Update: 1:30 p.m., April 9: A medical examiner at the Santa Clara County Coroner's Office said an autopsy on the late American painter Thomas Kinkade was performed Monday morning, but the cause of death is pending further studies.
"We're running mini tests so we don't have any conclusive manner of death to give right now," said a medical examiner who declined to be identified.
The woman said results of those studies could take weeks, "anywhere from 10 to 12 weeks and sometimes it goes beyond that."
The Coroner's Office encouraged the media to check back for exact results.
Calls to Kinkade's Monte Sereno home inquiring about funeral arrangements were unanswered by the time of this posting.
5:30 a.m., April 9: Tucked away in the serene hills of Monte Sereno, the house of Thomas Kinkade, at the age of 54, sat amidst leafy trees this weekend.
Sunlight hit it in all the right places, giving the abode an iridescent glow, similar to what has drawn millions of art lovers to Kinkade's paintings.
The late painter's home is off of windy Ridgecrest Drive. A wrought iron fence kept the outside world at bay and a single parked car stood sentry in the lot.
The Los Gatos arts community of the prolific painter and their longtime neighbor, who many credit with bringing art into the American mainstream. His works drip with the themes of nature, inspiration and classic Americana.
The Santa Clara County Coroner's Office is to perform an autopsy on the body this week to determine the exact cause of death.
Sources who declined to be identified said the painter had faced some tough challenges in the past few years, many lamented him dying with his four children gone to Australia, on Good Friday.
They cited his bankrupcy filing in 2010 for Pacific Metro, the manufacturing arm of his company located in Morgan Hill. They also pointed to a series of lawsuits filed by investors against his company, seeking restitution for financial claims.
In 2010, he was arrested for a DUI, to which he plead no contest.
Fellow artists in Los Gatos who knew him well said the "Painter of Light," had changed drastically in the past three years. "He sort of wigged out," said one fellow painter who asked to remain anonymous.
"But he became less stuffy ... he acted more like a free spirit," he added.
Others said Kinkade was diametrically on the opposite end of the local art scene. "It was unfortunate. It was like they were at odds with each other," the source said. "To him, it was kitsch art and he was pretentious."
Commenters on left several statements that were quite revealing as well.
"Thom was a complicated man, and was far from perfect. In fact, he was far from the being the best artist. But his paintings brought a tremendous amount of happiness to many, many people....including my Mom, whose living room in Portland prominently featured a large framed print of one of his cozy seaside scenes," wrote longtime Los Gatos resident
From reader Sheena Ricarte: "Thank you Mr. Kinkade for the wonderful paintings. I learned about you when I bought your book, "The Art of Creative Living : Making Every Day a Radiant Masterpiece" four years ago in Rhode Island. You're certainly gifted and one of this world's treasures. Looking at your paintings made me realize that God certainly exists, is perfect, and made you His instrument for us to see the beauty of this world which He has created as a gift for us. I'm very impressed and amazed with your works and will always be a devoted fan of your paintings. Until then, Mr. Kinkade. Take care always :) One of your most impressed and amazed fans."
This weekend, the home page of the Thomas Kinkade company website contained a photo of the painter looking down, his left hand to his chin holding a pen in a pensive mood looking over one of his paintings.
The homepage read: "In Memorium, Thomas Kinkade, 1958-2012." It also had a scripture from the Bible's book of Matthew, which said: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."