Thomas Kinkade (1958-2012). Known as the “Painter of Light” he is one of America’s most collectible artists. He grew up in a small town in California. That helped a young Kinkade appreciate the value of simple pleasures that would later be so prevalent in his artwork. During his formative years, Kinkade also developed a love of art that followed him throughout his schooling. After attending both the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and the University of California, Berkeley , Kinkade spent a summer going on a sketching tour with his friendthat inspired him to write the best-selling instructional book, “The Artist’s Guide to Sketching.” The success of this book helped Kinkade land a job at Ralph Bakshi Studios, where he created background art for the film “Fire and Ice.” After the film, Kinkade was able to dedicate his life to painting and perfecting his craft, and earned a living by selling his originals in galleries in California. Only after marrying his childhood sweetheart did Kinkade begin to publish his work.
Using his creative talent as an ambassador, Kinkade communicated and spread inherently life-affirming values through his work. In his paintings, Kinkade emphasized simple pleasures and inspirational messages. He reminded us that the heart is warmed by love of the home, the traditions of the family, and our connection to the land. When talking about his craft and his nickname as “the Painter of Light,” Kinkade said that his “mission as an artist is to create glimpses of a world that is tranquil, peaceful, and full of the beauty of God’s creation. That’s what I mean when I talk about Sharing the Light.”