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Thomas Kinkade - The Cross
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Thomas Kinkade
The Cross

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Thomas Kinkade - The Cross
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Thomas Kinkade - The Cross

      
Thomas Kinkade has been secretly working on a special project for The Billy Graham Library for the last few months. And on April 20th, Thom was in Charlotte, North Carolina to unveil this amazing 32-foot mural of The Cross. He was joined by several long-term members of the Billy Graham team who are anticipated to be on hand for this big day, including Cliff Barrows, George Beverly Shea, Franklin Graham and Dr. Billy Graham himself.

This beautiful mural will be placed complete with a 32-foot stunning frame and its own lighting effects - in a very prominent position as part of the whole Billy Graham experience. We are certainly hoping that this image will provide the over 200,000 people who visit The Billy Graham Library annually with a memorable impression they will remember for many years to come.

The renovated Billy Graham Library, Bookstore and Billy Graham Childhood Home is once again open for visitors. When you are in Charlotte, please take the opportunity to stop by and enjoy the experience and Thom's spectacular mural.

"Sometimes art is born of inspiration and sometimes of destiny. In the case of my epic painting The Cross I felt both.

As part of the redesign of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, I was asked to provide an image for use on a large wall. A very large wall. In fact as I examined the project, I discovered the surface in question was nearly 40 feet wide and almost 20 feet high - truly a moment of destiny for any artist.

To create the oil painting that would be the basis for the final mural, I utilized one of the largest canvases I have ever attempted in my studio. A full 6 feet wide, this canvas would be enlarged to create the final epic sized mural. I conceived the work as an extension of an earlier piece I had created entitled Sunrise. This painting would take that same vision of a rugged cross upon a mountaintop to new levels. The process was thrilling. As I worked it was as if heavenly light began to pour upon the canvas. It seemed that God's inspiration kept renewing me to the task at hand.

A final aspect of the creative process came when Franklin Graham himself suggested a fitting title for the work: The Cross. This simple title reflects the lifelong calling and legacy of his father, the evangelist Billy Graham.

My prayer is that this painting will bring hope to many just as Billy Graham has brought hope to millions through the gospel message." - Thomas Kinkade

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Thomas Kinkade - The Cross
Thomas Kinkade Biographical Photo

Thomas Kinkade Biography


Thomas Kinkade is the Most Renowned Modern Artist

With a worldwide audience, Thomas Kinkade is widely considered to be the most well-known and renowned modern artist of his age. Because art is such a personal endeavor, generating such intense and varying opinions, this fact alone makes Kinkade deserving of a second look. Where exactly did the "Painter of Light" come from? What makes his work so compelling? What parts of the Thomas Kinkade made the man into a master?

Early Years

Like many successful men, Kinkade had a rocky childhood, fraught with adversity. Thomas Kinkade was born in Sacramento, California on January 18, 1958. He spent much of his growing up years, however, in the tiny town of Placerville. At the tender age of four years old, his parents divorced, leaving Thomas with the stigma associated with broken families in the 1960s. Thomas was drawn to art from his very earliest years; his parents' divorce, however, became the catalyst that caused the young man to grab onto this talent as a way to stand out positively with his peers. In a way, art was the shield that Thomas used to protect himself from his home life of poverty and uncertainty. Luckily, his parents did not discourage the young man's endeavors.

Kinkade Makes His Mark

Upon graduating from high school, Thomas Kinkade enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley, followed by his attendance at the Art Center College of Design located in Pasadena, California. During this time, he drew strength from several mentors, both living and dead. Kinkade always admitted a heavy influence from the culturally iconic art of Norman Rockwell. He was also guided along his professional journey by the artist Glenn Wessels, whose advice and influence remained throughout Kinkade's high school and college years.

Thomas Kinkade began his career as a visionary, when shortly after college graduation, he made a cross-country journey with an artist friend. Thomas and James Gurney boarded a train and made a leisurely trip to New York City, sketching the scenery as they traveled. Upon their arrival in New York, Kinkade and his traveling partner approached the publishing home of Kinkade's idol, Normal Rockwell. They plugged their book of sketches, which Waton Guptill agreed to publish in 1982. This not only put the men's names in the public eye, but also landed them jobs with a film company.

On His Own

While working in film was an interesting pursuit, it wasn't what Thomas wanted to do long-term. During the same time period that his sketch book was published, Thomas married his wife Nanette, who not only blessed him with four daughters, but became his business partner and cheerleader as well. After just a few years of married life, they launched Kinkade's private art career in 1984, creating not only the flavor that has made Kinkade famous, but also the business model that has turned his images in to a multi-million-dollar commodity for the couple. Unlike many artists who spurn the commercialization of their art, Kinkade has embraced the opportunity to expose the masses to his work. He not only sells originals for top dollar, but his reproductions can be found at venues ranging from dealers such as World-Wide-Art.com to the greeting card rack at local Walmarts across the nation. There is also a chain of Thomas Kinkade art gallery franchises. In 2006, franchise owners sued Media Arts Group, Inc. for unethical business practices, just one of many incidences of controversy surrounding Kinkade, his art and his business ethics. Still, Thomas Kinkade maintains a large and loyal fan base.

The Painter of Light

While Thomas is certainly a talented artist, he is best known for how this talents translate on a canvas. Thomas Kinkade paints with oils and infuses all his works with a luminescent quality that reaches out and grabs viewers. Instead of getting caught up in the intellectual aspect of art, Kinkade is happy to paint what the people want, much like his childhood influence Norman Rockwell. He also includes personal touches and details that collectors love to look for. In most of his paintings, for example, viewers can hunt for evidence of his wife and children, often included as their initials. Thomas Kinkade's Christian faith is also a widely used theme in the paintings, with some works being based solely upon favorite scriptures or spiritual concepts. Most of the artist's subjects, however, are nostalgic country scenes featuring landscapes, cottages and bridges. Each painting is infused with a light that seems to shine from within the work, making this the signature feature of all of Kinkade's canvasses; he paints to create a feeling in his audience. Some critics, however, feel that Kinkade's nostalgia sometimes glosses over tragedy that may be hidden in scenes of perfection.

Kinkade's Art Supports a Good Cause

Like many successful public figures, Thomas Kinkade uses his notoriety to support causes and organizations in which he believes. His work and business interests actively promote his Christian belief system. He regularly works to raise funds for organizations as varied as the Salvation Army, Make-a-Wish Foundation and Art for Children Charities. His projects with the Salvation Army have been particularly notable, with the donated original works raising significant monies for projects such as 9/11 relief efforts. His charitable efforts were recognized by the Points of Light Foundation in 2005, who named Kinkade their Ambassador of Light. Many individual works of art by Thomas Kinkade have also generated awards, both by charitable and commercial organizations.

World Wide Art is known for its wide selection of limited edition prints by renowned artists, including the luminescent works of Thomas Kinkade. Their expert staff also specializes in custom conservation framing. In business since 1996, World Wide Art, Inc. is located in the San Francisco bay area and is a well-known art shop for both serious collectors and casual decorators. The staff at World-Wide-Art.com not only deals art, but are collectors and artists themselves who consider their work a labor of love and lifestyle of art appreciation.
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