

Greetings from Finland again!

So it's been about four months now since my last post here on this blog. Apologies for my laziness!

I haven't been painting any canvasses at all lately either.  I spent four months here and there visiting family in Ireland at the beginning of the year and since then I've had nothing but health issues myself which I'd rather see the back of soon. Any artistic efforts I've done this year have been created on my computer only. Tapping a few keys and moving a mouse about feels a little easier these days. All I can say is that it's a damn nuisance and very annoying! I suppose these things happen as one gets older. I will hopefully get around to doing requested work as soon as possible.

For the moment I have had an issue with an art scam and I wanted to write this blogpost to share my info and alert any fellow artists or those in the business of selling art online.

I recently received an email enquiring about one of my artworks 'The Orange Cow' or 'La Vache Orange' as it was called on this occasion..

I receive a number of bogus emails to my inbox which over time 
have become easier to detect.

The email I received on this occasion was written in French so I was a little curious. This is mainly because normally anyone looking to buy art online would have some knowledge of myself and my artwork, they would also have noticed most of my online presence is in English. And if someone sends me an email in another language other than english they will usually ask me politely if it is okay to continue in their language. I had noticed this person found my artwork on a website which automatically offers selected language options, so I carried on reading the email. 

First email

Le 4 septembre
To Alan Hogan

La Vache orange

Bonsoir,puis-je avoir le prix de l'oeuvre dont le titre est "La Vache orange" par


I decided to corresspond in French with a little help from Google translate and a friend. I studied some french in school also. The email I received seemed friendly and straight forward.

Next email:

Francis Garaudy 6 Sep
Alan Hogan


je vous remercie pour votre reponse, je confirme mon désir d'acheter votre création
Vu le prix raisonnable je vous rajoute 20€ pour le colissimo (frais de port) comprit ce qui fera donc 320€ TTC .

J'accepte le paiement par Paypal : c'est ce que je trouve le plus rapide aussi et sécurisé pour l'un comme pour l'autre, et de plus c'est un mode de paiement le plus utilisé en ligne dans le monde .
Veuillez me faire parvenir votre adresse mail paypal afin de
clore cette vente.

A vous relire tres vite

Anyway a price was requested and agreed on. Paypal as a method of payment was agreed on also. So far so good. Next I began to prepare my painting, packing and calculating shipping costs. I also looked into the persons name and email address, I search various websites and Googled for any fraud alerts or info on the person. No alerts appeared and I couldn't find anything relevant about the person in question. I was given an address which I looked up on Google maps and it looked legitimate, there was even a small design gallery next door. In cases of selling art online I often try to gain a friendly 'tête-à-tête' with the customer. As my French is limited there was only the basic comments this time. I shared a convenient link to my Paypal account for payment after which I received an email from Paypal saying funds into my account were pending and a tracking number for the package was requested. The Paypal email I receive looked legit with good attention to small details and logos. 

Next email:

Francis Garaudy 8 Sep at 9:47 PM

Alan Hogan

Comme convenu nous venions d'effectuer le paiement à votre adresse 'theartgarage(at)'.

Avez vous reçu l'avis de Paypal ? Puisque j'ai un soucis de connexion veuillez vérifier vos mails ( boite de réception ou courrier indésirable ou spam ) vous trouverez les notifications du service Paypal.

Pour l'envoi du colis je vous laisse mon adresse de livraison:
19 Avenue Louis Barthou,
Code postale: 33200

Merci de bien suivre les instructions du service Paypal


So next morning I went off and posted the painting and later emailed the tracking number with the shipping company's name as asked. Having done this I realised shortly afterwards that I neglected to check the secondary email I received from Paypal. I scanned the email address through Google and immediately discovered fraud alerts with other names involved. I was a little annoyed at myself as I usually spot these scammers early. Lucky for me though it was a Saturday afternoon and no post leaves my town until Monday morning. I managed to get to my local supermarket/post office and retrieve the painting and all postage costs. So nothing lost but my time!

One thing I was happy about was the fact that I found a perfectly sized box to package this painting. So as I have no plans to exhibit this painting anytime soon I shall be keeping 'The Orange Cow' wrapped up for now. If anyone reading this blog is interested in buying this artwork please drop an email to me at ... theartgarage(at) . And if you mention that you read my blog I'll add a full set of my art postcards!

'The Orange Cow' painting is also available to buy as a print and other products from various online shops such as Redbubble and Society6. All my links can be found here

Share this blog!

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


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Who'll Stop The Rain

It's been a while since I've had a little blog post here, but then what's new about that eh? 
I had planned on posting a few photos over the past few months but I've just been so lazy. To be honest, I reckon I spend too much time on my computer between reading emails and social media, most of which seem increasingly to be just spam or scams. Are any of you having the same problem?

