(click image to enlarge)


"China Blue"

12 x 9 inches

oil on panel

Thomas Jefferson Kitts

Thomas is both inspired and exhilarated by the way light plays across his subjects and has devoted over thirty years to capturing it in oil. He prefers to work directly from life for its honesty and immediacy, incorporating many alla prima techniques developed by master painters such as Sargent, Sorolla, and Zorn. 


Thomas is a member of the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painters Association, the California Art Club, the Oil Painters of America, and the American Impressionist Society. He travels extensively and maintains an active and distinguished exhibition history – one which has included the Portland Art Museum, the Laguna Art Museum, the Maritime Museum of Curacao, the Academy Museum of Art in Easton, Maryland, the American Impressionist Society, Oil Painters of America’s National & Regional Exhibitions, Arts for the Parks Top 100, and three New York Art Expos. Thomas’ work is widely collected throughout North America. 


Recently, Thomas has been honored with a twelve month Artist Residency from the University Club of Portland, a Best of Show at the Carmel Art Festival, Artist’s Choice and Hamilton Family Award from the Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational, 2nd Place award at Los Gatos Plein Air, two selections as a Raymar Art Finalist, and once as a PleinAir Magazine Salon Finalist. He has also been juried into multiple Oil Painters of America and American Impressionist Society’s National and Regional Exhibitions and been featured as an Artist to Watch by the publication The Informed Collector.


Thomas has also been invited to instruct, demonstrate, and lecture at four Plein Air Convention & Expos in Las Vegas and Monterey, California.


Thomas is noted for his in-depth knowledge of art history and painting technique and for his enthusiasm for teaching. Besides pursuing his own work, he offers both group and private instruction throughout the year.


For more information visit:


Museum Exhibitions:


2011- 2013

Pacific Maritime & Heritage Center

Laguna Art Museum

Portland Art Museum

Academy Art Museum

Curacao Maritime Museum


Select Awards & Recognition:



Third Place | Easels in Fredrick MD

Honorable Mention, QuickDraw | Easels in Fredrick MD



Western Regional Exhibition | Oil Painters of America



Hamilton Family Foundation Award | Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational



Artist Choice Award | Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational 

Pioneer Inn QuickDraw Award | Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational



2011- 2012 Artist in Residency | Portland University Club

National Exhibition | 13th American Society of Impressionists

Second Place | Los Gatos Plein Air

Raymar Art Competition Finalist | September

Honorable Mention | 19th Annual Carmel Art Festival

Guest Artist and Demonstrator | 1st Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo

Raymar Art Competition Finalist | January

PleinAir Magazine Art Competition Finalist | July



PleinAir Magazine Art Salon Finalist

National Exhibition | 12th American Society of Impressionists

Best International Artist | Plein Air Curacao

Best New Artist | Plein Air Easton

Raymar Art Competition Finalist | July


2010 and earlier

Honorable Mention | Telluride Plein Air

Carmel Art Festival | 1st Place & Mayor’s ChoiceAdditional Awards & Recognitions

Top 100 Artist | Arts for the Parks, National Parks Academy of the Arts, Jackson

Award of Merit | Connecticut Art Director’s Club, Connecticut

Award of Merit | Oregon Art Annual, Salem, Oregon

Silver Medal | Illustrator’s 28th Exhibition, Society of Illustrators, New York

Gold Medal | Art Director’s Club, New York

Honorable Mention | Society of Publication Designers, New York


Select Gallery, Expo & Sales History:

Village Gallery, Lahaina, Maui 2013

New York Art Expo 2001, 2002, 2003 

Artifacts Gallery, Cambria

California Desert Art Source, Palm Desert

California SoHo Fine Art Gallery, Las Vegas

Nevada Collector’s Editions, Kauai & Hawaii

The Lanning Gallery, Sedona, Arizona
Rip Caswell Gallery, Jackson Hole, Wyoming,

Carlton Gallery, Carlton, Oregon
Chetwynd Stapelton Gallery, Portland, Oregon

Le Meitour Fine Arts, Portland, Oregon
Gango Gallery, Portland, Oregon
The Augustine Collection, Portland, Oregon


Corporate & Institutional Collections / Private Commissions:

Portland University Club, Portland, Oregon

Marriott Corporation, Palm Desert

Portland Trail Blazers, Paul Allen Foundation

Kaiser-Permamente Collection


Select Group Exhibitions

2012 | Portland Art Museum | Oregon Plein Air Invitational

2012 | 13th Annual Exhibition | American Impressionist Society

2012 | Laguna Art Museum | Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

2011| 12th Annual Exhibition | American Impressionist Society

2011 | Laguna Art Museum | Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

Oil Painters of America 19th Annual National Exhibition | Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale

Top 100 Artist Arts for the Parks National Tour National Parks Academy of the Arts, Jackson

New York Art Expo 2002, 2001 and 2000 New York

East Meets West | Chetwynd Stapelton Gallery, Portland

Oil Painters of America, 7th National Exhibition | P & C Gallery-Georgetown, Washington D.C.

Oil Painters of America, West Coast Regional Show | Jones & Terwilliger Gallery, Carmel

Chetwynd Stapelton Gallery, Portland, Oregon

Pacific Northwest College of Art Faculty Exchange | Salem, Oregon

Your Show of Shows, Society of Illustrators | New York


Select Solo Shows

Visual Meditations on the Northwest Landscape | Canessa Park Gallery, San Francisco

First Light Over Sauvie Island | Chetwynd Stapelton Gallery, Portland

Sauvie Island & Other Changing Oregon Landscapes | Le Meitour Fine Arts, Portland

Landscapes, Cityscapes & People | Le Meitour Fine Arts, Portland

Paintings From the Last Six Years | Le Meitour Fine Arts, Portland


History of Professional Affiliations

Artist Member, Oil Painters of America 

Associate Member, California Art Club

Artist Member, American Society of Impressionists 

Artist Member, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

Instructor, Pacific Northwest College of Art

Artist Member, Society of Illustrators, New York


Art-related Education

Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1984, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri