"Painter of Light" – Thomas Kinkade Dead at 54

You have seen his landscape artwork just about everywhere, even as computer desktop “wallpaper”. His paintings of quaint old churches, a scenic view of a lighthouse on the edge of a small coastal town, or a view across a stone bridge of a classic stone cottage. The thing that makes his painting stand out and unique is the unique way the painting depicts light, illuminating even when the painting depicts a rainy day on a scene of an historic town that brings some of us a yearning to return to the days of yesteryear when life was less complicated.
Known as the “Painter of Light”, Thomas Kinkade is known all over the world, his talent found on clock faces, prints, calendars, and even model trains is dead at the young age of 54. 
He passed on at his Los Gatos, California home apparently of natural causes on April 6th, 2012.

His paintings are hanging in an estimated one out of every 20 homes in the United States.
Each year millions of people are drawn to the luminous light and tranquil mood of Kinkade’s paintings and includes his creations in their lives through print books and other fine collectibles.
Kinkade stated on his website:
I try to create paintings that are a window for the imagination. If people look at my work and are reminded of the way things once were or perhaps the way they could be, then I’ve done my job.
Rainy Day Street Scene
It is true. His landscape paintings draws us to the tranquility of a sleepy town somewhere in the countryside of New England, the coastal landscape of Maine, or the Rocky Mountains the way it looked when horse and buggy was the means of transportation. It is a window into the past or a window in a dream of how the world could look without the hustle bustle of the city. And yet, he depicts urban scenes with the same mood, like a quiet morning in a downtown area with trolley cars that are a thing of the past or a Christmas scene in a small town shopping area.
His dedication to art and his talent has paid off, ten years ago, the Kinkade Media Arts Group (Bradford Exchange) taking in $32 million in just one quarter from 4,500 dealers across the country. In the last decade he has gone into painting for private collections. His paintings sell for hundreds of dollars to more than $10,000. His artwork can be seen as prints, mugs, and home décor items with scenes of bridges, churches, cottages, lighthouses, estates with gazebos, and tranquil outdoor scenes.
Kinkade has made over $50 million from his prints and licensed products.
The cause of death is not known at this time, but the family reported that he died of natural causes at his home in Los Gatos, California. An autopsy is scheduled by the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office for Monday, April 9th.
The mayor of Los Gatos, Steve Rice, stated:
The community and the art world have lost quite an individual.
Thomas Kinkade, 2006
The community remembers him on this Passover weekend as a donor of his art for the benefit of the local high school and other educational and police charities. News of his death has caused a flurry of art fans to purchase his work before prices go up.
But there was a dark side to the life of the Painter of Life, who was also a religious Christian. In 2010, Thomas Kinkade was arrested in Carmel, California, the town of actor Clint Eastwood, and spent a night in jail for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol on Friday, June 11th, 2010.
Despite bad publicity and those who have sought to soil his name, his close friends and associates say he was a nice guy and that some people just wanted to trash him because of his success. His artwork needed no sales pitch – the art itself reached out to those who enjoy beauty. Locals and art fans were shocked because of Kinkade’s devoted Christian background, one of his light paintings of Jesus Christ being displayed in Atlanta, Georgia in 2006; as well as his known support for the Bill Graham Foundation, World Vision Charities, The Salvation Army and national spokesperson for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
His recent Disney Dreamscollection are home décor art pieces depicting scenes from Disney’s classic animated films can be found at his website.
Thomas Kinkadehas been a published artist since 1985.
The Door County Peninsula is a well-known art community that attracts visitors from everywhere – even Europe. Those who appreciate the beauty of Thomas Kinkade’s work will miss him.