Champions prepare for their greatest tournaments in different ways: quiet nights with friends, all-nighters on the scene, silent meditation. Serena Williams is apparently keeping herself calm during her French Open march by, believe it or not, painting. A little artistry is appropriate for France, yes?
"I took a painting class today in Paris," Williams tweeted. "I was the worst student." She showed one of her paintings, entitled "Xpressions," to the Web. We are no art critic here at Tramlines, but to us that looks worthy of hanging on the fridge, at least.
But what is the expert's view? We asked Charley Peters who is a London based artist and also currently holds an academic post at University of the Arts London for her opinion on the painting and here is what she told us:
"Xpressions is a strangely likeable painting. The composition and raw energy of the brush strokes are reminiscent of Van Gogh's Wheat Field with Crows (1890), but lack its brooding intensity. Xpressions is characterised extensively by gestural marks, which appear to be rapidly applied with no under painting leaving areas of the canvas exposed. Its limited colour palette and unlaboured technique result in a visually light and lively painting.
"Xpressions' aesthetic success may be attributed to either beginner's luck or a certain latent talent, it's difficult to say on the basis of just one image. We'll have to wait and see if there's any more artworks in Williams' oeuvre."
So there you go Serena - if the knees give way and the tennis fails you, a career in art could yet await you but keep up with those lessons!