In the early 1980's a gentleman by the name of Jim Clark started an organization called the Society of American Impressionist. He was hosting an annual show for this group in Arizona and invited Thomas Kinkade to attend. “The Nooning" was done as a piece for inclusion in that show. Thom used Nanette (his new bride at that time) as the model for all the figures. Thom tried his best to disguise Nanette, but couldn't help reflecting a husband's love for his wife in the portrayals.
The piece was inspired by Julian Dupre, Millet and others who painted the peasant style of the late 19th century. The idea of a Nooning was a common mode of relaxation for the overworked peasants. Noon was their one break during the day and elaborate boxed lunches were the order of the day.
This painting was done with an unusual technique, in that Thom did a detailed drawing of each figure which was then transferred down and painted in an opaque wet-in-wet technique. A different approach than Thom's normal multilayer technique. Thom felt this technique, otherwise referred to as alla prima, was justified with the impressionist approach. “The Nooning" was one of the first pieces to sell in the SAI American show. As part of the show, Nannette and Thom traveled to Phoenix and they felt like royalty in this very glitzy and, at that time, widely reputed and spoken of show. Sadly, Jim Clark died a few years later and the SAI organization, Thom believes is no longer in existence.
"The Nooning" remains an incredibly unique vestige of an important phase of Thom's early career--in fact, it is one of Thom's earliest dabbling in a studio impressionist style.