Gallery director Tina Grimes (r.) talks about artwork with customer Jennifer Foster at the Thomas Kinkade Art Gallery at a furniture store in Plano, Texas. Thomas Kinkade's artwork is a hit with Christian collectors because of it's faith-based content but art critics say no serious art collector would want the works. Newscom/File
Artist Thomas Kinkade pauses from working on a painting commemorating the 50th running of the Daytona 500 from the fan zone at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, on February 17, 2008. Kinkade said that he has never painted NASCAR before and that this was history for him. Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/MCT/Newscom/File
Thomas Kinkade's 'Indy Excitement, 100 Years of Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway' is seen in this 2009 photo. The Thomas Kinkade Company/PRNewsFoto/Newscom/File
Thomas Kinkade addresses a capacity audience of about 1,200 people at the First Assembly of God in Manteca, Calif on June 4. Zuma/Newscom
The painting 'Christmas in New York' by Thomas Kinkade is seen in this 2008 photo. The Thomas Kinkade Company/PRNewsFoto/Newscom/File
Thomas Kinkade is seen at the Thomas Kinkade company's video/film studio in Morgan Hill, Calif. Kinkade was born in Sacramento and grew up in Placerville although he lives in Morgan Hill. Newscom/File
Mamie Cincotta paints the bushes on a Thomas Kinkade Christmas card in her home on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2005. Zuma/Newscom/File
Artist Thomas Kinkade, who died Friday, produced idyllic scenes that became a huge commercial success. 'I'm trying to bring light to penetrate the darkness many people feel,' he said.
ByJohn S. Marshall, Associated Press
Artist Thomas Kinkade once said that he had something in common with Walt Disney and Norman Rockwell: He wanted to make people happy. And he won success with brushwork paintings that focused on idyllic landscapes, cottages and churches – highly popular works that became big sellers for dealers across the United States.