Thomas Kinkade Biography
Thomas Kinkade was born an artist. He always knew being an artist was his destiny and so it was with this confidence that he decided to spend his very first significant art paycheck on creating his first lithograph with his painting of Dawson. Though at the time he was already an acclaimed illustrator, Thom found that he was inspired not by fame and fortune, but by the simple act of painting straight from the heart, putting on canvas the natural wonders and images that moved him most. It was this dedication and singular-minded focus on the ultimate goal of Sharing the Light™ that made Thomas Kinkade, a simple boy with a brush from the small country town of Placerville, California the most-collected living artist of his time.
Born William Thomas Kinkade on January 19, 1958, Kinkade was known as ‘the kid who draws’ around his hometown. At a young age, Thom apprenticed with notable artist and teacher, Glenn Wessels. A snippet of this relationship is featured in the movie Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas Cottage. He went on to travel with fellow college artist James Gurney, with whom he published a very successful book, An Artist’s Guide to Sketching. This success led the duo to a job with Ralph Bakshi Studios where they created background art for the animation film Fire and Ice. This commission earned him the funds to publish that first painting of Dawson, a gold mining town in Alaska.
Thomas Kinkade graduated from El Dorado High School in 1976, studied at the University of California, Berkley and later, the Pasadena Art Center College of Design.
Throughout his life Thomas Kinkade shared his joy and used his paints in support of hospitals, schools, and humanitarian relief. Though the recipient of countless awards and honors, it was Thom’s profound sense of purpose that his art was not just an accessory, but also a ministry, that continues on as his legacy. From custom images that were sold for The Salvation Army, Hurricane Katrina relief, Rotary International, to donations that now grace the halls of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, the White House, The Vatican, and Britain’s Tate Museum, Thom raised millions of dollars over his lifetime for charity, including over two million dollars for 911 relief efforts.
Thomas Kinkade the artist was also a devout and loving family man. It was this devotion for his family that inspired him to add symbols of his love to his artwork. Numerous paintings contain hidden “N’s” representing Thom’s love for his wife Nanette and many other paintings include the numbers 5282 as tribute to their wedding date May 2, 1982. Thom’s four daughters were also included in his artistic process- after the birth of each of his daughters, Thom painted adoring images in each of their namesake; Evening at Merritt’s Cottage, Chandler’s Cottage, Winsor Manor and Everett’s Cottage.
While Thom was establishing his name and his work as a Romantic Realist, he continued to experiment in a variety of painting styles. In the early 1980’s he was drawn, in particular, to the French Impressionist style of painting with broad brush strokes, broken color and a softer palette. To give himself the freedom to create without judgment, he painted under the brush name of Robert Girrard. For a period of six years, He created 69 paintings under Robert Girrard. It has been said that it was not unusual for Thom to paint under a variety of brush names. This prolific artist was even more prolific than we had realized.
Thomas Kinkade, the Painter of Light™, emphasized simple pleasures and inspirational messages through his art – and the branded products created from that art. From textiles, to collectibles, to music and books, Thom gave credit to a higher power for both the ability and the inspiration to create his paintings. His goal as an artist, who was Christian, was to touch people of all faiths, to bring peace and joy into their lives through the images he had created.
Thom’s dearest wish had always been that his artwork would be a messenger of hope and inspiration to others – a message to slow down, appreciate the little details in life, and to look for beauty in the world around us. As millions of collectors around the world sit back and enjoy his artwork in their homes, there is no doubt that Thomas Kinkade had indeed achieved his goal of Sharing the Light™.
In 2015, the Thomas Kinkade Company was rebranded under new ownership to Art Brand Studios with the plan to continue Thom’s legacy through new releases of unpublished paintings, new releases by studio artists utilizing Thom’s techniques and through the works of Thom’s nephew Zachary Thomas Kinkade.
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STATEMENT OF EDITIONS
The publisher of Thomas Kinkade and Thomas Kinkade Studios art creates only the finest quality Limited Edition art. Every print is carefully crafted to ensure a masterful recreation of the color, brushwork, and lighting of the original artwork. Each image is published in editions, which vary in size, limitation, format, and finishing embellishments to serve the needs of various collectors. Limited Editions are limited either by a predetermined edition size or by a predetermined time period of availability. When restricted by a set edition size, a Limited Edition is considered sold out after all pieces are sold by the publisher. When limited to availability during a specified time period, a time-limited edition is considered sold out at the end of this period. In each case, once the Limited Edition is completely sold out, no more of such Limited Editions will be reproduced by the publisher. Typically, editions are published in both canvas and selected paper editions. With each Limited Edition release, there may be a variety of editions made up one or more of the following. The Publisher may offer other editions not described below and the descriptions below are general – specific indicia, criteria, and embellishment may be added or removed from various editions based on the release date, the image and other factors.
STANDARD NUMBERED (S/N) The Standard Numbered Canvas is individually hand-highlighted and numbered with the designation of S/N in the numbering process.
ARTIST PROOF (A/P) The Artist Proof Canvas is issued in a small edition. Artist Proofs are individually hand-highlighted and are designated with the letters A/P during the numbering process.
GALLERY PROOF (G/P) The Gallery Proof Canvas is individually hand-highlighted and can be distinguished by the unique gold foil Remarque stamped onto the image. Gallery Proofs are designated with letters G/P during the numbering process. PUBLISHER PROOF (P/P) The Publisher Proof Canvas is a very small edition available at the discretion of the Publisher. Hand-highlighted and numbered, they are designated PP during the numbering process.
