George W. Bush has transitioned from Commander-in-Chief to Painter-in-Chief, and has a bestselling book to prove it. His new art project, Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors, has recently landed on the New York Times Best Sellers list and includes 66 portraits of U.S. military war veterans, many of whom were injured and the former president has come to know personally.
Each full-color portrait comes with the subject's individual story, which Bush hopes will “draw attention to the challenges some face when they come home and transition to civilian life — and the need for our country to better address them.”
Bush's newfound artistic prowess has surprised many — including his own wife, Laura. “If someone said, ‘One day you will be writing a foreword for a book that includes George’s paintings,’ I would have said, ‘No way,’” admitted Mrs. Bush, who also added that she would've believed he had a better chance of becoming president than be critically praised for his artistry.
The former president's net author proceeds from Portraits of Courage will be donated to his Military Service Initiative, which offers resources to 9/11 veterans and their families in the areas of health and wellness, including post-traumatic stress. Currently, the paintings are being exhibited at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.