In the very beginning of his artistic career, Thomas Kinkade put his entire life savings into the printing of his first lithograph. Though at the time he was already an acclaimed illustrator, Thom found that he was inspired not by fame and fortune, but by the simple act of painting straight from the heart, putting on canvas the natural wonders and images that moved him most. Throughout his life Thomas Kinkade shared his joy and used his paints in support of hospitals, schools, and humanitarian relief. Though the recipient of countless awards and honors, it was Thom’s profound sense of purpose that his art was not just an accessory, but also a ministry, that continues on as his legacy. From custom images that were sold for The Salvation Army, Hurricane Katrina relief, Rotary International, to donations that now grace the halls of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, the White House, The Vatican, and Britain’s Tate Museum, Thom raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over his lifetime for charity. Thom’s dearest wish had always been that his artwork would be a messenger of hope and inspiration to others – a message to slow down, appreciate the little details in life, and to look for beauty in the world around us. As millions of collectors around the world sit back and enjoy his artwork in their homes, there is no doubt that Thomas Kinkade had indeed achieved his goal of Sharing the Light.
Mark Keathley (born 1963) grew up on the family cattle farm in East Texas and loved romping through the woods and across open fields. He spent most of his spare time outside chasing lizards, and trying to catch that illusive grand-daddy large mouth bass. It was here in this environment, where he first spied his mother’s oil painting box in the attic of his country home. He had drawn pictures voraciously since age five, but the paints offered a new challenge that he thought he was up for at age eleven. After a very disappointing start, he didn’t give up, and continued trying, often painting well into the night as a teen. He later attended a small one man show put on for a friend in his college art class and saw, for the first time, someone selling artwork. This was all it took. His renewed interest in painting and determination to learn more, kept him busy twelve to fourteen hours a day, six days a week, and within a year found that many folks were beginning to collect his work. “You’re so young!” they would say, for he was twenty or so, and his career had begun. In the early 1990’s, he entered a couple of paintings in the Cheyenne, Wyoming “Old West Museum Show” and won a couple awards for his work. He also attended the “Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Art Show” in Waco, Texas and twice won the “Popular Vote Award” for a couple of his pieces two years in a row. Everywhere he has gone, he has found great acceptance for his work, and his paintings hang in many homes around the world. In April 2010, “Quiet Encounter” was selected for the National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) 2011 core art program. The art program helps to further NWTF’s mission to conserve the wild turkey and preserve the heritage of hunting. Keathley’s prints raised funds via auctions held at more than 2200 banquets throughout North America in 2011. Mark’s favorite collectors are those who see his work, and want to take it home because it causes them to rest. “We are too busy these days,” he says, speaking about our need to slow down, and to sit and think about life. “Our kids are growing up alone, our schedules are jammed full, and there is no time to contemplate what life should be about. I want my paintings to inspire people to be still, to listen to that quiet voice, and then rise up assured that they are a part of something bigger than their schedule.“ Mark’s paintings do just that. He is able to capture that perfect moment that you might experience on a hike through the mountains when a majestic elk came out for an unforgettable experience. Or a moment in time when the light, the water, and the gentle involvement of a man and his horse all came together in a masterful composition. He is able to blend bold strokes of color and fine detail to bring your focus in to the most important areas, and give you the feeling that you are there. And that is where he wants you to stay – not admiring his ability, but rather inspired to live. The painting, Faithful Friend, says a lot about Mark Keathley and where he gets his inspiration. From his desire to depict the “Faithful Friend” he knows, Mark painted this portrait of Jesus with a kind look in his eye and a smile on his face — the loving look one would see if someone really cared for you. In a day when we rarely slow down enough to gaze in each others eyes with a connection of souls that cannot be “said”, this timeless work captures the “look” that we are all waiting for. The one that says, “I delight and approve of you”.“The look I captured in Faithful Friend, is the look I want to see on Jesus’ face when I meet him one day. My faith in all He is in me and through me gives me confidence that I will indeed, meet him with the delight of a best friend.”—Mark Keathley
Abraham Hunter said he first realized that God had given him a talent at 12 years old. At 14, he began to hone his skills and pursue his artistic talent as a career. Over the past 4 years, Abraham has been amazed at how much success he has achieved. He attributes this success to his faith in God and the support of family and friends. Being self-taught, it was hard at first since there are no wildlife artists in his home area nor did anyone else in his family have any artistic gifts. But by studying nature first hand, and using reference photos, Abraham was able to improve without any tutoring at all. Abraham works in oil, acrylic and occasionally watercolor and strives for extreme photorealism most of the time because he feels it properly honors God’s handiwork by showing all the intricate details. He often portrays somewhat “utopia” like scenes because he likes to imagine what it would have been like in the Garden of Eden and wants his viewers to have an encounter with a world lacking of death and turmoil. “I think we get far more fulfillment from that rather than the intense drama of life and death, predator and prey, which we struggle through here on earth.”If there is one thing I want to capture in my work and be able to share it with my collectors, it would be the abundance and beauty that I enjoy from a close relationship with Jesus Christ and an awe for His marvelous creation. “When someone looks at my paintings, I want them to feel as if they are right there witnessing first hand what the scene is depicting. I want them to feel the peace, comfort and joy that I experience when I’m studying the outdoors. I also want it to be a time for them to reflect on the beauty of God’s many blessings that seem to go mostly unnoticed in our busy world.”
