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

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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


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! 

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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.


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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Double Vision

Last week I got to attend two opening events on the Finnish art calendar. I had also hoped to attend a third exhibition only to be stopped by bad weather. But nevermind!

The first exhibition I attended was at the Fokus Gallery on Monday, 8th October in Karis, Finland.  The artist exhibiting was Catarina Honkaharju  and the show was titled 'Kohtaamisia' meaning 'encounters' or 'meetings' in english. Among the many paintings on display was 'Valon Taika' or the Magic of Light in english, a wonderful oil-on-canvas depicting a collection of trees in front of golden yellow sunlight. This painting appealed to me for it's bright colours and the feeling of positivity and hope for which it radiated. A sample of this painting can been seen in this advert below for Catarina Honkaharju's exhibition. Those of you lucky enough to be able to attend the gallery will find out what I mean.

As the artist illustrates, Catarina Honkaharju's images of nature can describe or suggest a person's state of mind, often opening and displaying features of strength or weakness. Expect to see a variety of colours and subjects as this is achieved.
There are also other paintings to see at this exhibition which do not involve nature. The artist's states that she has examined the interaction between the environment and people, and how such encounters affect the private and public life of individuals. Here is another sample of the art you can find at this exhibition. This is called  'Vihdoinkin vapaa' which means 'Free at last'. 

Catarina Honkaharju's exhibition continues at the Fokus Gallery, Karis until 27 October, 2012.

Catarina Honkaharju - 'Vihdoinkin vapaa'


The second exhibition I want to mention is 'Off the Skin' which opened last Tuesday October 9th. This was a special exhibition which began it's planning two years ago as a collaboration between two individual artists, each working with different forms of art. The first, Petri Horttana, works with various aspects in painting and sculpture, while the second, Jesse Laitinen, is a fashion photographer working with some of Finland and Sweden's top models. After meeting at an exhibition back in 2010 they discussed with each other and talked about both their individual skills and the possibilty of combining their talents. And so it was that the 'Off the Skin' project was born.

Two years later and their creation has matured to greet the public as a three-week show at the Ant Gallery in Helsinki.  The result has not been a disappointment and the positive reaction from guests at the opening night was evidence of a promising and successful exhibition.  Considering how miserable the weather was on the night this event attracted a sizeable audience. With barely enough room to move at the entrance to the main room, I had to shuffle my way through to the second area of the gallery, stopping off for some much appreciated wine and cheese snacks. Having spent twenty minutes looking at some of the art I finally got to speak with one of the artists Petri Horttana. It was interesting to hear from him about the various processes used to attain the creations I saw before me. I must admit though, the first thing I noticed was the source of the material they had used as a base for their images. Having worked in a printing house for many years before coming to live in Finland I immediately recognised old aluminium printing plates. This added another dimension to the art for me, almost nostalgic!  I'm all for using recycled products in art wherever possible and this was a good example.

Moving on to the images themselves, most were flat-surfaced works in a variety of natural and luminous colours. Several had the added treatment of a hard glaze and a three-dimensional element created by Petri Horttana. The photographic images taken by Jesse Laitinen were both beautiful and striking to the viewer. It is clear that the combination of both areas of art complemented each other to create a common visual language. For me personally, I found this exhibition to be very fresh and quite an inspiration. If you happen to be in Helsinki any time soon, pop in and take a look yourself. The exhibition 'Off the Skin' continues at the Ant Gallery until November 2nd 2012. 
I suppose it would be only fair to add this as a recommendation for World Design Capital Helsinki in 2012. Here's a few photos of Jesse and Petri relaxing with their series of paintings called 'Neoflage' in the background.

Jesse Laitinen and Petri Horttana finally get time 
to chill out after a busy opening at the Ant Gallery in Helsinki. 
Photos;Alan Hogan 09/10/2012

Finally I want to play a video here before I end this blog. 
It's a little song by one of my favorite bands the Fountains of Wayne. The song is called 'Strapped for Cash'. It's a great tune!  As most of my online media comes through free websites it helps when visitors visit the ad links on my pages. It may only mean a few pennies or cents, but it could help towards building a better website aswell as paying for a little sugar in my coffee. ........ I like sugar! ...So, give a little, helps a lot!!!

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 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Art and Rockabilly in Helsinki

Residents and visitors to Helsinki can see a small selection of my artwork at NDN alternative studio. This limited exhibition is on view at various stages during this summer with occasional changing of artworks. Currently I have four pieces of work on display. They are all the original artworks and all are for sale from myself or through the owner of NDN studio. The current artworks will remain on view until 07.06.2012 before a short break for renovations at NDN studio occurs. Here are those four works on view just now.

'Sunset at Sea' by Alan Hogan
2008 acrylic on canvas

'Flower for Rafa' 2006 - Alan Hogan

'The Red House in Finland' - Alan Hogan,
2009, acrylic on canvas

'Birch Path' - Alan Hogan
2008, acrylic on canvas.
Prices and more information in English and Finnish are available on this downloadable PDF
The prices quoted are exclusive to NDN studio and do not include post and packaging.
Online purchases of original paintings only available via Paypal. Contact theartgarage(at)
Print available online here

Visitors to NDN studio can also of course speak to it's owner Veera Leena Nissi whose main business specialises in nailcare and beauty treatments. She's a gifted individual who also promotes Zinzino coffee devices among other things. On my last visit to her studio she was promoting a young Finnish singer called Miki Lamarr.

I bought Miki Lamarrs vinyl record (above) from studio owner Veera and took it home to play. I still like buy and play old vinyl records! This appealing sound was one of retro sixties which reminded me of music my parents liked to listen to. Think of british tv series 'Heartbeat' and you might be on the right track. There's a broad trend in Finland for this 50's-60's rockabilly style of music. Some people spend a lot of money on keeping this image and trend alive, including investments of authentic rockabilly era cars. I have a wide appreciation for all kinds of music and I must admit this style of music should as Buddy Holly once sang 'Not Fade Away'!
I like this music personally as it brings back happy memories of family who are not here anymore. It's a more stylish scene with colourful and sharper clothes, and plenty of nostalgia can be found by those who appreciate it. Music from the fifties/sixties is great and long may it last! Here's a neat Miki Lamarr video with her singing a song originally a hit in 1964 for English beat group The Honeycombs called 'Have I the right'. I think I need a haircut! :)

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Monday, March 12, 2012


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.

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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!

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