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Artist Profile

Tom Lockhart
Whiskey Clear Water
Whiskey Clear Water

Oil Painting

Colorado artist and native, Tom Lockhart, was born and raised in the heart of the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado. He grew up in the small rural farming community of Monte Vista.

Tom has been painting professionally for 30 years. Tom graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Emporia State University, Emporia, KS, majoring in glass blowing (free-form) and painting (two-dimensional studies). After graduating, Tom returned to his hometown and ran his families retail business (successfully for 11 years) before embarking on a quest to become an artist/painter. Starting, literally from the ground up, Tom retaught himself to paint in oils, watercolors and pastels. Reading volumes of books and studying the Masters and other artists, Tom realized he needed some additional information and knowledge to further his endeavors. He studied oils with the late Ted Goerschner, Ray Vinella, Wayne Wolfe and Skip Whitcomb. Tom also sought out the knowledge of the late Irvine Shapiro (American Academy), and the late Lowell Ellsworth Smith (who became a great friend and mentor).

By the late 80s and early 90s, Tom began to branch out and try other areas of interest. He studied and successfully painted wildlife, primarily birds and waterfowl. In 1990 he won the "Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year". He subsequently went on to win "Best Bird of Prey" and "Best Bird Artist" for the National Wildlife Exhibition 1993 - 1994. He also placed second for the Colorado Duck Stamp (1992), and third (1993); second for New Mexico Duck Stamp (1993); and placed 300 in the 1993 National Duck Stamp Competition (out of 8000 entries).

Tom is a Signature Member of the Northwest Rendezvous (NWR); the Big Horn Rendezvous (BHR); Oil Painters of America (OPA); Colorado Watercolor Society (CWS); Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters (RMPAP); Western Artists of America (WAA); and the Outdoor Painters Society (OPS).

He is an Associate Member of the Pike�s Peak Watercolor Society (PPWS) and the Southern Colorado Watercolor Society (SCWS). He was selected to the Top 100 for the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society (NOAPS) International Exhibition in Cincinnati, Ohio (as an Associate Member).

He has been selected to exhibit at the following shows: Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show (since 2006); Gilcrease Museum Miniature Show; Colorado Governor's Show; Greeley Independence Stampede Art Show; Windows on the Divine Exhibition; and Weekend in the West.

Tom participates in many outdoor plein-air painting events and has won numerous awards including three Best of Show in three plein-air events in Colorado (2011), the South Park Plein-Air, Victor Celebrates the Arts, and the Sangre Art Guild, Plein-Air Festival. Tom won the Merit Award in Sedona, AZ (2010); Southwest Art Magazine�s Artist Choice Award Telluride Plein-Air (2008); and the First Place Award of Excellence and the Patrons Award in OPA (2005). Tom has won both Region III Awards for the National Arts for the Parks Top 100 (both in 1994 and 2004). He won Best of Show for the Colorado Watercolor Society�s Annual Statewide Open Exhibition in 2007, and Third Place Award in 2018 for the Statewide Exhibition. He has also won three Awards of Excellence and the Director�s Choice Award with RMPAP.

Tom has been featured in Southwest Art Magazines landscape issue and was awarded the cover for that issue in February 2006 as well as a feature article in Art of the West entitled �Subliminal Drama� (1998). Recently Tom was featured again in the Jul/Aug. issue of Art of the West entitled �Following the Light�. Tom was also selected by the Artist Magazine and Forbes Magazine (both of NY, NY) to exhibit and was invited to paint in watercolors at the Forbes Ranch for Watercolor Magazine (1999) and Exhibit at the Forbes Magazine Gallery (NY, NY and SF, CA).

Tom has been selected as an exhibitor from a thousand applicants for the Paint the Parks Top 100 (2009) and the Mini Top 100 (2009) along with the Zion National Park Centennial Art Exhibit Celebrating 100 Years with the exhibit running from August 2008 through May 2009 at the St. George Art Museum in St. George, UT. Tom has served on the Board of Directors for the Fremont Center for the Arts in Canon City, CO from 2010-2012.


Tom continually strives to convey a feeling of light and atmosphere in his oil, pastel and watercolor paintings. �I am looking for a balance between representational painting and impressionism. Painting outdoors helps me as a landscape painter understand this process more easily. I like how the brush work and color can convey the essence of a scene without being literal. I am constantly trying different surfaces and various brushes to help me create the illusion of the subject I am painting. Atmosphere, the effect of temperature, the mood the time of day, all play an important role in luring me to the subject. But most importantly, is the ability as a landscape painter to convey those sensations to the viewer. Each painting can touch the viewer differently. My hope is that they can relate the work and sometimes the struggles that go into creating a piece of fine art.�

Tom goes on to state, �We as painters are illusionists; we are creating the illusion of depth, light and atmosphere within a flat two-dimensional space. I feel that texture, variation of paint application, value, solid design and drawing make for a stronger presentation. As a landscape painter I�m am constantly striving to apply these tools, so I may arrive at a clearer understanding of my intended purpose. As many of us artists, we suffer for our craft. I feel it's a profession I am blessed to be able to do. An honorable profession passed down for generations to only a handful of people who relish the task at hand and enjoy every step of the way.�

Located Downtown at 802 Lincoln Avenue
PO Box 770879, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477

970-879-5515   or   970-819-2850