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OUR VIEW: Bush deserves praise for his art, not ridicule

We acknowledge that former president George W. Bush's art is not great.

But it's not our aim to poke fun at Mr. Bush's limited artistic ability. Some in the media have jumped on that bandwagon, probably because it's easy. Bush's amateurish style with a paintbrush flows naturally into the long-running narrative about his supposed lack of intelligence, which is a by-product of his many public speaking blunders.

On this issue, though, we think Mr. Bush deserves praise instead of criticism.

If you read our Saturday paper, you may have noticed a Page C1 story that detailed the former president's foray into painting and included photos of his work.

The paintings, as we noted, are not exactly the work of a master, but the story was quite endearing. Mr. Bush is 67 and, like many other baby boomers, is transitioning to the next phase of his life.

"I wanted to make sure the last chapters of my life were full, and painting, it turns out, has helped occupy not only space but opened my mind," Mr. Bush was quoted as saying.

What a great example for everyone facing a new chapter in their life's story. Mr. Bush is showing that it's never too late to learn something new, and that every life can have a second act. He's also displaying great courage in revealing his paintings to the world.

We suspect more than a few people will take inspiration from Bush's example, and for that we applaud him.