Tag Archives | newport

Using my Print Gocco machine again

If you’ve been reading this blog a long time, you may remember that I used to do a lot of printing with a little Japanese machine called the Print Gocco.  I hadn’t used it for ages for one reason and another, but earlier this year, I couldn’t find a birthday card that I liked to send to my eldest son so I dusted it off and did a lot of printing.

a Print Gocco PG10

This is like the Print Gocco machine I have


It was nice to get it out again after so long.

St Woollos Cathedral

This is the photo I based the print on: it is a close up of St Woollos Cathedral in Newport and the houses immediately around it.


I decided to print a photo of Newport since he had been away for nearly 2 years and I thought (probably wrongly!) that he might like to see it.

gocco print of houses in Newport

One of the resulting prints.


This is the one I chose.  I did a 3 colour separation and printed 3 screens in halftone and this one of them.  It’s not one of the best as I put the ones I printed on folded cards in a safe place (ha – too safe!).

Gocco printed Khadi postcard in fluorescent colours of phoneboxes in Cheltenham

Gocco printed Khadi postcard in fluorescent colours


Of course I couldn’t stop there!  I had taken a photo of some phoneboxes and a postbox in Cheltenham one year which I thought would be a good complement to my London bus prints.


gocco printed phoneboxes with red and pink ink

These phoneboxes and postbox were based on a photo I took in Cheltenham, they seem to be going AWOL everywhere else with the advent of mobile phones!


It was fun printing these in various colours.


Gocco print of phoneboxes overprinted on to another print

Here I was getting arty by overprinting the phoneboxes on to one of my London bus prints that I printed back in about 2010.


I got rather carried away by the end … of course there’s no point printing if you’re going to stop after one or two!


gocco prints on my workroom table

Here are lots of the prints on my print table


gocco prints on table

There isn’t much room for anything else!


gocco prints stacked in rack to dry

It’s satisfying to see all these prints drying in the racks.




Signs of Spring

This winter has been a long, wet, dreary one.  Not particularly cold (sorry, American friends!) but at times we wondered if Britain was going to sink under the weight of water pouring from the sky…

But on my walk on Friday I saw definite signs of the new spring life popping up everywhere…

daffodils cherry blossom green shoots flower leaves forget-me-nots catkins welsh countryside green leaves view from Ridgeway in the sun heather 2014-03-07 14.47.22

crocus inside crocus primula crocus

Pattern course and a bit of colour!

For the last few weeks I’ve been doing an online course called The Art and Business of Pattern Design. I decided to embark on this because I noticed that a lot of my artwork consists of lots of overall pattern and texture and I needed something to get me organised now that my boys are all flying the nest and I’ve got more time to set up a business in it!

I’m finding it really inspiring and you’ll probably see quite a lot of it popping up in the next few months but just now we’re doing colour and here are a few photos that I’ve dug out to get colour swatches from…. UPDATE: I added the swatches I got from them at the Color Palette Generator


A cliff in Cornwall (didn’t do one for this as both the colour generators I tried seemed to ignore that gorgeous red/orange and green and focus on the browns/blacks of the rocks).





A building in Bloomsbury in London



Some graffiti near Brick Lane in London



Rainy pavements in London!



More rain!



Yes, it rained a lot that time…



Colourful containers in Newport



The Paris metro

Sunday Afternoon Walk

a quiet walk
sounds and smells …
someone whistling loudly and tunelessly up the lane

at a party in one of the gardens I passed; the sound of children playing, people talking,
the smell of apple crumble wafting as I walked past another house
the sun comes out
my sandals stop hurting my feet
I relax

Llanthewy Road, Newport

View from the Handpost…

top in Handpost shop window

I like this top in a shop window…

Looking back towards the Handpost

The road becomes noisier with more traffic…

houses at top of Stow Park Avenue

I love these houses….

Bellevue Park gate

The entrance to my destination….

bellevue festival

A chance glance at Shepherds Moon’s Facebook Page told me of Art in the Park this afternoon…

art in the park

A fun hour spent chatting to stallholders, drinking tea and looking at wares….

York Place

Then I set off back home; my feet decided these sandals aren’t so good after all….

Saturday Superdragons

Today’s dragons are in John Frost Square, a rather unattractive 1960s square where the library and museum are.  John Frost was a Chartist hero.

