Former president calls painting his life's passion - Dallas News |

Former president calls painting his life's passion

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Former President George W. Bush has found painting as his new passion to fill the void in his life after he left the White House.

In an interview on NBC's "Today" show, Bush told his daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, "I paint a lot because, as you know, I'm a driven person."

The occasion was to highlight his portraits of world leaders, which he displays at his library in Texas. One is of a grim-looking President Vladimir Putin.

"I got to know him very well. It became more intense as time went on," Bush said.

He didn't comment on Russia's annexation of the Crimea Peninsula, but said, "Vladimir is a person who in many ways viewed America as an enemy. I tried, of course, to dispel him of that notion."

The portrait exhibit titled "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy" opens Saturday at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. It runs through June 3.

It explores relationships Bush formed with other world leaders and features more than two dozen never-before-exhibited portraits. Artifacts, photographs and personal reflections will also be displayed.


Online: George W. Bush Presidential Center,

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