After Laura Bush's slap down, George W. Bush advises, 'Don't paint your wife'

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,George W. Bush,Jay Leno,Minusextra,Dallas

Former President George W. Bush is going public with his painting and portraits Friday, and in a "Today" interview with his daughter Jenna Bush Hager provides one big piece of advice to other husbands taking up the hobby in retirement: “Don't paint your wife.”

In the NBC interview, former first lady Laura Bush reveals that she’s no fan of her portrait by W. “Yeah, it still needs some work,” she said.

When asked by Jenna what he learned from that effort, her dad laughed and said, “Yeah. Don’t paint your wife.”

The "Today" interview comes as Bush is unveiling his first art exhibit at his presidential library in Dallas. It is called "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy" and includes portraits of 24 world leaders.

He also discussed the leak of his first self-portraits in the bathroom.

From Today:

JENNA BUSH-HAGER:

Have any of these leaders seen their portraits?

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH:

They have not.

JENNA BUSH-HAGER:

Not one?

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH:

Not one.

JENNA BUSH-HAGER:

What do you think their reactions will be?

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH:

I think they're going to be — "Wow. George Bush is a painter." I mean, I'm sure when they heard that I was painting — and if they had — they're going to say, "Wow. I look forward to seeing a stick figure he painted of me." (LAUGH) But I hope they take it in the spirit in which these were painted in. That was the spirit of friendship. And you know, I admire them as leaders and was willing to give it a shot in terms of getting people to see how I felt about them.

***

Bush on the web release of his paintings by a hacker in 2013:

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH:

I was annoyed. It's an invasion of one's privacy. And yeah, I was annoyed. And nor do I want my paintings to get out. And I found it very interesting the first painting that came out was the one I painted of myself in the bathtub. I did so because I wanted to kind of shock my instructor.

JENNA BUSH-HAGER:

And Mom.

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH:

And Mom. But I also thought, you know, I wanted to learn about painting — water hitting water. And it kind of shows my sense of humor, I think. A little odd it was the first one to get released. … And the truth of the matter is — my paintings are not ready to be released. I mean, I'm still learning. And I don't know if they ever will be or not.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.