In the early 1980's Thomas Kinkade was building a national reputation for his landscape paintings. Thom often referred to his style as Romantic Realism' or Academic Realism'. His landscape work was popular. By 1984 many collectors had purchased Thomas Kinkade's original paintings through the Jones Gallery in La Jolla and the Biltmore Gallery in Los Angeles . Still, Thom had a growing desire to use a broader palette than his western landscape themes afforded. He also loved the paint technique(s) of the French impressionists and desired to work in that style as well. Additionally, he found the romantic imagery of late 19th century Europe artistically appealing. For these reasons Thom decided to paint impressionistic work. He believed a brush name would be less confusing to collectors of his romantic landscapes. Consequently, artist Robert Girrard' was created.