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“Christmas Cottage”: If Thomas Kinkade’s Painting Became a Movie

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In 2008, a film was released based on the biography of an American artist who called himself "America's most collectible living person". Perhaps this is partly true, because Kinkade’s pastoral landscapes are printed on posters, postcards and puzzles, thanks to which the artist’s reproductions can be found in every twentieth family in the United States.
More precisely, the tape is dedicated to an episode from Kinkade’s youth when he arrived on Christmas Eve 1977 home in the provincial California town of Placerville and learned that his mother’s house was about to be taken away by bailiffs for debts. Together with his brother Pat, he decided to do everything possible to prevent the loss of the family nest. Pat got a job as an assistant to a local would-be electrician, who managed to make fireworks of the city’s main tree. Thomas got an order from a local businessman for a festive mural that should present Placerville in its best possible way. The businessman dreamt of making it "America's main Christmas city", thereby ensuring an annual influx of tourists.
In the mural, Kinkade decided to portray the common people he encountered every day: an elderly gentleman inseparable from his dog, a local beauty who dreamt of lighting the main tree every year, and other ridiculous and touching characters whose participation made the film even bearable. After all, the script is so imbued with the promise of a Christmas miracle that it is almost close to the monstrous, but the sincerity of its creators' intentions can touch even the most callous soul. The Christmas Cottage looks especially good in the summer of 2020, when the promise of a miracle comes in handy as never before.
A still from the Christmas Cottage movie
Kinkade was personally involved in making the film, and while watching it, you begin to understand that all his corny pastorals are not hyperbole and not a commercial move, that he really sees the whole world around him like a cosy house on a kitsch Christmas card. Actor Jared Padalecki (popular with schoolgirls after Gilmore Girls and Supernatural) shines with his big smile as the artist for most of the film, since he has nothing else to play. The second storyline focuses on Kinkade’s relationship with his mentor, artist Glen Wessels, played by Peter O’Toole (Lawrence of Arabia). He lives in a studio not far from the Kinkade house, tries to paint his last picture and clarify the simple-minded head of the novice artist with his instruction "Paint the light!"
A still from the Christmas Cottage movie
Thomas would take the words of his mentor literally: until the end of his life he would paint luminous and shining landscapes and would even register the trademark "Thomas Kinkade, Artist of Light". There is a remarkable episode in the movie that makes it clear that this is all very serious in fact. The traditional Christmas show at a local church is failing miserably because Kinkade used wax paint for his decorations, which began to melt under exposure to heat of the candles and everything began to crumble. Then the artist’s father stands up for his son in front of the indignant audience with a motivating speech, after which it is simply impossible to feel like a loser.
At the end of the film, the real Thomas Kinkade appears in the frame
It has always been important for artists and art collectors how to frame their works of art. We can paraphrase Shakespeare and say,

“What’s in a frame? That which we call a picture
In an improper frame will look less nice.”

Or, perhaps, the picture’s message will be obscured by too ornate or too plain framing. Here, we present a retrospective journey into the history of framing and its evolution, with illustrations and an expert’s commentary. Read more
for a few seconds. The artist died just four years after the film’s release at the age of 54.
All parents should keep in mind that if your father believes in you, even if he left the family many years ago, you are able to become an "Artist of Light", even if all art critics of the world are against you.