Obama: Working with artist on a portrait a 'joy'

(Photo from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery)
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WASHINGTON (AP) Former President Barack Obama says that sitting down for his presidential portrait was a frustrating experience.

Speaking at the painting's unveiling ceremony Monday at the National Portrait Gallery, Obama said he normally hates posing, saying he gets impatient and starts "looking at my watch."

But he told the crowd that working with artist Kehinde Wiley was "a great joy."

Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama each had their portraits unveiled at the gallery.

The former president, who personally chose Wiley, said the artist listened carefully to his suggestions and then ignored most of them.

Obama said he asked for less gray hair and was denied. He also says he tried to "negotiate smaller ears and struck out on that as well."