The powerful and captivating works of the artist, Robert Finale, flow naturally from a deep-rooted passion and God given talent for capturing the intrinsic beauty in humankind and nature. Finale’s work on canvas is heartwarming and peacefully enchanting. His distinctive style is a colorful blend of impressionistic romance and realistic beauty, mostly in historic settings. His paintings transport you to a time and place of private charm, a haven of pure and quiet delight. He loves to explore the complex interplay of light and its effects on architecture and surroundings. An avid traveler, Finale uses his photographs, sketches and memories simply as the starting point, an inspiration on the journey to the creation of each masterpiece. Robert Finale is no stranger to struggles and adversity. At the tender age of two, he along with his family fled the communist ruled country of Cuba for a life of freedom and opportunity in the United States. Here Robert learned the value of hard work and discipline and realized his potential to pursue his passion for art. This passion, Finale explains, began very early in life. As a young boy of five, he was seldom without a pencil and sketchpad in hand, sketching everything from movie scenes to family vacation destinations. His love for brushing oil onto canvas came much later, when his early childhood sketch were brought to life in a special gift to his wife. From humble beginnings, today his paintings grace several Galleries all over the world. The first, however, has a special place in his family home. His images originate from his childhood sketches, which his mother always lovingly treasured and encouraged him to keep. Each painting is a journey of unspoken words and hidden whispers of freedom, nurturing the hopes and dreams that exist within all of us. These feelings are resurfaced and unveiled through beautiful city images in romantic surroundings placing the viewer in the dream world of unconscious thought. A quiet, gentle natured man, Robert uses his paintings to communicate with each individual person. Using rich colors and textures, Finale has developed his own rich vocabulary in a painting. Expressing this rich language through places and entities allows him to tap into his own world and the fragile emotions that exist within all of us. The emotion that a person feels upon examining a piece of art is the beauty of this communication. As Robert places the final brush stroke on the canvas he is conscious of the fact that art is a universal language. Therefore, one canvas represents the window to millions of different emotions that have existed and exist through all of us, giving the viewer a powerful, tool to look within his own world, for the understanding of life’s journey. We invite you to experience the pure delight and charismatic charm of Robert’s paintings. As you tour the gallery of fine work, may your spirit soar and your soul be transported to a haven of peace and tranquility. Robert’s works are an inspiration to all who have dreamed the impossible dream. Enjoy!
As one of today's finest and most recognized photorealist painters, Rod Chase has earned the highest respect of his peers and the admiration of legions of collectors. Each painting from the artist's easel is a masterpiece created from extensive research and numerous photographs of each of his subjects. This technique, along with the aid of historical photographs, results in a timeless quality in each of Chase’s paintings.
In his quest for mystique, accuracy, and a true sense of history, Chase does extensive research. His travels have led him from North America to Europe in a never-ending search to obtain materials and photography for new paintings. The artist says, "As a photorealist, I depend on finding accurate reference material for each painting." Chase works with acrylics on canvas, spending hundreds of hours on each painting with the ultimate goal of presenting a fresh, unique, and elegant approach to familiar subjects. The detail in each painting is remarkable, but the mood each is equally impressive. Chase is acknowledged as a master of breathtaking scenes depicting our country's natural and historical treasures. He has painted images of such famous landmarks as The White House, the Capitol, and the Supreme Court building to name a few. He feels honored as well as professionally challenged to paint these subjects.
Chase also paints magnificent foreign landscapes. His travels in Europe inspired him to paint St. Peter's Basilica and the romantic canals of Venice. The artist's outstanding talent in his use of light is evident in The Glory of San Pietro and The Mists of Morning. Without traveling to these world-famous locales, the viewer is able to feel as if the scene is unfolding before them in person.
