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Painters of Light; Thomas Kinkade and the Next Generation of Artists.

Updated on May 1, 2014

Cathedral Mountain Lodge

Painting With Light
Painting With Light | Source

Thomas Kinkade's Timeline (partial)

  • 1980 Prince of Peace
  • 1987 The Great North
  • 1991 The Autumn Gate
  • 1996 Beginning of a Perfect Day
  • 2005 Disney 50th Aniversary
  • 2009 Christmas Chapel
  • 2010 The Cross
  • 2013 Lady and The Tramp
  • 2014 Cathedral Mountain Lodge

The Original Painter of Light

Thomas Kinkade is the most celebrated and collected artist in recent times. For anyone that has seen his work; the impression is near always the same; awe inspiring. His work tends to warm the heart, inspire the mind and add to the atmosphere. His use of light; seems almost fluorescent.

This inspiration comes from one main source. It's the same source that seems to inspire the next generation. Artists like Abraham Hunter and Mark Keathley give you that same feeling. The light doesn't seem to come from hidden electronics. It doesn't come from a battery pack and fiber-optics.

We will attempt to examine a little bit of the inspiration of these 3 quality Artists and look for a common denominator. That single factor that shows their work as related.

Big Name Clients

The work of Thomas Kinkade soon attracted big name clients. The Walt Disney Corporation, The Vatican, and The Billy Graham Association to name a few.

Thomas Kinkade's work was inspired by his Christian Beliefs. He felt inspired and driven by his Christianity. These brave MASTERPIECES in a dilapidated world glowed with the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit. His untimely death no doubt crippling to the art world as well as devastating to the many organizations and charities that he supported.

His first painting in 1980 was called The Price of Peace. It depicted a beautiful portrait of Jesus Christ. One of his greatest paintings he made for The Billy Graham library titled The Cross is depicted below.

The Cross

designed for Billy Graham
designed for Billy Graham | Source

The Death of a Master

Sadly, Thomas Kinkade's personal light was extinguished on April 6th 2012. Rumors about his work, estate, relationships and alcoholism began to surface.

The public in general has such a fascination with the dark nasty side of human life. The public would rather hear of a California Artist that Overdosed on drugs and alcohol; that had a girlfriend and a wife (you get the idea). Too often do we forget what the Artist's message had been.

The fact is that we are all human. No one on this earth is perfect. However, we are all capable of seeing that perfect vision; even if it's for just for a moment. Some rare individuals even manage to capture that vision on canvas.

Evening Mist by Abraham Hunter

Abraham Hunter's Brilliant use of Light
Abraham Hunter's Brilliant use of Light | Source

New Artists Featured at The Thomas Kinkade Gallery

One of the youngest artists of our time is being featured at the Thomas Kinkade Gallery at The Village in Gatlinburg TN. His work has that familiar awe inspiring aura about it. His name is Abraham Hunter.

It's of little wonder that Mr. Hunter states that his chief inspiration is his relationship with Jesus Christ. He also is compelled to share with the world a vision of God's creation from a Utopian point of view.

It's of little wonder that his work has found it's way beside the greats such as Kinkade. One of his latest Evening Mist is depicted below.

The Evening Mist is among my favorite scenes. Being a former Boy Scout and cherishing the work of the late great Norman Rockwell. Rockwell's most important works to be were of scouts with canoe's, saying prayers or saving little girls.

Evening Mist reminds me of an actual camp site with canoe and tent. I'm going to try to talk Abraham out of a copy in the near future to add to my collection.

Abraham Hunter Quotes

"My favorite part of fall time is just sitting by the campfire, enjoying the
animals, listening to the sounds of night falling, and watching the stars come
out. After a long day of fun and adventure in the outdoors, its so refreshing to
pause and soak in the end to a perfect day. For me, it's a special time to just
sit and thank God for His many blessings, and reflect on the amazing gifts He
has given us through His creation. I tried to capture those emotions in this
painting, and share it with you and it has become my new favorite. So come
huddle by the campfire, have a cup of hot cocoa, count the stars, enjoy this
quiet time, and give thanks in your heart for this beautiful evening".

“When someone looks at my paintings, I want them to feel as if they are right
there witnessing first hand what the scene is depicting. I want them to feel the
peace, comfort and joy that I experience when I’m studying the outdoors. I also
want it to be a time for them to reflect on the beauty of God’s many blessings
that seem to go mostly unnoticed in our busy world.”

The Work of Mark Keathley

Another Artist of Light is Mark Keathley. Mark began his career at a very early age. He began drawing at the age of 5; and had drawn about 1000 pictures by the age of 10. His work has that same aura. Many of his scenes are Old West related; which for me, a cowboy right down to my Boots, is among my favorite.

Mark Keathley stated that he was a pastor's kid. He even did some missionary work later in life.

A few of his titles:

  • Country Blessings
  • Evening Prayers
  • Faithful Friend

Mark says that God has been good to him throughout his life. He even stated that he would often get checks in the mail at some of his lowest points for Art sales that he didn't even remember painting.

Evening Prayers by Mark Keathley

similar painting style to Thomas Kinkade
similar painting style to Thomas Kinkade | Source

Mark Keathley Biography

Mark Keathley's Video Biography

This video is a 7 minute look into the life of Mark Keathley; as told by Mark Keathley.

In Conclusion

In conclusion the chief driving factors of these great artists seem to be their spirituality. They all feel inspired or driven by God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. They bring light into a dismal world. A world that is full of violence, bad intentions and sin in general.

How or why they received their divine inspiration is yet to determined. The end result however, is delight to the eyes; inspirational to the soul and light on the heart.

The work of Thomas Kinkade is still available for sale; and new masterpieces will be missed. There are a few new artists who's work and driving force rival that of Kinkade. Thank God there is still some Light at the end of the tunnel.

Painters of Light Poll

Which is your Favorite Artist?

See results

Thomas Kinkade Headquarters

Thomas Kinkade Company:
18635 Sutter Boulevard, Morgan Hill, CA 95037, USA

get directions


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    • profile image

      Moral Man 

      12 months ago

      I love Thomas Kinkade's paintings of cottages and churches. He painted these in the 1990s and they are based on his hometown of Placerville, California. But it seems as if these scenes are before the 1990s. I'm guessing they are from 1900 to the 1950s. I don't think Placerville,California is so pretty looking today. Landscape paintings are my favorites and Kinkade has done some gorgeous Disney paintings.


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