EXAMINATION PROOF (E/P) The Examination Proof is a special canvas edition offered as an opportunity for collectors to preview select new releases. The canvases are individually hand-highlighted, have the designation of E/P during the numbering process and have a small edition size.
HOMETOWN EDITION (H/E) Hand-highlighted and numbered, each Hometown Edition canvas is designated with letters H/E and includes city and state codes in the print number. The Hometown Edition is a special Limited Edition reserved for distribution to specific regions. The regions are identified by cities.
INTERNATIONAL PROOF (I/P) The International Proof Canvas is reserved for distribution outside of the United States. The International Proof canvases are individually hand-highlighted and feature a gold foil stamp on the front of the canvas. Each is also designated with the letters I/P during the numbering process.
INTERNATIONAL EDITIONS (I/SN, I/AP, I/GP, I/PP, I/EP, I/AN, I/EE, I/RE, I/SP, I/ME) International editions are reserved for distribution outside of the United States and generally are comparable to the corresponding domestic editions.
ATELIER NATIONAL (A/N) Hand-highlighted and numbered, each Atelier National canvas is designated with the letters A/N. Beginning in January 2003, the monumental size was designated as Atelier National.
ESTATE EDITION (E/E) The Estate Edition is an extremely limited edition created with a textured process. It is then finished by a Master Highlighter with additional highlighting and a special hand sketched Remarque is applied to the verso side of the canvas. Each Estate Edition is designated by letter E/E during the numbering process.
RENAISSANCE EDITION (R/E) For images released prior to April 6, 2012, the Renaissance Edition is a reserve edition created with a textured brushstroke process that recreates the artist’s actual brush work. It is finished by a Master Highlighter and a special Remarque is applied to the verso side of the canvas. Upon satisfactory completion, the artist hand signed the front of the canvas and a foil-stamped silver Renaissance Edition seal is applied to the back. Each Renaissance Edition is designated by the letters R/E during the numbering process. For images released after April 6, 2012, the Renaissance Edition is a special reserve edition created with a textured brushstroke process. A Master Highlighter enhances the image with additional highlights and a special Remarque is applied to the verso side of the canvas. Lastly, a foil-stamped silver Renaissance Edition seal is applied to the back of the canvas. Each Renaissance Edition is designed with the letters R/E during the numbering process.
STUDIO PROOF (S/P) For images released prior to April 6, 2012, the Studio Proof is created with a textured brushstroke process that recreates the artist’s actual brush work. It is finished by a Master Highlighter who hand sketches an original and identifying Remarque on the verso side of the canvas. Upon satisfactory completion, the artist applied final highlights himself, and hand signed the front of the canvas in metallic ink. Lastly, a foil stamped gold Studio Proof seal is applied to the verso side. The letters S/P designates each Studio Proof during the numbering process. For images released after April 6, 2012, the Studio Proof is a special reserve edition created with a textured brushstroke process. A Master Highlighter enhances the image with additional highlights and then hand sketches an original and identifying Remarque on the verso side of the canvas. Lastly, a foil-stamped gold Studio Proof seal is applied to the back of the canvas. Each Studio Proof edition is designated with the letters S/P during the numbering process and a metallic authorized signature is applied to the front of the canvas.
MASTER EDITION (M/E) The Master Edition is the ultimate expression of detail, artist involvement, and collectability of any edition issued by the Publisher. Each Master Edition was extensively hand-highlighted by Thomas Kinkade and he hand sketched a highly detailed Remarque on the verso side of the canvas. Enhancing the exclusivity of the Master Edition is the personal touch of the artist’s unique thumbprint and Master Edition Seal located on the back of the canvas. To signify authenticity, the Master Edition was hand-signed in metallic ink by Thomas Kinkade. Each Master Edition is numbered, with the letters M/E during the numbering process.
SERIGRAPH/STANDARD NUMBERED (SE/SN) Serigraphs are a highly respected print making technique in the art world. Unlike photographic reproductions such as giclée, serigraphs actually involve recreating the original artwork by hand. The serigrapher prints each individual color of the original, one color at a time, resulting in an exacting handcreated reproduction. The Standard Numbered Canvas is individually hand-highlighted and numbered with the designation of SE/SN in the numbering process.
SERIGRAPH/ARTIST PROOF (SE/AP) Serigraphs are a highly respected print making technique in the art world. Unlike photographic reproductions such as giclée, serigraphs actually involve recreating the original artwork by hand. The serigrapher prints each individual color of the original, one color at a time, resulting in an exacting handcreated reproduction. The Artist Proof Canvas is individually hand-highlighted and numbered with the designation of SE/AP in the numbering process.
ORIGINALS: The copyright for the original artwork is owned by Thomas Kinkade, the Estate of Thomas Kinkade, the Kinkade Family Trust, Thomas Kinkade Studios, LLC and/or one or more of their assignees and extends to all preparatory studies, sketches, layouts, design work, including character design and architectural design, color schemes, final rendering and brushwork by Thomas Kinkade and/or any apprentices, assistants, designers and graphic artists involved with the creation of the artwork. The original used in printing these Limited Edition prints has been retained for archival purposes.