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Thomas Kinkade - Biography

Thomas Kinkade Biography

Thomas Kinkade
1958 – 2012

Thomas Kinkade, born on January, 19, 1958, was America's most collected living artist for decades until his untimely passing at the age of 54. Once he was quoted saying that he had something in common with Walt Disney and Norman Rockwell: He wanted to make people happy. His paintings and prints adorn more than ten million homes across the world and many of his devoted fans will remember him for the warmth and joy his paintings brought into their lives.

While growing up in the small town of Placerville, California, the young Thomas Kinkade embraced a series of simple ideals that would later shape his future and his art. As a devout Christian, Thomas used his artistic gift as a way to communicate and spread the life-affirming values he embraced during his formative years.

Beginning in 1976, he attended the University of California, Berkeley, and then the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. As he matured into adulthood, Kinkade began to explore the world around him with enthusiasm and fervor. In 1980 he spent the summer on a sketching tour with a college friend, James Gurney, producing a best-selling instructional book called The Artist's Guide to Sketching. The popularity of the book landed the two fledgling artists a job at Ralph Bakshi Studios, creating background art for the animated feature film, Fire and Ice (1983). Soon Thomas started exploring the nature of light in pictorial space and the creation of imaginative worlds. It was during this period that he acquired his moniker, “The Painter of Light.”

After completing his work on the Bakshi film, Kinkade began his career as a painter, selling his originals in galleries throughout California. In 1982 he married his childhood sweetheart, Nanette, and two years later they began to publish his paintings in the form of graphic works together.

Devoted to his wife and children, Thomas strived to lead a balanced life committed to family values. Thomas creatively filled his paintings with "love notes" by hiding the letter "N" as tribute to his wife Nanette. His four daughters (Merritt, Chandler, Winsor, and Everett) also find their own messages of love from their father as their names and images often appear in many of his paintings.

Thomas called himself a “warrior for light”, using light to represent a divine presence within each of his works – a traditional painting technique stretching back to the middle ages. Through light, Thomas aims to drive away the darkness that many people feel, bringing warmth and happiness into their homes.

Thomas painted for milestone events like Disneyland's 50th Anniversary, Walt Disney World Resort's 35th Anniversary, the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s purchase of Graceland and the 25th anniversary of its opening to the public, the 50th anniversary of Daytona 500, and Yankee Stadium's farewell 85th season. He has been the author or subject of more than 140 books and is a New York Times bestselling author. In 2002, Thomas was also inducted into the California Tourism Hall of Fame for his efforts to highlight the beauty of California. He has raised millions for charity, assisting non-profit organizations focusing on children, humanitarian issues, and the arts. His work with the Salvation Army, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the Church of Nazarene propelled him to win numerous awards for his service and painting. He received awards for Artist of the Year and Graphic Artist of the Year from the National Association of Limited Edition Dealers (NALED). He was also awarded Lithograph of the Year for nine consecutive years. 

 

Thomas Kinkade Biography

Thomas Kinkade
1958 – 2012

Thomas Kinkade, born on January, 19, 1958, was America's most collected living artist for decades until his untimely passing at the age of 54. Once he was quoted saying that he had something in common with Walt Disney and Norman Rockwell: He wanted to make people happy. His paintings and prints adorn more than ten million homes across the world and many of his devoted fans will remember him for the warmth and joy his paintings brought into their lives.

While growing up in the small town of Placerville, California, the young Thomas Kinkade embraced a series of simple ideals that would later shape his future and his art. As a devout Christian, Thomas used his artistic gift as a way to communicate and spread the life-affirming values he embraced during his formative years.