Pit Dragon Dai Newport

This dragon is called Pit Dragon Dai and is a miner to celebrate the coal mining history of the Welsh Valleys.  The artists are Beth Downing and Valerie Harding.

The City Superdragon Newport

This one is called The City and the artist is Amelia Thomas.   Not sure if you’ll be able to see it properly on this photo but it has a funky cityscape painted on it.

reflections in fountain

The Council also installed these spherical fountains in the square.  I do like the reflections you get!

Newport Superdragons

This year, the Ryder Cup is happening in Newport, the city in Wales where I live.

On the announcement of its coming, Newport Council desperately tried to improve the image of the city, and planned ambitious shopping centres and other developments to entice visitors into the town and away from the more appealing neighbouring cities of Bristol and Cardiff.  Residents suffered the upheaval of roadworks and building sites for months, nay, years; and just as it looked its ugliest, along came the recession and the mall developers went bust. 

To brighten up the place, over the last few months lots of decorations, flags and other colourful stuff has been appearing.  As well as this, lots of little Superdragons, painted by local artists and schoolchildren, are forming a trail around the town.  They are only here till 9 October and there are about 100 of them so I’ve decided to try and photograph them all over the next few months and post photos of them here.  Quite a lot are in the town centre so they will be easy to reach but several are on the outskirts too.

steel wave carousel superdragon

This one is called the Steel Wave Carousel (because it has a design of the red steel wave sculpture by the riverside) and is by Danielle Mayer.  It is standing outside the Civic Centre, just down the road from my house.

newport's steel wave

This is the wave – it was built to celebrate the steel industry which dominated Newport earlier this century.

scrum the superdragon, newport

This one is Scrum the Superdragon painted by Tim Harries.  It is in the main shopping street.

Wood superdragon

And this is the Wood Dragon, by Chris Wood. It is in the entrance to the library and museum.

According to the local council website, after the 10 week superdragons trail, many of the SuperDragons will be auctioned on October 27, with proceeds going to charities Tenovus, the chosen charity of Newport’s Mayor Cllr Bill Langsford and the Born Free Foundation. There’s a website about them and also a Facebook page where you can keep track of which have been, sadly, vandalised and removed temporarily for intensive care…

I like the new occupants of the city, even if they are only going to be around for a few months; they are a talking point and whenever I see them, there seem to be groups of people chatting about them, examining them and taking photos.   And the projects are encouraging local artists, local businesses.  Maybe that is the way forward for Newport; to build up local individual shops rather than trying desperately to attract big chain stores that you can see all over the country.  I for one would welcome that.

And if you really want to see what the city where I live is like, do watch this video – it’s a hoot!  And it’s going viral!  Every time I go on Facebook it seems to be there on people’s profiles and has even been picked up by the national press… Here is an article in the Daily Telegraph online

New bridge

They’re currently building a new pedestrian bridge across the River Usk in Newport and it is creating quite a lot of local interest. Most of the bits came ready made, I think, and they have the biggest crane in Europe there to hoist it. It came on three lorries!

I forgot to go and look at it until a few days after they had started lifting the main bit. This is what it looked like a week ago:

lots of uprights and cranes around a new bridge going up

And a closeup – I thought this one would be a good one for a design with lots of straight lines and angles:

close up of above

And last Tuesday they had put one of the actual bridge sections in place:

bridge taking shape!

Here’s a close up of it:

middle section of bridge

Anselm came home on Monday saying that the bus driver had told them that one of the pieces was the wrong size and had to be taken out again! I don’t know if that’s true because it wasn’t mentioned in an article in the local paper on Tuesday… must go down there again tomorrow and see how it’s progressing.

Newport is getting a major new shopping centre and they’re reorganising the roads and the bus station and everything because the Ryder Cup is coming in 2010 and they suddenly realised that if it stayed in its current rundown form all the visitors would go and shop in Cardiff or Bristol instead. Or that’s what they say. At least they have a date to concentrate their minds. Major disorganisation and chaos between now and then, I can imagine…

UPDATE October 2015: This new shopping centre is about to open next month, having fallen through once, I can’t believe I wrote this in 2006!!  The footbridge, meanwhile, has been here for nearly a decade (I must say I’d rather have the bridge if I had to choose between them…)

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