…came the light.
Nothing Biblical here, I’m talking about the well-known painter, Thomas Kinkade, known as “The Painter of Light,” who passed away just over a week ago.
Personally, I thought a lot of his work was absolutely stunning: cottages surrounded by flowers with a warm glow pouring from the windows, a cabin on a pristine lake, beautiful, sun-drenched fields. His work, to me, evoked great feelings of serenity and peace – I wanted to be in those pictures. Critics, however, bashed the “commercialism” of his work, and reviled him for what they called “pandering” to the masses.
Now, I don’t have specific numbers, but I can safely say that MILLIONS of people purchased and cherished his work. MILLIONS. I wonder how many art critics ran him over the coals? I’m guessing, and guessing high I imagine, that it couldn’t have numbered more than a few hundred.
Today, I read a story, reportedly by the late Mr. Kinkade’s brother, Patrick, that indicated that Thomas Kinkade battled severe alcoholism, and had relapsed. He said that decades of attacks on his brother’s work had taken a toll on his life. A dispatch recording said that Thomas Kinkade had been drinking all night when he was found, and was unresponsive.
We humans are odd beasts. Millions of people love what you do, and a few hundred critics don’t, and somehow the critics loom larger than the people whose lives you have changed in such positive ways. That is truly saddening to me.
Going into his galleries was an experience – the cool lighting, the colors and light bursting forth from the canvas. And all of this beauty, apparently, came out of a mind tormented by darkness.
To a painter, maybe what he did was considered easy stuff. I don’t know, I’m not a painter. Easy or not, it was pretty and enjoyable. Maybe he didn’t re-invent the wheel, but what he did made people smile, and that’s worth a lot.
For my money, it beats the crap out of Andy Warhol’s soup can thing, (which a lot of critics love). To each his own.
The important thing to take from this is that whatever you may be doing with your life, artistic or otherwise, there are going to be people who, metaphorically speaking, will stand in line and wait their turn to piss all over it. Two things:
1. DON’T . . . PLEASE . . . be one of those people standing in line to hurt someone in that way. And…
2. Whatever you’re doing, don’t let naysayers drive your life over a cliff. Live off the bright spots. They’re nutritious and warm, like a bowl of soup, (had to throw that in since I ragged on Warhol’s thing . And No matter who you are, I guarantee that you have created more than a few bright spots.
Many Blessings To All…