Presidential 2nd Acts: From Bush's Painting to Harry Truman's Roadtripping

The paintings are on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas.
ABCNews.com
George W. Bush: 'The Artist'

George W. Bush, the man who has previously drawn artistic inspiration by painting himself in various poses in the bathroom, decided to paint some pictures of his world leader friends.

The 43rd president unveiled his latest masterpieces today, which include an Edvard Munch-like Vladimir Putin and a wistful Angela Merkel.

Check out Bush's paintings of world leaders here.

Bush has said he was inspired to paint by reading Winston Churchill's "Painting as a Pastime," a book written by the sturdy British wartime leader about his hobby.

"You know what the interesting lesson is though, that you can keep learning in life," Bush told ABC News last year of his decision to take up art. "I mean, some guy one time said to me, 'Man, you deserve to rest.' And I don't want to rest. I want to live life to the — I want to follow the example of President 41 [his father] and, you know, sprint into the grave."

READ MORE: George W. Bush Says 'Painting Has Changed My Life'

Mark Updegrove, author of "Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House," and director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, told ABCNews.com he's not surprised that Bush has excelled with a paintbrush.

"He is an enormously disciplined person and when he focuses on something, he really endeavors to do well at the task," Updegrove said.

Click through to find out how a few other former leaders of the free world handled having some spare time on their hands.

READ MORE: George W. Bush Sells Cardinal Painting Christmas Ornament

PHOTO: Harry S. Truman is pictured at the wheel of his 1945 de luxe two-door Ford sedan, a present from Henry Ford in August, 1945.
Keystone/Getty Images
Harry Truman: 'The Roadtripper'

When Truman and his wife, Bess, left the White House in 1953, they returned to their home in Independence, Mo.

The couple took a road trip to New York City that year with the former president behind the wheel.

"They thought they could do so with little fanfare and instead there would be people who came out and greeted Harry and Bess," Updegrove said. "They'd stop into diners and people would flock to them."

PHOTO: Jimmy Carter helps build a house as he visits the construction site of houses being built by Carters Habitat for Humanity foundation for victims of the Jan. 2010 earthquake in Leogane, 33km south of Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Nov. 26, 2012.
Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images
Jimmy Carter: 'The Carpenter'

The former peanut farmer, still sprightly at 89, has found relaxation working with the Carter Center and practicing carpentry.

"He continues to work in his wood shop and use those skills as a carpenter in the week he spends every year on Habitat for Humanity projects," Updegrove said.

Carter's annual Habitat for Humanity Project helped build and repair homes last year in California, Colorado, New York and New Jersey.

PHOTO: George H.W. Bush, bottom center, performs a tandem parachute jump on June 13, 2004 over the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.
U.S. Army/Getty Images
George H. W. Bush: 'The Daredevil'

Aside for having a penchant for wearing funky socks, the former president, 89, has found enjoyment spending time on his boat in Maine and embracing his daredevil spirit.

Bush marked his 75th, 80th and 85th birthdays by leaping from a plane and parachuting to a spot near beach-side home.

In November 2012, he was hospitalized with what his staff said were bronchitis and a chronic cough.

Since the health scare, Updegrove said. the former president "continues to fish a little bit but not as prolifically as he once did."

PHOTO: In this archival photo, Theodore Roosevelt is pictured in 1917.
Brown Brothers/AP Photo
Theodore Roosevelt: 'The Outdoorsman'

After leaving the White House in 1909, Theodore Roosevelt waged an unsuccessful third run for president in 2012 as a member of the Progressive Party.

After losing the election to Woodrow Wilson, Roosevelt, a noted outdoorsman, went on a seven-month expedition to the jungles of Brazil.

During the trip, Roosevelt contracted malaria and suffered a serious infection after his leg was injured in a boating accident, according to the University of Virginia's Miller Center, which specializes in presidential history.

PHOTO: Bill Clinton plays a tee shot on the ninth hole during the Pro-Am at Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship on Feb. 15, 2012 in Bogota, Colombia.
Stan Badz/Getty Images
Bill Clinton: 'The Workaholic'

Since leaving the White House in 2001, Clinton has been busy combating AIDs and economic issues with the Clinton Global Initiative.

The former president is a sought-after speaker and hobnobs with Hollywood stars while occasionally finding time to play a round of golf.

"I think his greatest fulfillment is doing the work of his foundation, which looks a lot like the work of his presidency," Updegrove said.

Many are wondering though whether he former president's next act might be as the "first gentleman" if his wife, Hillary Clinton, decides to run for president in 2016. Stay tuned.

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