Archive for September 13, 2011

300th Post….. Artist of the moment… Thomas Kinkade….



well since its a special post being number 300 I thought why not write about America’s most controversial artist and businessman, Thomas Kinkade otherwise known as the “painter of light” Everyone whom is trying to paint objects realistically is a painter of light but I digress.

The artist has a reasonable high skill level but when you go to walmart or target and sees his paintings on greeting cards, puzzles, playing cards, and calenders it kind of makes the idea of owning something somewhat unique and you can understand why some don’t like his level of commercialism. Would you sell prints of your work on the QVC home shopping channel? Tom Kinkade has!

I think its important to learn from all artists to keep improving yourself as a business person and artist. Maybe you can try to get one commercial or print deal just to take the pressure off of getting money from gallery sales. My goal is to get some prints going in a hotel chain. Your work will be seen by all the travelers and when you are starting out its just important to get your name out there!

During college he and a friend went across the country sketching and made a book titled THE ARTIST’S GUIDE TO SKETCHING. They got a deal with a major publishing company and the book was one of their best sellers. Books like this are also bought by public companies like libraries so always keep in mind teaching others thru books as a potential source of income.

Whilst some see him as over collected and highly commercial, he likes to see himself as America’s most collected artist. His artwork has touched so many people that its estimated his work is in 1 out of 20 homes in the U.S.A.

He attended the University California at Berkeley finished in 1976 got married in 1982 and had 4 daughters whom he named after famous artists.All of his girls have the middle name of Chritian as the artist touts himself to be highly spiritual.


After the book was published he worked on the 1983 movie Fire and Ice painting various background scenes. After this he began selling his work in galleries in California.

Another thing to keep in mind is that he saves originals for his girls only selling prints. Also he lets other artists paint on his works, not all the work is his own. It was in 2009 that his work was sold on Walmart greeting cards. He is the only artist to have his works licensed to multiple licensing companies.

Also he has franchisees that sell his works thru the galleries. His company was found liable in one case paying out more 2 million dollars.

Gallery owners say that Kinkade uses Christianity as a hook to lure franchise owners.  Some former gallery owners said defrauding people is bad enough but using god to do it makes it even worse. He started the galleries in 1997. From then until 2005 at peak  350 separate galleries existed. The artist pocketed more than 50 million dollars during that period.

He has been chosen by various companies to do paintings celebrating birthdays or farewells. Disneylands 50th anniversary, Walt Disney Resort 35th birthday, closing of Fenway park, as well as the farewell of Yankee Stadium.

The artist is a leader of the Points of Light foundation. A charity that encourages people to volunteer often and help others.

He has won numerous awards such as graphic artist of the year and Lithograph of the Year 9 times.

Another interesting quote from the artist. There have been million seller cds and books, but never million seller art. I (Thomas Kinkade) was the first to do that. I would argue with that what about Rockwell and the Saturday Evening Post. Surely that had more than 1 million buyers waiting for Rockwells work. I will do a report on Rockwell soon.

For a short time the licensing arm of Kinkades empire was a publicly traded stock company but the company didn’t do well as a publicly traded company and he bought all the shares back and took the company private.

On youtube you can visit the artist’s site and see how he sees himself, but I think its more fun to see how other people see him and also more honest as I believe he paints himself as far better than reality suggests. At the same time he says he is super christian he over indulges on alcohol and makes an ass of  himself many a time in public. Once even groping a womens breast at a gallery opening. Below is a clip showing some pastorale scenes.

Here is a short clip about the movie about the artist titled the Christmas Cottage.

I decided to include one clip from thomaskinkadetv just so you can see the artist working on a sketch. Also please take a few moments to read the comments and you can see why he is so controversial, some say he is great, others say just paints kitsch. Its up to you the collector to decide!

Happy painting and sketching!