Might be worth something one day! After leaving the White House in 2009, George W. Bush decided to take up painting as a hobby — and he has some impressive artistic skills. During a Tuesday, Nov. 19 appearance on The Tonight Show, the 67-year-old 43rd President of the United States showed off a few of his paintings, including a portrait of host Jay Leno.
“I am a painter,” Bush said. “You may not think I’m a painter, [but] I think I’m a painter.”
The Texas resident said he hired an art teacher to improve on his skills. “I take a lesson from a woman named Gail Norfleet once a week in Dallas,” he explained. “She came by the house — a mutual friend of ours introduced me to her — and I said I’m interested in painting. I had read Winston Churchill’s essay, Painting as a Pastime, and it inspired me. I said, ‘I’m thinking about painting.’ She said, ‘Well, what is your objective?’ I said, ‘There’s a Rembrandt trapped in this body. Your job is to find it.'” (Several photos of Bush’s paintings first leaked online in February 2013.)
And it looks like his lessons have been paying off. Bush showed pictures of paintings he made of his dog, Barney, and cat, Bob. “I can’t even see where you painted over the numbers,” Leno quipped. When he asked the former president why his cat was named Bob, Bush joked, “So I can remember how to spell it when I get older.”
“I do take painting seriously,” Bush added. “It’s changed my life and I brought a painting for you,” he shared while pulling out a portrait he painted of the late night host.
“Wow!” Leno, 63, said. “Oh, what an honor that is. I can’t make fun of him now,” he joked.
Tell Us: What do you think of Bush’s painting of Leno?