Jenna Bush Hager reveals portraits her father George W. Bush painted of her one-year-old son Hal
Jenna Bush Hager has revealed that her father, former President George W. Bush, painted portraits of her one-year-old son Hal while proudly showing off the artwork.
The 39-year-old Today host took to Instagram ahead of the weekend to share two of the heartwarming portraits that her dad gave her over the holidays.
‘My favorite Christmas gift. My Hal painted by his Dirigente,’ Jenna captioned the images. ‘@georgewbush Love how you see our precious boy. These bring me joy.’
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Precious: Jenna Bush Hager has revealed the portraits her father, George W. Bush, painted of her one-year-old son Hal
Resemblance: The former president perfectly captured his only grandson’s likeness in the paintings, which he signed 43
The first painting shows a shaggy-haired Hal giving a toothy grin, while the second is a bit more serious.
‘What a talented artist your father is,’ one fan commented, while another added: ‘What a special gift!!!! This is so touching and beautiful.’
Jenna opened up about the special gift on the Today show on Monday morning, admitting there was some confusion about the paintings.
‘Some people on social media thought Hal had done the portraits,’ she told her co-host Hoda Kotb while laughing. ‘I think they’re really beautiful, and they totally get him.’
Thoughtful: While the first painting shows Hal giving a toothy grin, the second is more serious
All together: Jenna also has daughters Mila, seven, and Poppy, five, with her husband Henry Hager. She and her family are pictured with her parents after Hal’s birth
‘By the way, it’s not that easy to paint a baby, I can just say that,’ she added. ‘I sent him pictures, and he painted those. You can’t have a baby sit for a portrait.’
Jenna said it was her favorite Christmas gift this year, and she already knows exactly where she is going to hang them.
‘I’m going to frame it and put it in [Hal’s] room so that he knows how his grandpa sees him,’ she said. ‘To me, those just represent love.’
Hal, who celebrated his first birthday in August, has only gotten to see his materno grandparents a few times in his life due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the little boy is clearly always on their minds.
Looking back: The Bushes have only seen their grandson a few times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re pictured with they’re grandchildren over the summer
Heartwarming: Jenna said she sent her father recent pictures of Hal so he could paint the little boy’s portrait
Bush, who signs his artwork 43, has become a dedicated portrait painter since leaving the White House in 2009, but Jenna admitted that she is still a bit surprised by her father’s artistic pursuits.
‘It’s so interesting that my dad is a painter because he hated art when we were little,’ she said, noting her mother, Laura Bush, was the opposite.
‘My mom would take us by herself to go see Frida Kahlo exhibits in San Antonio or whatever, and my dad would be like, “I’m not going,”‘ she recalled. ‘It shows you that really you can always find a new passion.’
‘He painted me, actually,’ she said, making a face. ‘There was a lot of texture on the face, which made me worried about something, like I need more sunscreen.’
Wonderful: Jenna opened up about the special gift on the Today show on Monday morning while sharing her plans to frame the paintings and hang them in Hal’s bedroom
Inspired by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who also painted religiously, Bush told friends and family that he found painting cathartic and hoped to inspire others to explore new interests.
As his interest in the medium intensified, he hired an art teacher to help him finesse his technique, famously telling her he wanted to discover his ‘inner Rembrandt.’
His artistic pursuits were first thrust into the public eye in 2013 when an email account belonging to his sister, Dorothy Bush Koch, was hacked and several images of his work were leaked.
Ever since, Bush has relished making his paintings available for public consumption.
Next up: Bush will be releasing his second book of paintings, Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants, on March 2
Hobby: Bush has become a dedicated portrait painter since leaving the White House in 2009. He was inspired by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who also painted religiously
Passion: As his interest in the medium intensified, he hired an art teacher to help him finesse his technique, famously telling her he wanted to discover his ‘inner Rembrandt’
In 2017, he published his first book of portraits, Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors, which featured a collection of oil paintings of American military veterans.
Bush announced over the summer that he is publishing a second book of portraits that he’s painted to honor 43 US immigrants.
Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants is slated to be released on March 2, with the featured paintings also set to be displayed in an exhibit at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.
‘Through powerful four-color portraits — personally painted by the President himself— and their accompanying stories, Out of Many, One reminds us of the countless ways in which America has been strengthened by the individuals who have come here in search of a better life,’ Crown, the book’s publisher, said in a statement.
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