in Pasadena, California - 1961. Thomas Van Stein received his
Bachelor's 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.
He received his Master's Degree in Art from CSUN, in 1999.
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.
Thomas was awarded Best of Show in the 1997 National
Juried Arts Competition at the Abend Gallery, in Denver, Colorado,
juried by renowned artist, Quang Ho.
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."
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
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
art through the S.B.C.C. Continuing Education Program for thirty
years. He has taught workshops in Mexico, and nationally through
the Scottsdale Artists School, as well as Plein Air Painting
Nocturne workshops through the Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard California,
Van Stein is a thirty-year member of "The O.A.K. Group".
This group has dedicated itself to promoting the preservation
of landscapes as open space.
Thomas is an Artist Member in the California Art Club, also a
member of Oil Painters of America.