Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thomas Kinkade

Like so many others, I was saddened to learn of the recent passing of Thomas Kinkade. I was surprised at how deeply his passing has affected me. More deeply than I should have imagined it would. But I've found myself thinking about him and his work a lot lately.

I first learned of Thomas Kinkade when I went searching for a wall calendar, quite a number of years ago. From the moment I saw one of his calendars, I fell immediately in love with his work. And have loved it ever since. I've spent a lot of time browsing through his website, getting lost in his light-filled, whimsical world of fantasy. That he was blessed with a god-given talent was obvious.

I should imagine Thomas Kinkade will always be an artist whose work polarizes people - you either love it, or you hate it. I've read some of what the so-called 'art elite' have thought of him and his work over the years, and personally speaking, I don't care for anything they have to say - but far more importantly - clearly, nor did he. Long after the ink on their poison pens has dried and they have been forgotten, his legacy, his gift will live on. And he certainly did possess a gift - he had the undeniable ability to touch people at a soul level with his beautiful imagery. And that certainly isn't something that every artist can claim to do. It was obvious, too, that in more recent years, his personal life was troubled, and perhaps not as wholesome as it might once have been. But none of us are perfect - we all go through our ups and downs. Make choices that we might later regret. Behave in ways we wish we hadn't. Said and done things, that in hindsight, we probably shouldn't have. God knows, I have.

For many years Thomas Kinkade has been someone I have admired and respected not only for the beautiful art he has created, but for his charitable work, for the way in which he has used his gift for the benefit of others, and for the way in which he touched and affected souls.

In February 2010 I let my Flickr membership lapse, which meant that I lost access to most of my posts on that site. I've barely visited it since. But a few days after the passing of Thomas Kinkade I suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to return to Flickr and renew my membership, mostly so that I could revisit this post. To reconnect with my own dream. Somehow along the way, it has become hazy and distant. I needed to be reminded. My last blog post related to a series of vision boards that I created a few weeks before his passing. He was, in part, the inspiration for some of what is on those boards.

"Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them." ~Thomas Kinkade (1958-2012)

Love or hate his work, wherever his journey takes him to next, he has left his mark on the world. My heart goes out to his family and friends. This must be an unimaginably difficult time for them.

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