I remember the first time I shared with an artist friend about my love for the work of Thomas Kinkade. She said, “He’s dime-a-dozen! Commercial, simplistic and cliché. Just awful.”
“Oh,” I managed to choke out. “Sorry if I offended you,” I added.
And so ended my love affair with all-things Kinkade. That was about ten years ago.
The thing is, his work reminded me of my grandmother, who adored him. She gave greeting cards and puzzles with his beautiful scenes of light… he is called, “The Painter of Light,” after all.
I found the Garden of Friendship featuring the works of Thomas Kinkade in a Thrift Shop just this afternoon. It is a short volume, with quotes and photographs of his paintings.
I read: A false friend and a shadow attend only while the sun shines – Benjamin Franklin and Books and friends should be few but good. – Proverb.
Simple thoughts about friendship, along with simplistic paintings, as my former friend had said.
I stood in the store holding the book and wondering if I should spend $2 on it. What would I do with it? I could read it, of course, and admire the pictures. Was it enough that it would remind me of Nana, who was simple, in the most beautiful ways? And what was wrong with that?
Years ago, I saw this meme fly by on my FB timeline. And yes, I got churched by it!
I remember thinking of the times I have done this with others.
My late ex-husband was notorious for wearing pastel-colored, button-down dress shirts everywhere. He’d have me iron crispy creases or he’d iron them himself. He’d roll up the sleeves to be casual, wear a tie to be formal and even wear them unbuttoned to the beach! No word of a lie! He loved his dress shirts. Over the 20 years we were married, I gave him a really hard time about it. The thing is, he liked them. He thought they looked good on him and made him happy. Who was I to make him feel bad about that? Who gives a shit if he wanted to wear them everywhere? I mean, I did, but I shouldn’t have. What a waste of time, energy and more, since it certainly didn’t send a message of love.
When I found out my second husband not only loved punk music but played it, I vowed to never, ever give him a reason or need to defend it. Me? I’m eclectic in my music taste but punk isn’t exactly in my wheelhouse. Actually, I’m more of a everything-but punk person. Not keen on rap either, but in the case of both punk and rap, I respect from a distance.
When my husband asks me to listen to the music he’s made, I do, and sometimes like it strictly on its merits but usually, I appreciate it because my husband created it. For that, he has my utmost respect.
Slight diversion: Just like I don’t expect him to like everything I write but he always treats what I write like precious gold.
So, former friend who said that Thomas Kinkade was less of an artist because he’s gone commercial and the rest, go &%#@ yourself. This book reminds me of Nana and makes me happy.