We all know George W. Bush likes to paint. In early February, a pseudonymous hacker named Guccifer published photos of Bush's paintings — including two self-portraits — and they kept coming, and even the art critics kind of liked them. And then the Bush reunion tour around the dedication of his library this week forced the 43rd president to speak out about his hobby: "People are surprised," he told the Dallas Morning News. "Of course, some people are surprised I can even read." On Tuesday Bush told Diane Sawyer that "painting has changed my life in an unbelievably positive way." And then came Friday, when his wife revealed a totally new perspective on Bush's post-presidential life: He learned to draw and paint an an iPad app. (Our guess is Brushes, the same app used by Jorge Colombo for his series of New Yorker covers.) Long portrayed as technologically aloof in a proto-iPhone presidency, Bush now appears to be fully in thrall to consumer technology, leveraging the iPad not to check email but to ... express himself. Sure, his art might have leaked in the first place because he was still using an AOL email account, but Bush provides unlikely — if inconclusive — proof for all of those well-lit Apple commercials about using an iPad to, say, compose a full-length instrumental song.
Drawing was not Bush's first pursuit on the iPad. His wife told Yahoo News in 2010 that, besides reading The Wall Street Journal, her husband "constantly" played Scrabble on the device, often to the point of distraction. Nor is the iPad a foreign entity among figures of Bush's stature. In October 2012 Vanity Fair noted that President Obama used his iPad to read newspapers, and a Politico eBook that appeared in the same month reported that Obama became attached at the hip to his iPad during the 2012 presidential campaign, using it to stay apprised of negative stories about the Obama campaign. Obama, a BlackBerry holdout, even liked showing it off: