Portraits of Courage

I have a soft spot for George W Bush’s new book, a monograph of his paintings paying tribute to injured veterans who served the country while he was president. It takes a big man to apologize and an even greater one to linger over a canvas with a wet paint brush while faces of these still recovering former soldiers become etched in his brain forever. What leader has ever done that?

Well, Winston Churchill was an avid painter–and Bush’s role model. But not to this extent. Painting abilities aside, even factoring in the fun he’s having with his creativity, Bush found for himself the best painting instructors he could in Texas and dedicated himself to honing his craft. His subjects come from real life and display a humility. For George W Bush to go for a visual message to deliver his apologies is mind blowing to me.

I wish that we lived in a world where media didn’t get rich from making laughing stocks out of the strong or weak –people who do dumb things even when we hold them up as smarter than ourselves.

I will order George W Bush’s book, Portraits in Courage, not because I ever liked his administration or the way he handled himself in government. But because the opposite is true. What can I say? As one painter to another, as one portrait artist to another, as one whimsically inclined colorist to another, George Bush and I are finally on the same page.

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