People are not tired of hearing about Painter George W. Bush. In an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition about the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, NPR correspondent David Greene strayed from politics to ask a burning question: How did the 43rd president start painting? The art portion of the interview starts at the 3:07 mark, but for those who prefer to read it about it, we’ve also transcribed the interview for you. George W. Bush’s origin story begins with an iPad.
David Greene: Your husband has kept a pretty low profile since leaving office. But one thing that’s gotten some attention recently is his new hobby, painting. How did that come about?
Laura Bush: He was looking for a pastime. He got an app on his iPad where he could draw pictures. He communicated with me if I was on the road and with Barbara and Jenna with funny drawings.
David Greene: He was drawing you pictures to send you while you were on the road?
Laura Bush: Yeah, like he’d draw a picture of him in bed with Barney and the cat.
David Greene: Did you see a burgeoning artist or did you think he needed some work?
Laura Bush: Well, we did think they were pretty good. We thought they had a lot of personality and a lot of action. Then, he was looking for something to do and he chatted with John Lewis Gaddis who’s a presidential historian and he said ‘Why don’t you read Churchill’s book ‘Painting as a Pastime’? So he works at painting and paints for a few hours everyday.
David Greene: Are we going to see any of the paintings in the museum?
Laura Bush: No, none of the paintings are in the museum now, but maybe if he gets better at it.