Beginning in 1976, he attended the University of California, Berkeley, and then the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. As he matured into adulthood, Kinkade began to explore the world around him with enthusiasm and fervor. In 1980 he spent the summer on a sketching tour with a college friend, James Gurney, producing a best-selling instructional book called The Artist's Guide to Sketching. The popularity of the book landed the two fledgling artists a job at Ralph Bakshi Studios, creating background art for the animated feature film, Fire and Ice (1983). Soon Thomas started exploring the nature of light in pictorial space and the creation of imaginative worlds. It was during this period that he acquired his moniker, “The Painter of Light.”

After completing his work on the Bakshi film, Kinkade began his career as a painter, selling his originals in galleries throughout California. In 1982 he married his childhood sweetheart, Nanette, and two years later they began to publish his paintings in the form of graphic works together.

Devoted to his wife and children, Thomas strived to lead a balanced life committed to family values. Thomas creatively filled his paintings with "love notes" by hiding the letter "N" as tribute to his wife Nanette. His four daughters (Merritt, Chandler, Winsor, and Everett) also find their own messages of love from their father as their names and images often appear in many of his paintings.

Thomas called himself a “warrior for light”, using light to represent a divine presence within each of his works – a traditional painting technique stretching back to the middle ages. Through light, Thomas aims to drive away the darkness that many people feel, bringing warmth and happiness into their homes.

Thomas painted for milestone events like Disneyland's 50th Anniversary, Walt Disney World Resort's 35th Anniversary, the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s purchase of Graceland and the 25th anniversary of its opening to the public, the 50th anniversary of Daytona 500, and Yankee Stadium's farewell 85th season. He has been the author or subject of more than 140 books and is a New York Times bestselling author. In 2002, Thomas was also inducted into the California Tourism Hall of Fame for his efforts to highlight the beauty of California. He has raised millions for charity, assisting non-profit organizations focusing on children, humanitarian issues, and the arts. His work with the Salvation Army, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the Church of Nazarene propelled him to win numerous awards for his service and painting. He received awards for Artist of the Year and Graphic Artist of the Year from the National Association of Limited Edition Dealers (NALED). He was also awarded Lithograph of the Year for nine consecutive years. 

 

Thomas Kinkade speaks at Park West's 40th anniversary celebration
Park West Gallery’s 40th Anniversary Celebration Features Thomas Kinkade

“The team at Park West has been responsible for creating a lot of joy, a lot of inspiration and a lot of beauty in a world that so often focuses on the ugliness of life…and they’ve celebrated the good things in life, and that’s a worthwhile thing to do…”

 - Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light
Park West Gallery 40th Anniversary Celebration
 
 
During the summer of 2008 Thomas Kinkade attended the Park West Gallery 40th Anniversary Celebration and gave an inspirational address to the collectors and staff in attendance. During his speech he talked about his shared mission with the Park West team to bring beauty and inspiration to art collectors throughout the world.
 
Having spent time in the movie business, Kinkade values the permanent nature of the visual arts. It is not limited by the element of time—art provides enduring enjoyment. Art holds a special place in our culture, as it becomes part of our lives and of our homes. When someone collects a work of art, it becomes part of their environment, part of the identity of the family, and is often handed down from generation to generation. It is this characteristic that gives Thomas Kinkade the greatest sense of satisfaction.
 
Art is also infused into human culture, giving it a special permanence. Long before mankind could communicate via the written word art was used to communicate and to document events. Today, one can visit a display of art from ancient Egypt and still see the visual images created by artisans. It is a thread that transcends culture, even transcends time. It is a fundamental characteristic woven through humanity and throughout history.

“The team at Park West has been responsible for creating a lot of joy, a lot of inspiration and a lot of beauty in a world that so often focuses on the ugliness of life…and they’ve celebrated the good things in life, and that’s a worthwhile thing to do…”

 - Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light
Park West Gallery 40th Anniversary Celebration
 
 
During the summer of 2008 Thomas Kinkade attended the Park West Gallery 40th Anniversary Celebration and gave an inspirational address to the collectors and staff in attendance. During his speech he talked about his shared mission with the Park West team to bring beauty and inspiration to art collectors throughout the world.
 
