grew up in Northern California in the small town of Placerville. Though the family did not have wealth, Kinkade often says they were "rich in the greatest form of wealth; a nurturing and affirming love." His first "collector" was his mother, who would frame his childhood drawings and use them to decorate the family home.
Kinkade is America's most collected living artist, a painter-communicator whose tranquil, light-infused paintings bring hope and joy to millions each year. Each painting that Thomas Kinkade creates is a quiet messenger in the home, affirming the basic values of family, faith in God, and the luminous beauty of nature.
is a devout Christian and credits the Lord for both the ability and the inspiration to create his paintings. His goal as an artist is to touch people of all faiths, to bring peace and joy into their lives through the images he creates. The letters he receives every day testify to the fact that he is achieving this goal.
A devoted husband and doting father to their four little girls, Thomas Kinkade hides the letter "N" in his paintings to pay tribute to his wife, Nanette. The girls also find their names in many of his paintings.
is renowned for infusing light into his paintings, creating romantic and tranquil scenes. Known as "the Painter of Light," Kinkade has an almost uncanny ability to recreate dramatic effects of pictorial lighting in a way that makes the image seem to glow from within. This famous "Kinkade glow" might help explain Kinkade's popularity as a published artist. The creations of Thomas Kinkade have become a phenomenon unprecedented in recent times, with countless millions of "Kinkade Collectors" worldwide.
has received numerous awards for his works, including the 1995 Lithograph of the Year Award and 1995 Artist of the Year from the National Association of Limited Edition Dealers (NALED) and the 1994 Collector Editions Award of Excellence. NALED has named him as Graphic Artist of the Year six times and his works have been named Graphic Art Print of the Year eight times. Kinkade has also won the Collectors Editions Award of Excellence and was a charter inductee to the Bradford Exchange's Plate Artist Hall of Fame.
was honored, along with idol Norman Rockwell, as a charter inductee into The Bradford Internation Hall of Fame for plate artists. He is regularly featured in well-known magazines and as a guest on popular TV network shows and radio talk shows throughout the country. Further, his paintings have been the subject of two major art books, Thomas Kinkade: Painter of Light
(Lightpost Publishing 1993) and Thomas Kinkade: Paintings of Radiant Light
(Abbeville Press 1995). Another book, Simpler Times
, shares the artist's inspiring philosophy of a life based on family, home and faith in God. This philosophy undergirds all of Kinkade's art.