The AP reports
Artist Thomas Kinkade once said that he had something in common with Walt Disney and Norman Rockwell: He wanted to make people happy.
And he won success with brushwork paintings that focused on idyllic landscapes, cottages and churches — highly popular works that became big sellers for dealers across the United States.
The self-described “Painter of Light,” who died Friday at age 54, produced sentimental scenes of country gardens and pastoral landscapes in dewy morning light that were beloved by many but criticized by the art establishment.
Kinkade died at his home in Los Gatos in the San Francisco Bay Area of what appeared to be natural causes, said family spokesman David Satterfield.
His life was wracked by various difficulties and personal issues but he sure could paint. May he rest in peace.
As NPR reports
Dogged by fraud allegations, his company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June, and it plans to be back in court soon to file a plan of reorganization. But financial challenges aside, Kinkade’s artwork continues to sell. He is, after all, the “Painter of Light” — he came up with the nickname himself.
It’s a shame that the light in his paintings isn’t illuminating his own soul.
Kinkade has said the light that streams through his paintings is the light of Jesus. But some of his gallery owners have accused the artist of using shared Christian values to defraud them. They say he persuaded them to open galleries in areas that couldn’t support them — and then competitively undervalued his own paintings. “It’s very disappointing when an individual expresses a worldview that’s about peace, love, joy, family, and then ends up taking a position that is contradictory,” says Terry Sheppard, a longtime colleague of Kinkade’s. Sheppard testified in lawsuits that several of Kinkade’s gallery owners brought against the artist. The gallery owners won a nearly $3 million judgment and are attempting to collect after the company declared bankruptcy. To add to the artist’s troubles, Kinkade was arrested for a DUI in June; his mug shot has made its way around the Internet.
Scammers in the name of religion can even be found in the art world and not just among ‘archaeologists’ and ‘artifact hunters’.