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Jul 28, 2011

Last Call for Thomas' 2011 Portland-Area Plein Air Workshop...

Hi Everyone...

I'm finally back from Telluride and Easton Plein Air, and wow, what a ride they both were! I went from painting between 9,000 and 12,300 feet, to painting at sea level. Inside of one week.

I promise to post the paintings and an epilogue from both events as soon as I am able, once I have a chance to reacquaint myself with my family again. I've been away for almost a month and everyone in my house keeps looking at me like I am a stranger.



above: Telluride, on the valley floor. I made it up into those mountains too, once I acclimatized.



above: Near Easton, in the area of Maryland called "The Eastern Shore". Hotter and muggier conditions than I've ever worked in, but man, what amazing stuff to paint! Skipjacks and sloops, old waterman culture, oyster boats, 300-year old farms, slave cabins. Certainly not our mild and gray Pacific Northwest...


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So I had a blast at Telluride, and at Easton too, despite the heat, and garnered the award of "Best New Artist at Easton" from Steve Doherty, editor of Plein Air Magazine. Plus, between Telluride and Easton I sold close to $17K of paintings and picked up two commissions. But better than that, I had way too much fun. Way, man. But now I'm home for a few weeks before setting back out to the Caribbean to do it all over again. To Plein Air Curacao, 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela...(Heat? Humidity? What heat and humidity? Curacao is only 12 degrees above the equator, right?)

However, before I leave again I've got this 5-day workshop I want to teach in our lovely green metropolitan area, where the temperature is reasonable enough to go out in. So this will be my last call to any Portland-Area plein air painter who wants to join in the fun. (Ha!) If you have any interest in registering for this workshop let me know right away as I will be closing the class this Monday.

The Details . . .




"A Summer Evening Walk", Jackson Bottom, near Hillsboro OR   |  9 x 12  |  oil on panel
(Currently on exhibition in a LPAPA show in Corona Del Mar, CA)


Announcing a

5-Day Portland-Area Plein Air Workshop 

Led by Thomas Jefferson Kitts
August 15 - 19th, 2011
$475.00/participant
How to register:
Send an email to thomas@thomaskitts.com 
Or call (503)784-4516

This workshop is offered to the beginning-to-moderate painter who wants to take 
a plein air class during the day, but be home by the evening. 


Your instruction will focus on how to paint en plein air in oil, under natural light, in the field.

In this workshop you will learn ways to resolve the issues that confront the plein air artist. Thomas’ instructional style is fun and informal and shows respect for every level. Each day he will present a mix of brief talks, demonstrations, personal guidance, and ample opportunity for you to paint. This will be a fun and enjoyable experience while you paint.

In this workshop you will not only learn the essentials of plein air painting, but many other universal oil painting techniques as well. Here are a few of the things which will be covered:

1) How to see and mix naturalistic color. Then accentuate it expressively.

2)  How to organize the value relationships of your subject into larger masses.

3)  How to selectively edit out detail to create a bold and dynamic image.

4)  How to manage your edges and transitions, apply thin-to-thick paint, and introduce exciting and descriptive brushwork.

5)  We will also dive into the nuts-and-bolts of general oil painting topics which are often overlooked by even the most experienced professional — such as, how to paint in an archival manner, basic material science, and what you should know about health and safety. (A mini-workshop in itself!) 

You can expect this workshop to boost your confidence and ability 
to paint anywhere, anytime, indoors or out – en plein air, or not!

...And finally, to learn about last year’s PDX area workshop, or read testimonials from the participants, visit:




About Thomas: I have over 27 years experience painting en plein air under every outdoor condition you can imagine, and in doing so I have learn a lot about the genre. Plein air is my first love and artistic focus, beginning in 1984, before anyone really knew what it was. In addition, I have experience teaching studio-based painting, drawing, and illustration at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (from 1990 to 2001) and I am respected for my ability to teach and inspire my students. I actively exhibit in solo and groups shows across the United States and collected by private and corporate entities. Recently, I’ve been participating in the most prestigious national plein air events in North America — such as Carmel, Sonoma, Los Gatos, Telluride, and Laguna Beach (with Easton and the Caribbean island of Curacao next!) — where I’ve been awarded Best of Show/First Place, Mayor’s Choice, and numerous Honorable Mentions. 

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