The Lloyds Building picture I nearly abandoned

Painting of the Lloyds buidning in London©2012 - Cathy Read - The Lloyds Building - Mixed media-75x55cm

Finding Lloyds Building pictures is very easy. It’s a building that stands out. Some may hate the design, but there are many of us who draw inspiration from the revolutionary style. The reflections created in its shining steel plates or a sheer fascination with the process involved in its creation. From concept to execution, there must have been so many questions, puzzles and, one suspects, some incredulity.

Who thought up such a bizarre construction as the Lloyds Building? Someone persuasive enough to take the idea seriously?

The Answer is Richard Rogers.

An inside out building, I’m sure it caused more than a few issues with design and construction.Turns out painting it’s no picnic either. Well, strictly speaking it’s drawing in this case, but you get the picture.

The Lloyds Building painting turned into one of my most challenging paintings. It looks simple, but simplicity is deceptive. Saying that simple is complicated and complicated is simple, the casual observer might think I was crazy, but it’s true. People often admire elbourate detail and perceive it to be hard to achieve, but any artist will tell you single lines are much harded to get right. I’ve said this before, with complexity, the details mask any errors made, but a single line betrays every waver, every slip and every smudge.

The cartoonist knows this only too well.

Look at early Peanuts or the Simpsons and compare them to later work. You will see what I mean. It’s why practice and repetition are so essential to the artist’s development. As I say to my children, talent only gets you so far. You need to practice.

So, looking back to my Lloyds Building artwork, can you see the souce of my frustration? It’s those curves. They are not just elipses, they extend out into straight lines, each one at a different angle. I redrew those lines so many times that I’m surprised I didn’t tear through the paper. The angles were wrong, the gaps too small, too big, and… You get the picture?

I wanted to quit so many times. Walking away from time to time, then come back to see somthing else wasn’t right. The only solution was to keep at it. I drank a lot of coffee, procrastinated a fair bit. Eventually I finished, and, as with most difficult things, it was worth the effort when it finally came together.

Painting of the Lloyds buidning in London©2012 - Cathy Read - The Lloyds Building - Mixed media-75x55cm
©2012 – Cathy Read – The Lloyds Building – Mixed media-75x55cm

They say an artist must suffer for their art and I take that to mean pressing on through the frustrations. It’s funny how, looking back, it now seems the work of moment. Perspective changes your view, in time as in art. It’s all about how you look at things.

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