George W. Bush "a great artist," painting teacher says

President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush acknowledge supporters at the Ronald Reagan Building Nov. 3, 2004, in Washington. Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush is "going to go down in the history books as a great artist," according to the woman who spent a month teaching the former president how to paint.

Mr. Bush has mostly kept a low profile since leaving office in 2009, but his decision to take up painting as a new hobby has garnered him a new kind of attention. Several of his paintings have recently surfaced, notably a memorial portrait of his beloved and recently departed Scottish terrier Barney.

Oil painting of Barney the dog, painted by his owner, former President George W. Bush

Bonnie Flood, an artist from Cumming, Ga., told WAGA-TV, "He started off painting dogs. I think he painted 50 dogs. He pulled out this canvas and started painting dogs, and I thought, 'Oh my God, I don't paint dogs!'"

The former president, according to Flood, was a quick learner and soon began painting fewer dogs and more landscape scenes.

Flood does most of her paintings at home in Cumming, according to WAGA, and she occasionally conducts workshops in Florida, which is where the former president heard about her.

In short order, she was packing her bags to spend a month teaching the former president how to paint.

Flood said she did not quite know what to call him, but she eventually settled on "43," explaining, "That's the way he signed his paintings.

"He has such a passion for painting, it's amazing," she said. "He's going to go down in the history books as a great artist."

  • Jake Miller

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