A United States president has a lot of responsibility. From the time when he (and, perhaps in the future, she) is sworn into office, he steps into supreme command over the country’s military; he has the power to sign bills into laws; and he becomes the chief diplomat, a national representative to whom the leaders of other countries look. Needless to say, the president is a busy person. But throughout history, presidents have found time to exercise their artistic talents while in office and at terms end.
In fact, some presidents turned to painting as a release from the stress of a high pressure job. After all, art has been known to relieve tension and serve as an escape from life pressures. According to the American Art Therapy Association, “Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others cope with symptoms, stress and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.”
According to an article on MentalFloss.com, four presidents were notable painters.
George W. Bush –
Most recently, the world has experienced the 43rd president as he took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, published a book about his father (41st president George H.W. Bush), and enthusiastically showcased his paintings of dogs. His late Scottish terrier isn’t the only subject of the former president’s artwork. In April 2014 a Dallas exhibit showcased over two dozen paintings of fellow world leaders.
Jimmy Carter –
It is no surprise that artwork adorned with the signature of President Jimmy Carter has fetched hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction. Even though he started painting post-presidency, he has become a skillful painter in his own right. Proceeds from his one-of-a-kind nature scenes or portrayals of wildlife mostly go to charitable causes.
Dwight D. Eisenhower –
It has been said that Dwight D. Eisenhower was prescribed painting as a cure to the stress of being Chief of Staff of the Army. At that time, Winston Churchill, who enjoyed the many benefits of painting, seemed to inspire the future president’s pursuit of the practice. In his lifetime, Eisenhower completed over 250 paintings but even he recognized the monetary value of his art depended on his presidential fame.
Ulysses S. Grant –
On this list, Ulysses S. Grant is probably the only man who entered the presidency knowing he had innate artistic talent. In fact, it was said that Grant painted with watercolor while attending West Point Academy and was proud every time he completed an artistic project. Many of Grant’s detailed paintings are housed in private collections today.
Every president wears multiple hats while in office, but only a few can be called “artists-in-chiefs.”
United States Presidents have been known to relieve stress by painting. Now you can do the same. Explore the art of peaceful imaging; Segmation offers digital paint-by-number software and patterns of the USA’s most memorable presidents. SegPlay is also available in the Apple App Store.
Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:
Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)