(CNN) - Former President George W. Bush has become known for his painting skills, an unexpected hobby the 43rd president has picked up in his post-White House life.
"I relax. I see colors differently. I am, I guess, tapping a part of the brain that, you know, certainly never used when I was a teenager. And I get the satisfaction out of completing a project. And I paint people's pets. And I love to give them their pet as a gift," he told CNN's John King.
As the former president gears up to open the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, his paintings of landscapes and animals have garnered more attention in recent months.
"I readily concede the signature is more valuable than the painting," Bush added.
"Who would have thunk it?" added former first lady Laura Bush. "George was looking for a pastime, actually, when he gave up smoking cigars. So he read Churchill's book, 'Painting as a Pastime' and he's actually very good. He's a very good painter."