California artist Thomas Kinkade, one of the most popular in America, died at home on Friday from what appeared to be natural causes. A family spokesman confirmed the death with the media.


California artist Thomas Kinkade died on Friday at his home. He was 54. Photo credit:

Thom provided a wonderful life for his family,'' his wife, Nanette, said in a statement reported by CNN. We are shocked and saddened by his death.''

That report noted that more details will be released in coming days.

Kinkade, 54, was known for his paintings depicting calm scenery. They were of cottages, country gardens, churches, lush landscaping and streams.

According to the Associated Press, Kinkade is a self-described devout Christian whose paintings and spin-off products reportedly got about $100 million a year in sales.

My mission as an artist is to capture those special moments in life adorned with beauty and light, Kinkade noted in a message on his website. I work to create images that project a serene simplicity that can be appreciated and enjoyed by everyone. That's what I mean by sharing the light.