Having spent time in the movie business, Kinkade values the permanent nature of the visual arts. It is not limited by the element of time—art provides enduring enjoyment. Art holds a special place in our culture, as it becomes part of our lives and of our homes. When someone collects a work of art, it becomes part of their environment, part of the identity of the family, and is often handed down from generation to generation. It is this characteristic that gives Thomas Kinkade the greatest sense of satisfaction.
 
Art is also infused into human culture, giving it a special permanence. Long before mankind could communicate via the written word art was used to communicate and to document events. Today, one can visit a display of art from ancient Egypt and still see the visual images created by artisans. It is a thread that transcends culture, even transcends time. It is a fundamental characteristic woven through humanity and throughout history.
About Park West Gallery

 

Since 1969, Park West Gallery has created a thriving community of art lovers and collectors around the globe.  Our mission has always been to spread an awareness and appreciation of fine art through education, inspiration, and live art auctions.  For more than 20 years, that goal has been advanced through an extensive cruise ship art program that has brought fine art into the lives of more than 1.9 million satisfied clients.  Art has been around for thousands of years, but throughout history, art has almost always been reserved for the very elite levels of society. Royalty commissioned portraits of themselves, pharaohs built monumental pyramids in their own honor, and the idea of a common man collecting art was all but unheard of. Park West Gallery continues to work on making art a universal element of the human experience, not kept only for the elite.  By bringing artwork to thousands of people each week, the company opens up a new artistic portal where anyone is granted admission.  Park West believes in this mission so strongly it dedicates resources and donations to causes such as Turnaround Arts, as reported in a post by T Brand Studios in the New York Times.

Park West Gallery is following a proud tradition of art dealers such as Louis Broder and Ambrose Vollard, the names responsible for some of the greatest commissioned artwork in history. By supporting and collaborating with artists such as Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Renoir, and Marc Chagall, these art dealers helped spur on some of the most important artistic achievements of the 20th century.  The collection includes many works by those same master artists, offering rare opportunities to experience the genius of their work.  Along with an extensive, archived collection, Park West Gallery also searches the world for new artists, and offers an environment for them to grow and develop to their full potential. Lastly, Park West Gallery has formed strong relationships with some of the greatest living artists still working and producing today, which rounds out the impressive variety that Park West Gallery offers.

Park West Galleries hold thousands of cruise ship auctions every year, along with many land-based art events across North America.  Along with auctions, the art programs consist of in-depth seminars, private exhibitions of new artists, unveilings of great masterworks and other enrichment events.  This variety in the program insures that people can involve themselves in the program in many different ways. For that exact reason, Park West Gallery attracts people from all levels of collecting, including people with a basic appreciation of art, first-time collectors, and art aficionados who have been developing their collections for decades. 

The Park West Gallery Collection includes oil and acrylic paintings, watercolors, serigraphs, etchings, woodcuts, sculptures, rare sports memorabilia and vintage production cells.  This vast array of work is what makes the collection so attractive to all different tastes and budgets.  Every person’s preference in art is different, and Park West Gallery encourages its clients to explore the entire collection and experience all mediums and styles.

Park West Gallery maintains a 63,000 square foot gallery in Michigan and a 181,000 square foot fulfillment center and gallery in Florida.  For more than 45 years, Park West Gallery has been bringing art to people in a fun, informative, and inspiring way, while developing a new generation of artistic expression and appreciation.  

In the Park West Gallery collection you will find works by dozens of artists. Explore our extensive collection by clicking the links below.

