Skip to comments."Painter of Light" Thomas Kincade dies at 54
Posted on 04/07/2012 7:39:53 AM PDT by KansasGirl
(CBS/AP) One of the most successful artists of all time, prolific painter Thomas Kinkade - the self-described "Painter of Light" - died Friday at the age of 54.
A spokesperson for the Kinkade family said the artist died at home in Los Gatos, Calif., apparently of natural causes.
Kinkade's paintings were anything but controversial, depicting scenes of a light-filled America with a heavy emphasis on home, hearth and church. His sentimental scenes of country gardens and pastoral landscapes in dewy morning light were beloved by many but criticized by the art establishment.
The painter once said that he had something in common with Walt Disney and Norman Rockwell: He wanted to make people happy.
Those light-infused renderings are often prominently displayed in buildings, malls, and on products generally depicting tranquil scenes with lush landscaping and streams running nearby. Many contain images from Bible passages.
"I'm a warrior for light," Kinkade, a self-described devout Christian, told the San Jose Mercury News in 2002, a reference to the medieval practice of using light to symbolize the divine. "With whatever talent and resources I have, I'm trying to bring light to penetrate the darkness many people feel."
And he had a large following: Kinkade's paintings and spin-off products were said to fetch some $100 million a year in sales, and to be in 10 million homes in the United States.
Would this be the same "art establishment" that celebrates a crucifix in jars of pee as art? Not surprising they didn't appreciate the beauty in Kincaid's work.
Damn it. Such a shame. I really liked his painting and seemed to be a good person. Not to be crass but if you have a Kinkaid, the price just went up. God Bless him and his family.
This same “Art Establishment” loathed Norman Rockwell, Arthur Friberg, and Maxfield Parrish for the same reason. OR they would smarmily “demote” them from “Artist” to “Illustrator”.
It is as if the person is no longer an Artist if the intent is to celebrate beauty.
RIP, Mr. Kincaid.
Mr. Kincaid will be sorely missed, but we’ve been abundantly blessed by him and his talent, humility, and generous spirit.
The “art establishment” can go pound sand, naturally. From lauding the crucifix in a jar to gushing over a masterpiece they later learned was made by chimps to the eventual discovery of a painting hanging upside down for years in a museum, they’ve somewhat squandered any credibility they may have once had. The “artsy-fartsy” types dumped all over the late, great Norman Rockwell, too, for being a mere “illustrator” and not a true artist. Imagine that. Sounds like a collective case of a sort of, ahem, “envy” to me, but what do I know? I’m neither an art expert nor psychiatrist, of course.
The art world — like every other — is filled jealous, insecure, petty dictators who see “success” as a zero-sum game. Sometimes it seems the most brilliant people have the most shrivelled souls.
Actually, he was an alcoholic, who fell off the wagon a few yrs ago and was accused of spousal abuse. Apparently, he’s a mean drunk. I remember the story back then. I thought his career was over. Guess he made a comeback.
Don’t know if they’re still married.
Go to the light Thomas!
How do you die at home at age 54?
Critics be damned!
that has to be the mother of all ironies, and a really good reason to celebrate it all the more. But beauty is truth, and the truth might not look so pretty sometimes.
Beautiful work by him; I never knew. Thanks for the link, d.
Kincade s/b Kinkade in my previous post..
To many “art experts,” any work containing actual beauty is criticized as being trite and/or sentimental. I’ve never understood why.
Kincade’s plein air paintings of Catalina Island were excellent but his “light” paintings seem to be more Hotel/Motel school of art. Anyway, RIP Thomas.
I’m sorry, I found his work rather kitschy, but I appreciate his values and detail. He’ll be missed for the joy he’s brought to so many people.
I had no idea he was my age....I thought he was much older.
I didn’t hate him by any means even though not my cup of tea and his commercial success was huge ...more than likely anyone of last 25 years.
Bev Doolittle a close second maybe
and that whale painter from Carmel area...that has store too.
Anyhow Godspeed...there is art for everyone.
Critics and art majors often have a very arbitrary distinction between art and illustration.
and history can love an illustrator just the same...Remington, Russell, Rockwell and maybe Kincaid one day...who knows