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Viva Las Vegas

To create a vision of the Las Vegas skyline, all I needed to do was take a plane ride. As I was swooping into Las Vegas during a recent road trip, I instructed the pilot of a small plane we were aboard to take an extra pass just above the Las Vegas Strip. The sun was setting and the light was perfect – the view that lay spread before me became my painting Viva Las Vegas.

I never tire of visiting Las Vegas – the city of endless excitement and dazzling lights. In my visual re-creation, my goal was to emphasize the light and take dramatic liberties with the skyline itself. The pools of color that draw your eye to the different areas of the composition are like focused stage lighting in a vast theater. Of course I had to include the famous “welcome sign” that has greeted so many millions of visitors to Las Vegas over the years. The major hotels of the strip are also clearly in evidence.

New York, New York stands proudly in the mid-distance – see if you can spot Lady Liberty holding her torch high – and at the left the famous Luxor pyramid shoots its beam of light skyward. I also included a wedding chapel – a reference to one of my earlier paintings – and several other hidden details worth spotting. diligent collectors can play the “name game” and spot the references to famous headliners who have delighted visitors to Las Vegas over the years. Using a special “micro detail” under-layer, I included references to Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, Wayne Newton, Don Rickles, Liberance, and countless others! Can you find them all?

But the real star of the show is the dramatic desert sky and the brilliant colors of this deserted oasis. I utilized a radiant palette filled with the luminous colors that Las Vegas if famous for. Like memories of a whirlwind Las Vegas weekend, Viva Las Vegas is alive with excitement.

  • Thomas Kinkade has included twenty-five N’s in Viva Las Vegas in honor of his wife Nanette, as wells as for his twenty-five years as a published artist. The N’s that are parts of signs in the painting are included in the list of hidden N’s. Good luck finding them all!
  • Viva Las Vegas is the first painting in which Thom pays tribute to this wonderful and energetic city. The coloristic treatment in Viva Las Vegas was based on an actual observation Thom made while of a recent trip to Las Vegas. He was distinctly impressed by the intensity of colors offered by the clear air of the desert.
  • Thom added many hidden details in this painting, such as a Thomas Kinkade wedding chapel, the Statue of Liberty, and Elvis! Can you find them?
  • Did you know that Tropicana Boulevard was the first major street of development and was the original strip? It points west due to the setting sun.
  • The swirling gulls in Viva Las Vegas are Thom’s illusion to the countless visitors from foreign shores who come to Las Vegas annually. It also allows for a great compositional element to break up the contrast between the sky and the foreground.
  • Thom’s exuberantly colorful style is appropriate for this Las Vegas painting, since the modern school of exuberant impressionism popularized by LeRoy Neiman and other artists had its origins in the night life of casinos and nightclubs typified by Las Vegas.
  • Thom said about Viva Las Vegas: “I wanted to pump a little extra energy into my style of painting. The same technique I use for a quiet pastoral English cottage just couldn’t apply to the most exciting city in the world.”
  • The utilization of the Goodyear Blimp in Viva Las Vegas is pure fanciful invention and may not be possible due to the close proximity of airspace of the current McCarran airport to the high rise district of Las Vegas.
Title Viva Las Vegas
Published May 2009
Subject Location The Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada

Image Sizes

12" x 24"
18" x 36"
24" x 48"
30" x 60"

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