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Aspen Trees Oil Paintings - Lori Betz
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Falling Water
Falling Water

Thomas Kinkade was born in January 1958 in California. His parents divorced when he was five, and the mom and kids were quite poor throughout his childhood. He was determined to make a better life for himself, and be able to pay the bills without worrying about money.  He was mentored as a teen by Glenn Wessels. He married his high school sweetheart in 1982, and their children were all named after artists. He likes to hide family initials in his paintings.

When he and his wife decided to open their own mail-order company for artwork, their first piece sold was Dawson, and sell it did. It sold out in no time. This depiction was of a Yukon town in the peak of the gold rush, around 1898. Even this somewhat harsh, bleary landscape had the hints within it of the nickname Kinkade would later claim, “The Painter of Light”.  Many, if not most of his paintings include particular focus on the lighting in the picture.  In depictions of cottages in the woods, for instance, it appears the painter takes extra time to consider the lighting in the picture, and takes pains to accentuate it.

While some of the paintings by Kinkade are simply cottages in the woods, or depictions of cities, there are also paintings with a Christian message.  Some of these are subtle, while some are more overt. One of the subtle ones would be a painting of his entitled “Stairway to Paradise.” While the painting’s title gives the viewer just the hint of the meaning of the painting, looking at just the painting itself, the viewer might not have ever come to that conclusion. It is just a regal staircase in the middle of a garden. The stairs have garlands of flowers attached. There are beautiful gardens in this yard, surrounding the staircase, and an unmistakable glow coming from the top of it.

An example of his more overt Christian messages is seen in his painting titled “The Prince of Peace”,  which is a portrait of Christ, he took advantage of his mind wandering during an art class with an apparently disinterested model, and his fans get to benefit.  This is a rendering of Jesus Christ, eyes downcast, head already wearing the crown of thorns.

In addition to his Christian messages, and many of his other renditions of the woods and cottages, he also has some paintings depicting Disney characters or scenes.  “Snow White Discovers the Cottage” depicts a decidedly Kinkade take on the artwork from the movie.  Although not officially a part of the Disney collection, there is also a painting entitled A New Day at Cinderella Castle.

He is one of the most-collected artists of the time period.  In addition to paintings, his artwork depicts notecards and tapestries, as well as tote bags and music boxes. Nearly anything anyone could imagine with art on it is something one can get with the painter’s work adorning it, and because it is everywhere, there is bound to be an affordable art option if money is an issue.

While the Kinkade art company started out with just himself and his wife, it has now expanded perhaps beyond his wildest dreams.

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