Thomas Kinkade grew up in the town of Placerville, California and attended the University of California, Berkeley and the Art Centre College of Design in Pasadena.
In June 1980, Kinkade spent a summer traveling across the United States with his college friend James Gurney and when the two of them finished their journey in New York they secured a contract with Guptill Publications to produce a sketching handbook. Two years later they produced The Artist's Guide to Sketching, which was one of Guptill Publications' best-sellers that year. The success of the book landed him and Gurney at Ralph Bakshi Studios creating background art for the 1983 animated feature film Fire and Ice. While working on the film, Kinkade began to explore the depiction of light and of imagined worlds and decided to earn his living as a painter.
A key feature of Thomas Kinkade's paintings are their glowing highlights and his works often portray idyllic settings such as gardens, streams and stone cottages. Sadly, Thomas Kinkade died on Good Friday in 2012, but he will always be remembered as ‘America's most-collected living artist.’