Thomas Kinkade, "Painter of Light," Dies at 54

Celebrity News Apr. 7, 2012 AT 11:28AM
Thomas Kinkade paints the 2007 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City. Thomas Kinkade paints the 2007 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City. Credit: Bennett Raglin/WireImage

Famed artist Thomas Kinkade, known as the "Painter of Light," died of natural causes at his San Francisco-area home Friday, the Associated Press reports. He was 54.

Claiming to be the world's most collected living artist, Kinkade released artwork -- often featuring landscapes, cottages and churches -- that was said to appear in 10 million homes across the U.S.

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"I'm a warrior for light," the devout Christian artist told the San Jose Mercury News in 2002. "With whatever talent and resources I have, I'm trying to bring light to penetrate the darkness many people feel."

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Having drawn and painted since his childhood, Kinkade strived to make his work relatable to the masses.

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"I share something in common with Norman Rockwell and, for that matter, with Walt Disney, in that I really like to make people happy," he once said.

Kinkade is survived by his wife, Nanette, and their four daughters.

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