SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Artist Thomas Kinkade, whose brushwork paintings of idyllic landscapes, cottages and churches have been big sellers for dealers across the United States, has died. He was 54. Family spokesman David Satterfield says Kinkade died at his home in Los Gatos in the San Francisco Bay Area of what appeared to be natural causes. Kinkade called himself the “Painter of Light,” and his sentimental paintings were beloved by middlebrow America but reviled by the art establishment. He claimed to be the nation’s most collected living artist, and his paintings and spin-off products were said to fetch some $100 million a year in sales. A biography on the website said Kinkade rejected “the intellectual isolation of the artist” and instead, made “each of his works an intimate statement that resonates in the personal lives of his viewers.” Kinkade was born and raised in the Placerville, Calif. He studied at the University of California at Berkeley and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
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