December 2, 2013

Artwork by former President George W. Bush can grace anyone’s Christmas tree

The Christmas ornament that features a painting by the former president is in demand.

His artwork may never be displayed at a museum.

But anyone in the world can show off a piece of artwork created by former President George W. Bush — on their Christmas tree.

Bush, who has taken up painting since leaving his White House days behind, impressed his wife this year with his rendering of a bright red cardinal sitting on a branch.

Former first lady Laura Bush said Monday that she enjoyed her husband’s piece of art so much she decided to choose that image for the family Christmas card — and the 2013 Bush Center Christmas ornament.

“We thought it would be nice to use one of George’s paintings for the Christmas card,” she said. “When he painted the cardinal for a friend (former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Warren Tichenor), I thought that would be the perfect one.

“The colors — the beautiful, vivid red for the cardinal and the green foliage behind it,” she said. “It was a perfect Christmas card ... (and) ornament.”

Bush said in a YouTube video that he appreciates his wife’s faith in his artistic abilities.

“I’m flattered,” he said on the video. “I hope my painting meets expectations.”

The three dimensional metal ornament, which sells for $29.98, is among the presidential center items available online. Sales of the decoration went through the roof after Bush’s daughter, Jenna, mentioned it while co-hosting NBC’s “Today Show.”

The Bush Center Store website notes that this limited edition commemorative ornament is on back order. Any orders placed after Nov. 25 are not guaranteed to make it to the homes of buyers by the holiday.

It is, however, still available in the gift shop at the center.

So are other items, including coffee table books, commemorative DVDs and coins, leather journals, Western White House silk scarves and George W. Bush Presidential Center Timex watches.

Laura Bush noted that Jenna — despite mentioning the ornament on TV — has yet to get her hands on one.

“And she has already decorated her tree,” Laura Bush said.

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