Politics Aside, This Artist Deserves a Second Glance

George Bush Painter and creator of Portraits of Courage

Many may know of George Bush as one of the Presidents of the United States. You may have liked him, or maybe you didn’t.

However, did you know he is an Artist? A rather interesting one and admirable in what his art is now providing.

It is said that George W. Bush took up painting in 2013. But I bet he dabbled before this. I can imagine that he sketched and expressed the creative side and maybe even doodled when on important calls when he was the President.

I think art is something that lives in you. It doesn’t just appear one day.

For George Bush art has become a second career and maybe a second chance. What’s interesting though is that he tried to keep his paintings secret. He dabbled in painting dogs and still life’s and then his email was hacked! He wanted to be discreet about his amateur painting skills, however, shared them on email with his sister. His paintings were obtained by the website Gawker in 2013 when a Romanian hacker illegally obtained photographs of the paintings by hacking into the email account of Bush’s sister.

All this attention placed his art under intense scrutiny. Bush ended up giving television interviews to explain the origins of his artistic pursuit.  As if anyone needs to explain why they want to paint.

Articles on the original art find can be found here on Internet Archive.

So really what’s the big deal that a former President wants to paint and express his creative side? He has been called an Outside Artist and is known as “43”.

His technique is unschooled, not self-consciously trying to emulate any identifiable painter, and his references don’t seem to be any paintings at all. He paints what he sees.

A Rise in Artistic Confidence

Practice makes perfect which any artist can attest to. Pushing aside criticism and self-doubt, Bush fully embraced his art by producing a book of intriguing portraits.

On September 14, 2016 Bush announced his book, PORTRAITS OF COURAGE: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors, the book features 66 full-color portraits and a four-panel mural personally painted by President Bush of service members and veterans who have served our nation with honor, and whom the President has come to know personally since leaving office.

Art Making a Difference

President Bush will donate his net author proceeds from PORTRAITS OF COURAGE to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a non-profit organization whose Military Service Initiative works to ensure that post-9/11 veterans and their families make successful transitions to civilian life with a focus on gaining meaningful employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war.

You can purchase the book here:

I decided I was going to paint,” Bush explains. “My attitude was that if [Winston] Churchill can paint, I can paint. So I hired an instructor. She was a little apprehensive. She said, `What’s your objective,’ I said, `There is a Rembrandt trapped in this body. And your job is to find it.’

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