Born in Pasadena, California
- 1961. Thomas Van Stein received his Bachelors degree in Illustration,
and graduated with high honors from Cal State University, Northridge,
in 1984. He then furthered his education attending Pasadena Art
Center College of Design.
As a fine artist, Van Stein has involved himself in over 160
exhibitions of his paintings; both in one-man shows and group
exhibitions. He has won numerous awards for his paintings in
various Southern California-based juried art exhibitions; Two-First
Place awards, 1994 Catalina Island Arts Festival. First Prize,
Santa Barbara Semana Nautica Arts Competition. He was awarded
Best of Show in the 1997 National Juried Arts Competition at
the Abend Gallery, in Denver, Colorado, juried by renowned artist,
While a majority of Van Stein's paintings are painted on location
in daylight, his forte is painting Nightscapes - or "nocturnes",
en plein air. Van Stein's nocturnal paintings were featured both
on the cover and in the November 1997 issue of "The Artist's
Magazine"; in an article he wrote entitled, "Capture
the Energy of the Night;" a "how to" approach
to painting nocturnes. Thomas was featured in the April 1998
issue of Southwest Art Magazine, as one of six American Artists
who are focusing on painting nocturnes. He was listed as an,
"Artist to Watch" in the December 1998 issue, and nocturnes
from his Master's thesis exhibition, "Burning the Midnight
Oil" were featured in the August 1999 issue of Southwest
Art Magazine under, "Best of the West."
He received First Prize in 2 dimensional painting at the Classic
Art Competition, 2001, sponsored by the Carnegie Art Museum,
Oxnard California, and First Prize for his artwork at the 2001
Santa Barbara Art Walk. He was one of eight Finalists being considered
for a one man show, in the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum-2002,
an event jurored by noted Los Angeles Times Art Critic David
Pagel. Thomas was chosen to be the featured artist for the annual
Lotusland Foundation benefit gala, 2002, and the 2003 Director's
Choice Award for the Carnegie Art Museum Classic Competition.
He is the winner of the
2003 Individual Artist Award for Santa Barbara County, sponsored
by the Santa Barbara Arts Fund.
As a teacher, Thomas has taught painting through the S.B.C.C.
Continuing Education program for ten years, two Plein Air Painting
Nocturne workshops through the Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard California,
and oil painting workshops in Santa Barbara. Van Stein is a fifteen-year
member of "The O.A.K. Group". This group has dedicated
itself to promoting the preservation of landscapes as open space.
He is an Artist Member in the California Art Club, a member of
Oil Painter's of America, and the Santa Barbara Art Association.