Rising early to photograph the dramatic light of sunrise or awaiting the soft, moody glow of sunset, Chase captures the emotion and direction in which he will paint his subject. The artist will continue to create elegant, awe-inspiring scenes by combining antique and modern photographs with just the right touch of artistic license.
From the artist:
Far south, a beast lay her egg in a primordial swamp. Shortly thereafter, the egg grew to size and began to quiver and shake. Once cracked, the shell's top was pushed aside, and a Jess Wathen emerged.
-- All jokes aside--
I was born in Central Florida and later moved to Tennessee. I've always had a great interest in art. At a young age, my mother offered me crayons and coloring books. I'd start out coloring, but I eventually began to doodle along the colorless illustrations creating my own images. Later, I would transition to blank sheets of paper and sketchbooks to draw my own subjects.
Growing up was tough and financial stability hardly existed so I used what was available. Pencils were usually the cheapest of the mediums, so that's what I generally had on hand. When I was unable to get paper, I'd simply draw on scraps of wood or cardboard. Of course, many teachers that identified my ability would encourage me with art supplies which I was very grateful for, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't prefer the feel of graphite. Despite any obstacles or adversity I was presented with growing up, I always managed to entertain myself with art. I'd find my way back no matter the hiatus.
My inspiration mostly came from comic book related material when I was younger, but realism would later consume me since I believed it to be the ultimate type of art to conquer; if I could reach mastery level, it would mean I could draw or paint absolutely anything I wanted. Inspired by realists and many of the old masters, portraiture became my first love. The process wasn't always enjoyable, but the end result was what I strived for. The addiction took hold, no matter how arduous I pushed through to reach that next level, to feel that fleeting moment of satisfaction. My childhood was littered with contest winnings. As a young adult, I participated in exhibitions and won awards. However, I realized it wasn't very sustainable and that I would need to make changes. It was always important for me to grow and become better. I had to out perform myself or at least make the effort with each refined piece I created.
With my early to mid-twenties being dedicated to portraiture, I made the decision to try exclusively painted pieces in color. The subject matter also changed, and I began painting landscapes and wildlife. These subjects would present a different challenge, allow me to grow, but most importantly allow me to support myself and focus on what I do best. It was a logical decision and, to my surprise, a rather enjoyable one. I wanted to stand out from the bulk of the nature artists already in the art scene. I decided that if I were going to do this and be true to myself, I would have to enter the market my way. I wanted to retain my qualities without sacrificing my integrity and dignity. To do this I would take a different approach, a more whimsical and contemporary one. Though it may sound cocky and maybe somewhat daunting, I wanted to fuse dreams with reality. Merge traditionalism with modernism. Blow my backgrounds into creamy gradients of color. Paint my subjects so real that it feels as if you could almost reach out and touch. Make my work glow, and pepper it with radiant particle effects. I’m still striving to reach that pinnacle that I’ve been working toward, but each day and each piece gets me one step closer.
International artist, Blend, is known for his powerful brushstrokes and bold use of color. His new work reflects that commitment to creating powerful emotional impact through the use of vivid hues and a bold pallet.
Zachary believes that “high art” in pencil and paint should both evoke emotion in and tell a story to its visual consumer. Like writers and composers, the aesthetic expression of a painter is a narrative; one which takes the viewer on a journey; perhaps started by the hand of the artist but completed in the mind of those appreciating the effort. Zachary’s beautiful depictions of everyday life, the envisioned worlds of popular culture, and the “Kinkade traditional” subjects in his artwork provide a romantic sense of nostalgia, affinity, and adventure to his many collectors. As Thomas Kinkade had always envisioned, the torch has passed, the next generation will continue where he left off and a “New Light” has entered the world stage in visual art.
Much like his highly acclaimed uncle, Thomas Kinkade – “The Painter of Light”, Zachary Thomas Kinkade started his career in art at a very early age and has since pursued his creative vision with whole-hearted passion and single-mindedness of effort. Over the years, Zachary has won local, regional, national and international recognitions in a variety of art competitions, often times against competitors many years older than himself. As a teenager, Zachary attended Fort Worth Academy of Fine Art and eventually graduated with honors. Given his academic performance and accumulated artistic portfolio, he was admitted to and, in time, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Cornell University, a world class academy of higher learning. He again graduated with honors. Following in the footsteps of his uncle and mentor, Zachary is currently completing work at Art Center School of Design and is working with a number of established artists to continue to develop his own style and technique.