George W Bush Has No Excuse For Being A Bad Painter
My first reaction to the leaked paintings of George W. Bush was to cut the guy some slack. So what if C Plus Augustus paints watercolors like a five year old doing his best impression of the Nevermind album art? W had the hardest job in the world for eight years, and while he didn’t try very hard at it, it still seems kinda unfair to mock his fifteen minutes of craft time. Let the doofus paint pretty pictures if he feels like it.
Alas, even here history is unkind to the general manager of the Iraq War, for other state leaders have picked up a brush, during more brutal administrations, and managed not to embarrass themselves. After sitting for a portrait (the one hanging in the Portrait Gallery in DC), Dwight Eisenhower took up the craft and within months was producing paintings. They’re nothing grand, but he had an elementary grasp of the techniques of oil on canvas:
Cezanne it’s not, but hey: that’s not bad.
Even better? Winston Churchill:
100 years behind the times—that looks like a run of the mill mid-nineteenth century landscape, right on the cusp of Impressionism. It’s also better than you can do, and you’re not fighting off Hitler, nor are you drunk (you might be drunk).
Poor W: even at his hobbies he was an underachiever. The boys at Free Beacon want badly to read Bush’s paintings as contra the loose, meaningless degeneracy of the liberal art world; they also think his brushstrokes recall Degas. At this point I’m starting to think the Free Beacon was started as a prank by the loose, meaningless degenerates of the liberal journalism world. When you’re forced to namecheck Degas in the name of conservatism, the entire gig is pretty much up.
Oh, and not that it’s relevant, but Churchill and Eisenhower won their war.