Thomas Kinkade-The Painter of Light
Thomas Kinkade passed away April 6, 2012 at the age of 54.
It's difficult to remember just how long ago it was, but it's been a number of years ago now, that I stumbled upon an art gallery in Salado, Texas. It was a Thomas Kinkade gallery.
At the time, I had never heard of Thomas Kinkade. I found the shop to be cheery and quaint and the staff very friendly. The paintings were beautiful and the details pointed out to us by the staff made them even more special. It was an impression that would stay with me for years to come.
Over the years, I've come to appreciate that brief introduction to Thomas Kinkade's work even more as he has become more and more popular.
Obviously, by now, there probably isn't a person in American that has heard of, or at least seen artwork by, Thomas Kinkade. I thought it would be fun to learn a little bit more about the man behind the beautiful paintings.
Great Links and Resources
Thomas Kinkade Quick Facts
- Born January 19, 1958 in Sacramento, California and grew up in Placerville, California
- American painter known as "The Painter of Light" because of the glowing highlights featured in his paintings
- All four of his children are named after famous painters and all have "Christian" as their middle name
- Every painting by Kinkade has the letter "N" painted in it, sometimes as a monogram, but sometimes just merely hidden. The "N" is a tribute to his wife , Nanette. Many paintings also include the names and images of his children.
- In 2009, he painted a portrait of the Indianapolis Speedway for the cover of the Indianapolis 500's race program. In the details of the faces, he included a likeness of Norman Rockwell and Dale Earnhardt.
- Kinkade's paintings and prints are sold by mail order and select dedicated retail outlets. Some prints have been touched up to mimic the 3d features of his actual paintings.
- Licensing with Hallmark and others enables him to market calendars, puzzles, cards, etc. with prints of his artwork on them.
- He has authored or been the subject of over 120 books
- It is reported that he earned $53 million from 1997-2005
- Kinkade was asked to create paintings to commemorate Disneyland's 50th Anniversary, Walt Disney World Resort's 35th Anniversary, Elvis Presley's purchase of Graceland 50 years ago and the 25th anniversary of its opening to the public, the 50thDaytona 500, and Yankee Stadium's farewell 85th season in 2008. Kinkade also paid tribute to Fenway Park.
- He created two charity prints for the Salvation Army. One is called "The Season of Giving" and the other is "The Light of Freedom". The proceeds (more than $2 million) were donated to the Salvation Army for their relief efforts at Ground Zero and to aid the victims of 9/11.
- He has been the National Spokesman for the Make-a-Wish Foundation and he raised over $750,000 and granted 12 wishes for children with terminal medical conditions.
- There have been allegations of strange conduct, some that he's denied and some that he's apologized for. If you'd like to read about it, check it out at Wikipedia under "Personal Conduct".
- Some of his many awards include multiple National Association of Limited Edition Dealers awards for Artist of the Year and Graphic Artist of the Year, and his art has been named Lithograph of the Year nine times. He was inducted into the California Tourism Hall of Fame. He was selected to commemorate the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games and the 2002 World Series. He was also honored with the 2002 World Children's Center Humanitarian Award.