About the Image
You cannot escape your first impression that this is a very blue painting. That cerulean sky, marbled, almost exotic, over a very English urban scene. Do skies in England get that blue? Well yes, obviously. Everywhere seems full of it. Look closely and you will see there are other colours subtly placed within the buildings, dark green and purple shadows.
In New Kid on the Block, you’re looking at the Lloyds building and the Chees grater, looming tall above you on Leadenhall Street. Both are noteworthy but in very different ways. The cheese grater is geometric, angular and taller, The distinctive shape, which gave it its nickname, emphasizes the height and increases the intimidating effect when viewed from such close quarters.
In contrast the Lloyds building is full of fluid curves, It seems that the individual components are fixed together, like LEGO or stacks of glasses or plates in a bar/restaurant. Whereas the Cheesegrater is a solid mass, a whole construction of glazing.
Both have magnificent reflective surfaces and their reflections emphasize the materials used to create them as well as their distinctive shapes. The Cheesegrater with its acres of polished glass in crisp, geometry reflects its surroundings in near mirror-like reflection. The Lloyds building in brushed steel curves which cast highlights in which you may see the surroundings, but you’re in no doubt just how curved and distinguished it is.
Buildings emerge rapidly in cities. The taller ones are especially noticeable, especially when they have a distinctive design. In London the Lloyds Building turned heads when it was built, in the 1980’s. It still does but it’s a seasoned veteran now. Directly opposite is the new “Cheesegrater” building. The new kid on the block, turning heads and causing a stir. Like it or not, it’s here to stay.
Creation: To create an image masking fluid is painted onto plywood treated with watercolour ground. This is covered with a watercolour wash and covered with clingfilm. The picture is further developed using acrylic inks once the film is removed. The masking is removed after several layers are added and allowed to dry. Revealing the final picture.