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Girrard Paintings

The Robert Girrard era, beginning in 1984 and extending approximately six years, represents more than sixty paintings. It is the period in which Thomas Kinkade was free to experiment with new and unique color combinations which resulted in a distinct broadening of his palette, the use of more exuberant brush strokes and impasto, and the refinement of the broken color techniques of the French Impressionists.

By using the Girrard brush name, Thomas Kinkade achieved absolute artistic freedom. As well, he did not need to be concerned with the effect a Girrard canvas might have on Thomas Kinkade collectors. "At the time, I was influenced by common wisdom among artists, that I couldn't take a creative shift using my own name. It would confuse and possibly alienate, collectors of my studio work," Thom says. This freedom led to a joyful experimentation that resulted in numerous breakthroughs and advances in Thom's artistic techniques and talents. Accomplished in the creation of mood and atmosphere in landscape, the broadened palette Thom acquired during the Girrard years allowed new dimensions to be employed in how he handled subtle beauties and qualities in a broad variety of contexts.

Robert Girrard is a romantic impressionist. Many of his subjects are historic in nature while others are timeless. Among the latter are his beautiful countryside and garden scenes. He applies color with a creative sensitivity few artists, past or present, can match. His sophisticated use of broken color yields a soft atmosphere effect to his canvases.

The decade of the 80's was an exciting period in Girrard's career, solidifying him as an American Impressionist master. "I wanted to reinvent academic styles - implementing my own use of light in those academic styles. Impressionism was an avenue that beckoned that pursuit." In the early 1980's, Girrard began exhibiting his original oil paintings in the highly competitive and well publicized Carmel, California, art market. His scenic, impressionistic paintings met with immediate success.

The name Robert Girrard is an adaptation of the name of a record changer in Thomas Kinkade's studio. "As I was playing some records in the studio I noticed the brand name Garrard and thought it sounded like a great pseudonym. I changed the spelling and played with several first names, but for some reason Robert stuck. I liked the fact that the name Robert Girrard had four syllables, the same as Thomas Kinkade.

Until recently, the Robert Girrard era of Thomas Kinkade's work had not been widely known because it was created under a brush name to secure artistic anonymity. The Girrard era ended in 1989 when the name "Girrard" was brushed onto a canvas for the last time. Yet, in a significant way, these beautiful, inspired works will now take their rightful place in the established body of work of the world's most recognized and best selling living artist.

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