Thomas Kinkade is renowned as “The Painter of Light”. By infusing light into his paintings for a dramatic effect of pictorial lighting, Thomas Kinkade creates incredibly romantic and tranquil scenes that seem to glow from within. This incredible ability combined with Thomas Kinkade’s choice of wholesome themes has made Thomas Kinkade America’s most collected living artist. Thomas Kinkade grew up in Northern California in the small town of Placerville, along the foothills of the Sierra Mountains. Though the family did not have wealth, Kinkade often says they were "rich in the greatest form of wealth; a nurturing and affirming love." It was during these lean years, that Thomas Kinkade embraced the Christian faith that later would shape his approach to life and Thomas Kinkade’s art. The beauty and need of simplicity and life-affirming values entwined themselves deep in Thomas Kinkade and since then can be found running through all of his works.
Thomas Kinkade's first "collector" was his mother, who would frame his
childhood drawings and use them to decorate the family home. In
Placerville, he was a boy with crayons, a kid who could draw. He was
also the local newspaper delivery boy, an avid swimmer and loyal friend.
As a child he constantly read biographies of artists, including those of
painters and illustrators like
Norman Rockwell, Maxwell Parrish and
Howard Pyle. At age 11, he had his first "apprenticeship." Charles Bell,
a local painter, instructed him in basic techniques.
high school, Thomas Kinkade came face to face with twentieth-century
modernism in the person of Glenn Wessels, a former professor in the art
department at the University of California. Wessels encouraged Kinkade
both to tie his art more directly to emotion (rather than observation
alone) and to experiment with highly personal forms of expression. He
also influenced Kinkade's decision to attend the University of
California at Berkley. Kinkade studied art at the University of
California at Berkeley, where his roommate was the now-renowned artist
James Gurney. Gurney, famous for his Dinotopia creations, has
collaborated with Thomas Kinkade, and the two remain close friends.
Kinkade spent a summer on a sketching tour with Gurney producing the
best-selling instructional book, "The Artist's Guide to Sketching".
Kinkade and Gurney set off on an artistic adventure, traveling
coast-to-coast by rail, stopping in small towns and sketching, soaking
up the color and learning about their subjects wherever they happened to