A few years ago my friend Sarah and I took a life-drawing night course. We'd sit in an old high-school room for a couple of hours, chatting and sipping wine and painstakingly sketching versions of our hands that looked like octopus amputees, and sneakers that resembled a child's play-dough experiment. It was a fantastic course. I can't say I picked up much in the way of skills, and stick figures are still my preferred style, but there was something so calming and therapeutic about those two hours a week. I was writing Airmail around this time, and I always found my creative writing came so much easier after I had given my brain this break. For me, art (and I use that term in the loosest, most generic manner because you'd be hard pressed to call anything I make with pencil or paint "art") is just a wonderful way to switch off and take a "brain holiday." I need to do more of it. Do you know what I mean?
When I saw this book Outside the Lines, my first thought was that I should buy it for Madeleine. She is very into crayons right now. But to be truthful, I think I might need to buy it for me. It's a collection of illustrations from more than 100 artists (in genres from fine art to street art to video games and photography) all ready to be coloured in by "anyone who loves creativity and contemporary art, or who simply loves the joy of coloring." And hey, that's me!