Anyway I wanted to post this item on my blog for my own record, so here goes!
It concerns a bit of bad weather in the town where I live.
Coming from Ireland I'm fairly used to a drop of rain. I use the word 'drop' lightly here as it's an Irish thing. A drop of rain to an Irish person is usually equal to torrential rain elsewhere in the world. I say this just so you know where I'm coming from. It's not often you hear an Irish person go on about the RAIN!

new swimming pool

Anyway the rain arrived yesterday, and flooded out the garage under my house.
I use this garage as an art studio space, which I call 'The Art Garage'. This is where I keep most of my paintings and drawings. Lucky for me however I managed to get most of my work out of danger before the water level got too high. Only a few items were damaged. Also, stupid old me didn't have any wellies (wellington boots). I only had a pair of crocs to wade through what was freezing water, made so by a pile of large hailstones just outside the door!

My garage wasn't the only casualty in Karis, a lot of other premises where flooded also including the local supermarkets. Here's a video somebody else shot in Karis centre. It's hardly a state of emergency I know, but nice to keep a record.

Next time it would be nice to have some kind of weather warning from the met office. Only a small thunder and a small amount of rain was the given forecast on this occasion. But nevermind, everything is back to normal here now though. Hot sunny Finnish summer, just the way it should be!

Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends. Big Hello to any readers living in NYC, thanks for all your greetings and support! 

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.


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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. 
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Caravaggio - The Taking and Faking of Christ!

September 29th 1571 is supposedly the birthday of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, better known as simply 'Caravaggio' to most of us. When I was younger living back in Ireland this artist was one of many famous artists mentioned in my art history schoolbook. The Baroque school of painting to which his art belonged wasn't very interesting to me. I suppose I could have been in such awe of the work by the likes of Caravaggio and his counterparts that it made me feel quite primitive. Or perhaps if was the fact that there was so much of this style and it's copycats available to see all over europe. 

One such place I remember seeing art like this was in the old buildings at the school I attended as a teenager. Studying at a Christian Brothers school for boys back in Dublin wasn't always easy. Most of the subjects in these paintings were quite religious and orderly, as were the Christian brothers themselves, whose treatment and teaching methods of many students was disciplined and occasionally harsh. So as you might guess, the day I finished secondary school was a day I remember fondly! I didn't have to see those priests in their black cloaks ever again. I must mention that a few of them were of good character, friendly and excellent teachers. But I was happy to forget about them and all their paraphernalia, including all those religious paintings!

Having left school in 1986, I was more drawn towards modern artists like Munch, Van Gogh, and Jack B Yeats. I liked the honesty and techniques in all their work. I have however since then witnessed a lot more older art including the baroque era by way of travelling through countries such as Germany, Holland, Austria and France. I have sadly not been able to visit Italy yet, the home of baroque. Maybe some day when I have some cash!

Inside St.Charles's Church, Vienna. 

My appreciation for baroque art improved after travelling in europe. I remember a visit to Vienna and been amazed and a little shocked on entering St.Charles's Church. The whole feeling was awesome, a term which I think is used far too lightly these days.

'The Taking of Christ' - Caravaggio, 1602

Getting back to the birthday boy, I remember the time in the early 1990's when Caravaggio's painting 'The Taking of Christ' was found in a dusty old house in Dublin city centre. This was a major discovery once the painting was confirmed as the original, especially with the amount of previous findings which all turned out to be fakes. I couldn't believe the age and the history of this painting. I was more amazed at the fact that it had survived years and years of lying around in Dublin than it's previous centuries of transit here and there around europe. Those of you who live or come from Dublin will understand what I'm talking about! I recall seeing a movie in the year 2000, seven years after Caravaggio's painting was unveiled at the National Gallery of Ireland. It was called 'Ordinary Decent Criminal' starring Kevin Spacey, about a well-known Dublin criminal. It was a poor movie by all accounts (I recommend Brendan Gleeson's portrayal of the same character in the earlier movie 'The General', much better!). However I liked the way they included Caravaggio's painting in the story, it's like modern folklore. 

There are many other blogs, videos and websites which can tell you all about the painting and it's history, so I won't bother rewriting it here. Here's an excellent video to watch if you have the time and a few links if you wish to get all the facts. I've also included a related and amusing  blog which tells about the theft of this painting by professional robbers in the Ukraine. Unfortunately they became the not-so-proud owners of yet another fake Caravaggio.

'Stealing Caravaggio: The Odessa File'

'Milan show for disputed Caravaggio'

I would like to mention my recollection on being one of the first group of visitors to see this rediscovered masterpiece at the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin. I felt very privileged and excited on that day in November 1993 as I walked into the gallery. Seeing something so old is sometimes a little mind-numbing, and when you learn all about it's history and know the subject to be so revered it can simply leave you speechless.

