The downside to luxury travel? George Bush shows off his paintings aboard Air Force One


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The Independent Online

It may have felt like a rather long journey for passengers aboard the presidential aircraft Air Force One yesterday. Whilst on route to Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, George W. Bush took the opportunity to showcase his latest works of art (again).

Official White House photographer Pete Souza captured the former US President on camera as he presented photos of his paintings to former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama on his tablet device.

After spending recent years relatively obscured from public view he has since emerged from his retirement with a paintbrush and palette in hand, telling chat show host Jay Leno in November "I am a painter" before presenting him with a portrait.

Click here to see more paintings by George Bush

Mr Bush was vocal about his new found passion whilst chatting to Mr Leno on The Tonight Show last month and said he told an art teacher he hired to help him hone in his painting skills that “ there’s a Rembrandt trapped in this body. Your job is to find it”.  

Mr Bush has also embraced the festive holiday spirit by designing his own Christmas tree ornament, which features a miniature painting of a cardinal on tree branch encased in a metal frame.

"Laura liked the bright red of the cardinal and the greens of the foliage, and chose my painting, for which I am grateful, to become the Christmas card and the ornament," Bush said in a video for the George W. Bush Presidential Centre. The ornament has gone on sale for $29.98.