William Thomas Kinkade III was an American painter of popular subjects like realism and idealism. He was also distinguished because of how he uniquely chose to market his products through various print media.
He called himself “Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light,” which eventually became his trademark phrase. It was found that a vast majority of Americans consider his work a must in their respective homes. However, like is the case with a majority of artists getting the love of the masses, William too could not get the cult love. Critics describe his work as overly sentimental and too mundane.
William Thomas Kincade was born on January 19, 1958. He spent his early years in California. He graduated from Berkeley and in 1982 married Nanette Wiley. The couple had four daughters: Merritt who was born on 1988, Chandler who was born in 1991, Winsor who was born in 1995 and Everett who was born in 1997. Before his death in 2012, he and in has wife had been separated for about a year.
Charles Bell and Glenn Wessels were the two prime tutors of Kinkade. Wessels was the one who motivated William to enroll in the University of California at Berkeley. It was the relationship shared by these two that inspired the semi-autobiographical film of 2008 called Christmas Cottage. After acquiring two years of general education at Berkeley, William decided to shift to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
Soon after, accompanied with his friend James Gurney, Kinkade toured United States. Their journey reached its denouement in the location of New York and got himself a contract with Guptill Publications which required him to create a sketching handbook. Years later, this book was called The Artist’s Guide to Sketching. The book becoming a best seller and gained Kinkade much popularity. In fact, it was the success of the book that won him a position at Ralph Bakshi Studios. Over here he created the background art for the 1983 animated feature film Fire and Ice. It happened while working on the film that he began experimenting with various styles. After the film, Kinkade was able to earn himself a living from his paintings.
A main ingredient of the work of Thomas Kinkade’s paintings was the shining highlights. Also, his colorful strokes are his signature move. Placerville, which happens to be his hometown, is where he got much of his inspiration from. One also comes across various Christian themes in his work.
Perhaps, unanimously, the critics expressed their utter disapproval of Kinkade’s work. Some even went as far as to say that he had over commercialized art. Others wrote that his paintings were just merely kitscha and held no substance whatsoever. Humorously, in a 2001 interview, Kinkade said “I am really the most controversial artist in the world.”
Kinkade is considered as one of the most counterfeited artists of his time. This is perhaps so because his art is the sort that looks breathtaking as high resolution photographs.
Kinkade’s works are sold by mail order and showcased in major retail outlets. His work is also used in items like calendars, jigsaw puzzles, greeting cards, and CDs. His creations have even appeared on many of Wal-Mart’s gift cards.
Thomas Kinkade died in his home in California in April 6, 2012. He was 54 year old at the time.