Monday, December 4, 2017

Marvellous Monday: Pumpkin Pancakes












Friday, November 24, 2017

Watercolors by Abe


Some weeks ago I learned the watercolors by Abe Toshiyuki. I loved his paintings very much and today want to introduce you to him. 
Abe Toshiyuki was born in 1959 in Sakata, Japan, received his artistic education at the National University, worked as a teacher of drawing and painting. Abe left teaching in 2008 to concentrate on what was the dream of his life.


In Abe Toshiyuki's hyperrealistic watercolors viewers see love and respect for nature. He said: 'I would say that art is a mirror of the soul of the viewer. I believe that the main task of art is to touch the deepest emotions coming from the heart of the viewer'.


Seeing first time the Abe's paintings I decided that these were photographs of nature. It's not without reason his creation is called hyperrealistic.


In each of Abe's paintings there is the mood of the artist. Looking at them I kind of walked in the misty forest, across the field among the grasses, in the snowy winter.



 









For his incredible painting the artist has got several prestigious awards. “In my works I focus on the nuances and subtleties of the simple things that surround us”.
                                                 Abe Toshiyuki

Monday, November 13, 2017

Suomenlinna - Castle of Finland


It was grey November day when I decided to visit the Suomenlinna fortress. The ferry from Helsinki fast arrived to the pier, cold waves of Baltic sea beat on a shore and large stones. Suomenlinna (known as Sveaborg or Viapori) is one of the most popular insular tourist attractions in Helsinki, Finland. Its name means in English 'Castle of Finland'. Despite weather the ferries to Suomenlinna can always get quite crowded.
I want to tell you about this place. When Sweden started building the fortress on islands it was to be just the sea fortress with additional landside fortifications, according to the needs of the Swedish archipelago fleet.

 Entrance to the fortress from a ferry pier

Later the next stage in the arming of Suomenlinna was when it became part of "Peter the Great's naval fortification" designed to safeguard the Russian capital, Saint Petersburg. 
Strolling in the fortress I saw granite fortifications from those years, they struck me with their shape and height. I walked over and touched the hewn granite blocks. They were warm to the touch!

The naval fortifications from  local granite stones and earth-covered barracks

During extensive earthworks barracks and the dockyards were built at the western and southern islands. On the island's square, I was surprised to see the low green hills. Getting accustomed I realized that they were barracks, buried in the stony ground. Their green grassy roofs were apparently disguises. For me it was strange to see such buildings. I've never seen so strange disguise before, probably the living in these barracks was damp and uncomfortable.

 
Fenced earth-covered fortifications

The fortress became part of the Independent Finland in 1917. Nowadays Suomenlinna is served by ferries all year, and a service tunnel supplying heating, water and electricity was built in 1982. Several buildings have been converted into artists' studios. During the summer there is an art school for children. I believe that the beautiful combination of old fortifications and the harsh northern nature of the islands inspires young artists.


 Fortress walls topped with earth and grass
 
Suomenlinna was recognized as a world heritage and the most popular tourist destination in Finland. Therefore I hardly found the time when no one disturbed me to take a photo of the chain sea gates to the fortress. Tourists are constantly taking pictures there.

The central entrance to the Suomenlinna fortress, chain gates.

Saying farewell to the 'Castle of Finland' I've taken the photo from the fortress high wall. The low grey clouds there were, in a distance above the sea the clear sky was seen.


Have you been to any fortress before? What was it like? Was it in touch with nature?