Thomas Kincade, known as the “Painter of Light” — whose pastoral landscape, countryside and lighthouse scenescape paintings found in 1-in-every-20-homes in America — died this past April. After receiving results from the coroner, it’s been reported that Kincade died of “acute ethanol and Diazepam intoxication” — an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription medication for anxiety in the form of Valium, which is a tranquilizer.
According to the Aiken Standard, the medical examiner “‘described the 6-foot, 254-pound Kinkade as mildly obese and noted that he suffered from systemic hypertension and cardiovascular disease. His heart was so big that at any time he was vulnerable. Apparently he had given up drinking and maybe he had just started again. His levels were definitely in the toxic range.’
Several other drugs, including two other prescription tranquilizers, were present in his bloodstream. Kinkade’s urine contained gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB, which occurs naturally in the human body but can also be used as the so-called date rape drug.”
Alcohol and prescription meds are often a deadly combination, and this is yet another example of the tragedy it can so easily can cause. The addition of GHB only adds more fuel to the fire, which acts as a sedative and can result in hallucinations and tremors.
While his artistry came into question by art critics and enthusiasts who disliked his style and mass-marketing sense — and while his business practices came under fire for things like personal conduct and unlawful disclosures — Kinkade made more than $50 million throughout his career.