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thomas kinkade

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

Last week when we were vacationing in Yosemite, one day we were riding our bikes around the valley. Yosemite Valley has a large network of bike trails all over the valley, which makes for some very scenic and pleasant rides. This particular day, we were headed back to our room at Curry Village and were stopping at the Sentinel Bridge, a famous spot for photographers because of the awesome view it affords one of Half Dome. As we rode our bikes onto the bridge, we noticed two artists painting pictures. The man was painting Half Dome and the woman was painting some nearby trees. I stood next to the man and was busily engaged in photographing Half Dome. I glanced over at his painting and noticed how really good it was. I was impressed. Then I glanced at his side profile, and something looked very familiar about him. Suddenly, I realized that he had a strong resemblance to Thomas Kinkade, the well-known painter of light. I kept stealing glances to make sure. Then I went over to my husband Mike. “I think that painter is Thomas Kinkade,” I whispered to him. Mike decided to go investigate. As he observed the man’s painting and side profile, he too felt this must be the famous painter. “Excuse me,” Mike said. “Are you Thomas Kinkade?” The man replied, “I just happen to be him.”

Thomas and his wife Nanette were in Yosemite to get away for a while. They had just returned from Boston where Thomas had done a painting of the Red-Sox stadium. Now he and his wife were spending some quality time together. They both were very cordial and friendly. Tom told Mike that this painting he was doing of Half Dome was “just for fun”. Mike mentioned to them that we had met them before at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Vallejo, California, three days before 9/11 happened. A new subdivision called Hidden Brooke was showcasing their new model homes which had been patterned after Thomas Kinkade’s paintings. They were beautiful, and we enjoyed the tour.

Not wanting to infringe any more on their privacy, nor blow their cover, Mike and I headed back to our hotel room. Running into one of our favorite artists in Yosemite certainly made our day!

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Thomas Kinkade and his wife Nanette

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