 
 

Park West Gallery Fanch Ledan art collection
Park West Gallery Itzchak Tarkay art collection
Park West Gallery Linda LeKinff art collection
Park West Gallery Anatole Krasnyansky art collection
Park West Gallery Alfred Gockel art collection
Park West Gallery Arkady Ostritsky art collection
Park West Gallery Andrew Bone art collection
Park West Gallery Charles Lee art collection

 

Park West Gallery Csaba Markus art collection
Park West Gallery Emile Bellet art collection
Park West Gallery Jean-Claude Picot art collection
Park West Gallery Marcus Glenn art collection
Park West Gallery Peter Nixon art collection
Park West Gallery Tomasz Rut art collection
Park West Gallery Scott Jacobs art collection

 

 

 

Since 1969, Park West Gallery has created a thriving community of art lovers and collectors around the globe.  Our mission has always been to spread an awareness and appreciation of fine art through education, inspiration, and live art auctions.  For more than 20 years, that goal has been advanced through an extensive cruise ship art program that has brought fine art into the lives of more than 1.9 million satisfied clients.  Art has been around for thousands of years, but throughout history, art has almost always been reserved for the very elite levels of society. Royalty commissioned portraits of themselves, pharaohs built monumental pyramids in their own honor, and the idea of a common man collecting art was all but unheard of. Park West Gallery continues to work on making art a universal element of the human experience, not kept only for the elite.  By bringing artwork to thousands of people each week, the company opens up a new artistic portal where anyone is granted admission.  Park West believes in this mission so strongly it dedicates resources and donations to causes such as Turnaround Arts, as reported in a post by T Brand Studios in the New York Times.

Park West Gallery is following a proud tradition of art dealers such as Louis Broder and Ambrose Vollard, the names responsible for some of the greatest commissioned artwork in history. By supporting and collaborating with artists such as Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Renoir, and Marc Chagall, these art dealers helped spur on some of the most important artistic achievements of the 20th century.  The collection includes many works by those same master artists, offering rare opportunities to experience the genius of their work.  Along with an extensive, archived collection, Park West Gallery also searches the world for new artists, and offers an environment for them to grow and develop to their full potential. Lastly, Park West Gallery has formed strong relationships with some of the greatest living artists still working and producing today, which rounds out the impressive variety that Park West Gallery offers.

Park West Galleries hold thousands of cruise ship auctions every year, along with many land-based art events across North America.  Along with auctions, the art programs consist of in-depth seminars, private exhibitions of new artists, unveilings of great masterworks and other enrichment events.  This variety in the program insures that people can involve themselves in the program in many different ways. For that exact reason, Park West Gallery attracts people from all levels of collecting, including people with a basic appreciation of art, first-time collectors, and art aficionados who have been developing their collections for decades. 

The Park West Gallery Collection includes oil and acrylic paintings, watercolors, serigraphs, etchings, woodcuts, sculptures, rare sports memorabilia and vintage production cells.  This vast array of work is what makes the collection so attractive to all different tastes and budgets.  Every person’s preference in art is different, and Park West Gallery encourages its clients to explore the entire collection and experience all mediums and styles.

Park West Gallery maintains a 63,000 square foot gallery in Michigan and a 181,000 square foot fulfillment center and gallery in Florida.  For more than 45 years, Park West Gallery has been bringing art to people in a fun, informative, and inspiring way, while developing a new generation of artistic expression and appreciation.  

In the Park West Gallery collection you will find works by dozens of artists. Explore our extensive collection by clicking the links below.

 
 

Park West Gallery Fanch Ledan art collection
Park West Gallery Itzchak Tarkay art collection
Park West Gallery Linda LeKinff art collection
Park West Gallery Anatole Krasnyansky art collection
Park West Gallery Alfred Gockel art collection
Park West Gallery Arkady Ostritsky art collection
Park West Gallery Andrew Bone art collection
Park West Gallery Charles Lee art collection

 

Park West Gallery Csaba Markus art collection
Park West Gallery Emile Bellet art collection
Park West Gallery Jean-Claude Picot art collection
Park West Gallery Marcus Glenn art collection
Park West Gallery Peter Nixon art collection
Park West Gallery Tomasz Rut art collection
Park West Gallery Scott Jacobs art collection

 

 

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