Saturday, January 30, 2010

Alain Bezard - Walking from Helsinki to Nordkapp

There was an article in the Keskisuomalainen newspaper today about Alain Bezard, a French fellow who is in the process of walking across Finland from south to north. He is trusting in the hospitality of Finns to get him through this adventure. So far he has yet to sleep outside, although I gather from his blog that he has had buy his own food at least once.

Alain in downtown Jyväskylä yesterday

Keep an eye out for this guy and help him along his way. As someone who once rode a bicycle from Helsinki to Oulu I can say that there is nothing quite like the kindness of strangers.

Alain's blog can be found here. You can find his contact information here if you would like to help him out along his way to Nordkapp in Norway.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Järvi-Suomen Herkku riihiruisleipä - Järvi-Suomen Herkku smoke-cured rye

This is not my first post concerning riihiruisleipä (smoke-cured rye bread). This truly Finnish delicacy is neither readily available, nor is it hard to find. Any good grocery store or bakery will include this magnificent loaf in their repetoire whenever possible.

Riihiruis is rye that has been dried and cured in the traditional Finnish manner - over a small, smouldering open fire in a (ideally log) drying barn. The result is pest and fungus free rye with a remarkable smoky flavor and aroma. The smokiness makes it through the baking process and is present in the flavors of the finished product.

Järvi-Suomen Herkku makes a pretty outstanding loaf of riihiruis bread. Best served sliced real thin with a little bit of the best butter you can find. This bread is a traditional yeast-free 100% rye.

The list of ingredients is pretty simple. Smoke-cured rye flour, water, bread starter (fermented dough basically), and sea salt.

Apparently this bread is produced in Hirvensalmi, not too far from Mikkeli.

I picked up this beautiful loaf of bread at Mestarin Herkku in Jyväskylä.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Keskeneräisiä töitä - A few works in progress

My next show is on the 1st of March. Here are 3 paintings out of 7 that I am working on for said exhibition. The working title for this show is duunari (working man).

I still have quite a bit to do with these paintings (shading, filling, outlining) but I'm pleased with the results so far.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Winter walking

A few photos taken on the way to the studio. Along the pedestrian/bike path between the train station and Tourula. We actually seem to have a real winter going on here in Jyväslylä although it hasn't become really cold yet.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Older environmental art

Back in the early-mid nineties I spent some months at my aunt and uncle's cabin in northern Wisconsin. I did manage to work a bit, but mostly I would read, write, study wild plants, and fish.

Sometimes I would make strange little faces out of wood and metal scrap. I would then nail these creations to trees and not really think about them afterward.

This is one of those faces which still exists after 15 years of exposure to up north weather.

aspen firewood and tobacco can lids
Private Collection

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rooster and Hen

Here's a painting of mine from about 10 years ago. It can be found hanging at Palmer's Bar on the West Bank in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Rooster and Hen
Acrylic on Plywood
Private Collection

(thanks to Suzy for the photo)