By Chris Bavender
Work by Blend Cota, creative director for the Thomas Kinkade Studios, is currently on exhibit at the Thomas Kinkade Zionsville Gallery through July 7th. The painter visited the gallery in mid-June to sign paintings he produced for Kinkade Studios as well as his own label.
“We had a constant stream of visitors, almost difficult for him to take a break to get something to eat, despite the heat! Blend is vivacious, dynamic and engaging. He was wonderful with the many children who were eager to meet him as well as with the adult collectors,” said gallery owner Barbara Jennings. “One lady spoke to him about how her daughter and son-in-law had never before been able to agree on artwork until they saw his work – they bought three pieces.”
The gallery was one of the first to host Cota and introduce his style of art to the market. The artist uses the same techniques in his work as Thomas Kinkade that give a sense of light radiating through a picture.
“Thom dreamed of not only leaving a legacy, but continuing the legacy of ‘sharing the light’. Because of this, he mentored artists and conducted a modern day atelier – a throwback to the days of the old masters who would take on apprentices to assist in the creation of the masterpiece while teaching them the craft,” Jennings said.
Cota’s work under his own name is very different from the style he paints for the Thomas Kinkade Studios, Jennings said.
“Blend’s vibrant paintings are his expression of freedom. When left to his own devices, Blend likes to ‘throw’ paint onto the canvas,” Jennings said. “His expressionism comes out with his use bold colors and broad brush strokes. People are drawn to the colors and intensity of the works as well as the subject matter. What makes Blend unique is his ability to copy anyone’s style in intricate detail, yet flourish in his own style.”
The exhibit features about a dozen paintings in Blend’s style and at least another dozen in the Kinkade style. Most of the Kinkade style paintings will continue to be on display, while most of the super heroes and Cota’s style Color Collection will travel to California July 8th for his next exhibit.
All the paintings are for sale, from one large original at $30,000 to a variety of reproductions. Limited editions range from $750 to $2,200, while smaller open editions are $39.95 to $89.