I don't know much about Thomas Kinkade, but he is one of the few modern painters I've heard about. I do know he is the "Painter of Light." This is mainly because my parent's were huge fans, and they have several of his painting adorning their living room. So, I was a little shocked to hear he passed away at such a young age. I did once buy my parent's a Kinkade puzzle, because it was closer to my price range than his works of art. I don't think I'd ever buy any of his works for my house, but I enjoyed his scenic paintings and felt his work was filled with character and personality. Though my parent's may miss the chance to buy new works, they have the benefit of knowing their paintings just increased in value.
Apparently, Thomas didn't have the best reputation among the art establishment, which I think would best known as "art snobs." There are countless talented authors or director not "respected" in their chosen field who are still great successes without the endorsement of snobbery. Kinkade is an artist who actually made an amazing living doing what he loved, and so I'm sure he lived life comfortably without the establishment's praise. Lack of praise is easier to handle when you earn several million more than your critics. In the end, the man was very popular and had his art in homes and offices all across North America. The man was a success in the industry he loved, and that is something all of us would love to be able to say.
Maybe he won't be remembered like other classic artists in 50 years, but he was a big part of today's culture. He left a strong enough mark on today, and his work will likely remain popular for years to come.
I send my condolences to his loved ones. I thank him for all the pretty pieces of scenery he has spread across the land. RIP Thomas Kinkade.