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A Trusted Friend — Blue Bell

Every childhood has its special friendships – and though youthful friends may come and go, a favorite doll or stuffed bear can become a lifelong companion. Even my oldest daughter, who recently passed the threshold into adulthood, still treasures several reminders of her happy childhood. These are so much more than just toys-they represent a moment in our life as a family.

My painting A Trusted Friend celebrates the imagination of childhood which can make even an inanimate object come to life with love. This is my first ever teddy bear painting, and as I worked on it I was reminded of the passion displayed by teddy bear collectors worldwide. In fact, on a recent visit to Pennsylvania, I had a chance to meet many of the “bear people” as part of the launch of my new Thomas Kinkade Teddy Bear Collection.

The millions of teddy bear collectors worldwide remind us that even for adults a teddy bear can be A Trusted Friend, and perhaps my painting will be a daily reminder of this happy fact. On the shelf in my painting sit the reminders of a joyous childhood–well-worn reading books, colorful alphabet blocks (the letters in the stack of blocks denote the first initials of my children’s names), and a well loved teddy bear.

I even added a special touch: you can have your choice of a pink ribbon for girl bears or a blue one for boy bears. That way, your very own “trusted friend” can be even more personal to you!

  • Thom has included twenty-five N’s in A Trusted Friend, Blue Bell edition in celebration of his twenty-five years as a published artist as well as in tribute to his love for his wife Nanette.
  • A Trusted Friend, Blue Bell edition along with A Trusted Friend, Rose Bud edition are the first paintings Thom has ever created to celebrate the joy of teddy bear collecting and celebrating the imagination of childhood, which can make of an inanimate object a lifelong companion. These images are part of a new series titled Teddy Bear Collection I.
  • The letters on the stack of blocks denote the first initial of all four of Thom’s children – Merritt, Chandler, Winsor, and Everett.
  • Thom recently visited Pennsylvania, where our valued licensee partner, Russ Berrie and Company launched a new line of Thomas Kinkade plush – the Thomas Kinkade Limited Edition Collector Bear Assortment.
  • The “Teddy” Bear originates from a cartoon that appeared in a panel of cartoons drawn by Clifford Berryman in The Washington Post on November 16, 1902. The cartoon depicted President Theodore Roosevelt refusing to shoot a bear. It caused an immediate sensation and was picked up by some industrious fans and business leaders and the “Teddy” Bear began in honor of the president’s actions!
  • By 1906, the Teddy Bear craze was in full swing in the United States. The excitement probably compared to the frenzy for Cabbage Patch dolls in the 1980s and Beanie Babies in the 1990s. Society ladies carried their teddies everywhere, and children had their pictures taken with their Teddy Bears. American manufacturers were turning out bears in all colors and all kinds, from Teddy Bears on roller skates to Teddy Bears with electric eyes.
  • So what about Teddy Bears today? Today they are still incredibly popular, not just as a children’s toy, but as a collectible for adults. And our love affair with the Teddy Bear shows no signs of abating. Annually, in just the United States, collectors purchased over $400 million worth of Teddy Bears. Certainly, today we need the Teddy Bear’s gift of unconditional acceptance, love, and reassurance more than ever.
Title A Trusted Friend -- Blue Bell
Published August 2009
Collection Teddy Bear Collection I

Image Sizes

10" x 8"
20" x 16"
24" x 20"

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