Bush publishes his first book of oil paintings, “Portraits of Courage”
After he left the White House, former President George W. Bush developed a hobby: painting watercolors of world leaders and of American soldiers wounded during military service.
Eight years later, he decided to publish his paintings in a book , “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors,” which appears in bookstores today.
In an interview with N.P.R, - his first one since Donald Trump was sworn in as president - , Bush talked about his new paintings of American soldiers wounded during military service and how is passion for art began:
He took up painting in 2012, in an unexpected artistic arc. His public debut was awkward: A hacker released two self-portraits that showed Mr. Bush in the bathtub and the shower.
Mr. Bush isn’t the first American president to put brush to canvas. Jimmy Carter, for example, was something of a star, reported The New York Times. His “Live Oak at Sunrise” sold for $250,000 in 2012.
Mr. Carter gave his proceeds to charity, and Mr. Bush intends to do the same. Eisenhower, who gave most of his paintings away, seems to have underrated them.
“Let’s get something straight here,” Eisenhower once told a reporter, “They would have burned this [expletive] a long time ago if I weren’t the president of the United States.”
In addition to talk about his artistic vein, Bush gave some political statements during his interview with N.P.R . When "Today" host Matt Lauer asked Bush - who took country to war in Iraq and who presided over an economic crisis, facing plenty of criticism from the media - "Did you ever consider the media to be the enemy of the American people?"
Bush chuckled and then answered: "I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. We need an independent media to hold people like me to account. Power can be very addictive. And it can be corrosive. And it's important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere."