Thomas Kinkade and the Plein Air Tradition
Thomas Kinkade – The Artist in Nature
Thomas Kinkade enjoyed painting in Plein Air. He always traveled with a small portable studio and was ready to paint at any time. His love for Plein Air, or open-air painting, began when he was 12 years old. He once said, “I spent time wandering the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, mountains the American naturalist John Muir described as ‘the range of light’, and I knew what an addiction sunshine could become. Simply observing nature unfolding, the turning of the season, sunsets, and weather patterns was enough to thrill my young artist’s heart.”
Each day Thom discovered breathtaking new things in nature, and through his Plein Air paintings, he documented their transcendental beauty. This love carried on through his years in art school and throughout his career. Although he was known for his signature style as the Painter of Light, he said that Plein Air painting was “always the core of my life as a studio artist”.
During his lifetime, Thomas Kinkade published dozens of Plein Air paintings, each of which he painted on location at destinations ranging from local landmarks in Carmel and Monterey, California to beautiful historical places in Europe and around the world. He would roam the high country areas surrounding his hometown of Placerville, California, with friends and family, capturing the beauty of the Great Outdoors. Likewise, whenever he traveled to Italy, France, and England, with his wife, Nanette, and their four daughters, he would stop for three to four hours at their favorite places to paint in Plein Air. The result was a library of gorgeous artwork that told the stories about their family’s favorite places and moments.
The Kinkade family is pleased to release some of the never before seen works of art from Thom’s Plein Air collection, to give his Collectors the opportunity to own rare artwork that he held dear to his heart. His prolific body of Plein Air art is a gift to the viewer – meant to share the beauty of nature and to inspire them to travel to the places that meant so much to him.