Many questions are asked about Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas Cottage movie as to the authenticity of the story. I personally watched this film’s premier with Thom and Nanette and got to ask him about it personally. Here is what Thom revealed to me:
All the characters in that story were real people including Mayor Ernie Trevor, played by Chris Elliott. Peter O’Toole’s character Glen Wessler was actually Thom’s mentor and father figure growing up. However, his real name was Glenn Wessels, it was changed for copyright issues for the movie. Glenn was a published and famous painter in northern California and taught at the University of Berkeley. Glenn had traveled the world and personally knew Hemingway, Picasso, and was a close friend of Ansel Adams.
Glenn moved to Placerville, California (Thom’s hometown) to retire after his beloved wife had passed away and his studio was actually in a barn in his backyard, several houses down from Thom’s. Upon learning that this artist had moved so close to Thom’s residence, Thom immediately knocked on Glenn’s door to introduce himself, only to be shouted at and told to get lost. However, Thom was persistent and it wasn’t long however when Glenn took a liking to Thom and hired Thom to do small jobs around the house and studio to help Glenn who had actually suffered a broken hip just prior to moving to Placerville. Soon Glenn and Thom became real close and Glenn, acting as a father figure and role model to Thom, helped influence Thom’s life.
Soon, Glenn took Thom under his wing and sat down with Thom and unleashed all of his wisdom he had learned throughout his years. Thom likes to say that Glenn didn’t teach Thom how to paint but rather why to paint. Glenn was a philosopher and he saw fine art as a high calling, worthy of a persons utmost dedication. Art was, to Glenn, more than a profession: it was a mission.
Thom’s family was depicted accurately in the movie with the exception of his sister Kate, who was never featured in the movie since the producers wanted Thom’s mother to be the central female character. Thomas Kinkade and his brother Pat were thoroughly impressed with actor Richard Burgi’s portrayal of Thom’s father who had left the family when Thom was only 4 years old.
The main focus of “The Christmas Cottage” being that Thom’s mother was unemployed for some time and was going to foreclose on the cottage is completely true. The only exception is this happened in the summer, not the winter or Christmas time. Thom and Pat and his sister Kate returned home for summer break to learn that their mother was unemployed and about to lose their cottage. Upon learning this, Glenn Wessels donated not one as portrayed in the move, but three original paintings to Thom’s family to sell. the paintings immediately sold and actually paid for the entire mortgage of Thom’s cottage. To this day, Thom refers to these incidents as just some of the miracles he’s experienced in life. In Thom’s words, “what are the odds that Glenn would move in my neighborhood, take me as his apprentice, hear about our financial troubles and give us three of his beloved paintings to sell, and then to have those paintings sell at a premium price immediately after receiving them, just in time to beat the bank in foreclosing?” In 2007, Thomas Kinkade published his “Christmas Cottage” painting not only as a tribute to the movie, but also as an appreciation for his childhood home. You can see this painting here on our website. Just type in the search box Christmas Cottage or click on the link below. If you wish to add this painting to your collection, receive $100 off your purchase by calling our galleries at 800-771-9501 and mention that you read our blog and want your $100 off. -Published by John McIntire (Owner-Thomas Kinkade Signature Galleries of Colorado).
Patrice, CanadaWe have had the pleasure of dealing via email and telephone with John McIntire for our recent Thomas Kinkade picture. He is a great representative for Thomas Kinkade. He sets the perfect example of excellent customer service. He builds trust and creates rapport. He is dedicated, honest, and delivers what he promises. We cannot say enough good kudos about him and we will be passing his name around to our fellow Thomas Kinkade lovers .2014-05-03T22:10:52+00:00We have had the pleasure of dealing via email and telephone with John McIntire for our recent Thomas Kinkade picture. He is a great representative for Thomas Kinkade. He sets the perfect example of excellent customer service. He builds trust … Continue reading →
CJThank you for all your patience with me regarding my never ending supply of questions. You will learn as we hopefully continue to do business together that I enjoy learning all I can before diving in to the investment.
As a compliment to your business, please know that I probably went on to every Kinkade signature gallery website before choosing to order through yours. I found your site to be very informative and inviting. I find myself taking a few minutes a day on it in hopes of finding my next piece....It was a pleasure working with you.
CJ2014-05-03T22:11:23+00:00Thank you for all your patience with me regarding my never ending supply of questions. You will learn as we hopefully continue to do business together that I enjoy learning all I can before diving in to the investment. As … Continue reading →