So, there I was walking up a grand staircase to the gallery's main exhibition room. The red carpet was laid out. I pretended it was for me. Well, one can dream a little!! ...and then as I slowly stepped through the large doorframes I said to myself,...."What the hell is all this!"

Yes, right in front of me was a large room full of fake Caravaggios! I must have counted at least twenty or so copies of Caravaggio's 'Taking of Christ'. 
Well, in my opinion, each and every one of them looked like a masterpiece. But then there can only ever be one true original. And there it was, getting closer and closer to me as I walked through the centre of this large room. The nearer I approached, the clearer my eyes could see that this was the genuine article and the others quickly became just what they were, merely good copies.

The restoration people at the gallery had handled and prepared this great original with the treatment it had long deserved, and it was a great credit to them. 
I was however a bit worried about the security of the painting. While I had in my time visited a few renowned galleries in europe and noticed high security for notable paintings, items such as cameras, extra guards-people, glass-framed boxes and possible laser alarms, all I could see protecting Caravaggio's painting was a thick red rope placed half a metre around it. I could see no harm coming to the painting that day, but I worried a little at the thought of an art teacher taking a class of twelve-year old Dublin schoolboys in to see it. I'd like to think I'm wrong and the painting was highly monitored, but I was that twelve-year old soldier once, and it wasn't unusual for me to lampoon about things I didn't understand. I remember going to see the Mona Lisa in Paris with a group of fellow students when I was twelve. I may be exaggerating just a little, but I reckon that old lady was very lucky to be protected by a solid glass case at the time! 

Anyway, Happy Birthday Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, wherever you may be and thanks for all your wonderful work.

Here's another fellow Dubliner who like myself discovered the mastery of Caravaggio and hence a greater appreciation for art in general. He is ex-world snooker champion Ken Doherty and here's what he had to say about the mighty Caravaggio.

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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 


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Going to California!

Thanks for dropping by my blog! Nice to have you here again.

There's not much happening around here these days. It's all family occasions and football matches, all happy days of course! ..... even if the mosquitoes are annoying the hell out of me!

I'm also happy about a recent art sale I made. This painting here below called 'Two Black Cats' is leaving home! A sale is a sale as they say, money in the pocket, so one must be happy! YaaBaaDabaDoo indeed!!

 Click to order a Print!

I was a little sad today however as I had to post this little painting off to an art collector in the U.S.A.
It's a painting that I have liked having in my studio and I have always enjoyed watching and listening to reactions from people who come to see it. The Finnish people seem to appreciate it's simplistic and positive message, and more importantly, it appeals to the young and old. It has also been one of my most popular paintings for prints both here in Finland and abroad. Especially so in the United States with print sales in Manhattan Kansas, Austin Texas, and Maspeth New York amongst others. And now the original painting is finally on it's way to San Diego California. I want to thank all of those who purchased prints and a special thanks to the nice lady in California who will receive 'Two Black Cats' in the post shortly. I hope they serve you well! This song is for you and my black cats....

Share this blog!

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 


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Heart in New York

Song: 'A Heart in New York' by Simon & Garfunkel

It’s amazing how many art-related websites are on the world wide web today. With the world economy being the way it is nowadays, it has become ever-increasingly difficult for any artist to sell his or her's original work.
However, there are numerous websites available which allow artists to sell their work as high quality prints. This extra selling service offered by such sites can often be availed for a small annual fee and sometimes for free. Of course the artist only gets a small percentage of any sales, but if enough prints are sold it can add up nicely.
One such site is Fine Art America. It’s an easy site for artists to join and apart from offering a platform to show off artwork, it also allows artists to meet and see the art of other like-minded artists from all around the world.
Since joining Fine Art America and similar sites, I have met a variety of artists from places near and far. Finland, Ireland, England, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Peru and plenty more.
I recently met one such artist online from New York named Erika Love who shared her work with me.

'The Fox'
by Erika Love.
Prismacolor pencil and india ink.

Painting has been part of Erika's life since the age of 7. Oil painting was her main medium for a long time, until the early 1990's when she turned her attention to coloured pencils. This was to be her favorite medium now, and it remains so.

'Summer Morning'
by Erika Love.
Mixed Media, Prismacolor pencil, India ink and acrylic paint

However, while running around with a camera as an inspirational tool in capturing images she accidentally discovered a hidden talent. After several positive comments about her photographs, she decided to give photography a try.
And it certainly proved to be a good move. Erika has worked as a professional photographer in advertising, portrait and event work for the past 15 years. Living in New York, she finds there's plenty of new and interesting subjects to photograph.

'Outside Radio City' by Erika Love.

"I am always looking to try new things, to evolve the work that I'm doing or to just do something completely different. I tend to revisit the same subjects, but I like to think I do it a little bit differently each time."
Erika Love


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The Art Garage, Finland

The Art Garage, Finland
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