Thomas Jefferson Kitts

En Plein Air Painting Retreat, travel to sunny Sicily and learn oil paintings.

May 6 – 13, 2023 - SOLD OUT

Painting, eating, drinking and touring like an Italian, and yes, soaking in some sun after a long winter. So come join me and have some fun, and learn a lot while you do!…

Why Sicily? It seems so far away. Why go all the way to paint there?…

Well, because of the light. The sparkling clear, vibrating light.

Sicily, and specifically the area we will paint in, is at the very bottom of Italy. Far to the south and out to the west, Marsala is the nearest town. Low in latitude, at the tip of the boot, the toe juts far enough out into the Mediterranean to make the area feel like an island. This means there will be brilliant light from above, and crystalline water for the light to bounce off of. The water itself is clear and shallow, and when you look into it you can see the same limestone rock beneath the surface as you do along the cliffs above.

This is a perfect place to learn how to paint the color of light en plein air… The cliffs exhibit bright yet subtle variations of white and off-white colors, and all those high-key values keep the light bouncing around and around. All this light fills the shadows you see with color and it is a magical thing to paint. There is no such thing as a ‘black shadow’ in Sicily.

The subjects we paint encompass classical history – including some of the best preserved Greek ruins you will ever find outside of Greece. We will paint intimate village alleyways, centuries-old salt pans with traditional windmills pumping water in and out of those pans. We will paint colorful working fishing boats drawn up upon the shore, open air markets, and perhaps even local people in traditional dress if it can be arranged. We will take a day trip up to the ancient mountain village of Erice (el. 2460 feet) and paint glorious views over the entire peninsula.

And the food, the food!…

The food of Sicily is famous world-wide for its flavors, sensations, and textures. It is an incredible conjoining of things from sea and land. The combinations can’t be described, they must be experienced. Much of what you think of as Italian cuisine is actually Sicilian. So why not go directly to the source? (No slight intended to the Italians to the north, but the best meal of my life was Sicilian…) And the wine. Not well known, but among some of the greatest varietals are grown here.

And your lodgings? Well, Salinara speaks for itself. An old villa, long a destination for many artist groups, has been beautifully maintained with love, care, and attention to detail. It too offers many opportunities to paint on site. There are intimate vignettes within the walls, and distant views from above, all from on the grounds, just a few feet from your room. Or you can just lounge between our daily painting excursions and relax in your private space, or by the pool, or in the kitchen.

Your accommodations are all-inclusive: breakfast, lunches, and dinners prepared for you by the owner, an incredible chef. There is no need to rent a car. We will pick you up at the Palermo airport and transport you to wherever we go. Then we will take you back to the airport for the next part of your journey.

This will be the best of Sicily delivered to you in a week…

I promise to make it one of the most amazing painting excursions you’ve ever experienced. By the time you go home your paintings will be filled with light and color, your mind with history and lore, and your belly with good things to eat. Memories for a lifetime.

But don’t wait because this workshop is filling up.

Until then, la dolce vita!…



€ 3140
Sharing per person:
€ 2640
Sharing NON painter:
Please ask us

How to Book

Deposit to save your spot € 600.
The balance is due to 8 weeks before your arrival.

Apply NOW, spots are limited.
Min participants 10
Max participants 15

About Thomas Jefferson Kitts

Thomas is a signature member of the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painters Association, an associate member of the California Art Club, a member the Oil Painters of America, and the American Impressionist Society. He travels extensively and maintains a distinguished exhibition history 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. His work is widely collected throughout North America.

In the past four years Thomas has been honored with Signature Artist Status in the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, a twelve month Artist Residency from the University Club of Portland, an Artists’ Choice Award and Hamilton Family Foundation Award from the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painters Invitational, a Best of Show and Mayor’s Choice at the Carmel Art Festival, Best New Artist from Plein Air Easton, 2nd Place and numerous Honorable Mentions at Los Gatos Plein Air, and Best International Artist at Plein Air Curacao. He is also been a multiple Raymar Art and PleinAir Magazine Salon Finalist and featured as an Artist to Watch by The Informed Collector. Thomas was invited to participate in several Maui Plein Air Painting Invitationals where he won the Pioneer Inn Quickdraw Competition and has been featured in several issues of PleinAir Magazine. Thomas was also a guest lecturer at three Plein Air Convention & Expos in Monterey, California.

– Painting instruction and individual assistance
– Accommodation in double room
– Accommodation in single room with supplement
– All Sicilian Breakfasts, 4 lunches and all dinners
– Non alcoholic drinks and wines during dinner
– Wine tasting at the villa
– Visit & shopping at pottery and terracotta artisan
– All local excursion
– The use of portable folding chairs and folding easels – Pick-up at Palermo airport on the first day at 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm
– Transfer to Palermo airport on the last day after breakfast

– 2 lunches
– Any personal expenses
– Art supplies
– Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
– Airfare
– Tips for drivers and guides
– Transfers to and from other airports than Palermo
– Transfers to the villa from Palermo airport later than 4:00 pm are extra cost.
If you arrive later than 4:00 pm, we can arrange personal transfer accordingly.

You will stay in our 18th century typical Sicilian villa, surrounded by vineyards and the blu mediterranean sea. The area is known for its olive groves, salt pans and local producers of DOC Marsala wine and many other amazing red and white wines.

Sicilian breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be freshly prepared and served at the villa by our selected local chef. Enjoy the exotic flavors of traditional cuisine accompanied by exquisite local wines.
* Please notify us in advance if you have any dietary restrictions.

Travel, Landscape, Seascape, Architecture, Food and People.
Everything is carefully planned yet relaxed, giving you the freedom to open up and be creative, all while enjoying Sicily in the company of like-minded people.

The course is conducted in English, with translation into Italian, French, Spanish on demand.


– Spectacular subject matter at the Villa and within walking distance such as Windmills and Salt Pans in a Natural Preserve.

– Paint coastal scenes at San Teodoro Tower and its surroundings.

– Historic Center of Marsala and Fish Market.

– Erice Mountain and the medieval village: An utterly panoramic ride with stops for beautiful sea views will take us to the medieval village.

– Shopping trip to Marsala plus a visit to a local artisan ceramist.

– Wine tasting, a passionate sommelier will introduce the history of Marsala wines, accompanied by delicious local aperitif.

– Taste authentic Sicilian cuisine prepared by our local chef at the villa and in our favorite local restaurant.

– Taste local ice cream in a classic gelateria.

Please note the itinerary is an example. Visits will depend on location and are subject to change depending on the weather.

We welcome non-painting companions. There are many amenities and activities happening at the Farmhouse, your companions will never get bored! Of course, they will enjoy all of our local excursions, wine tasting and fantastic meals.

Start your adventure in Western Sicily:
– Typical Sicilian cooking class (min.4 pax).
– Visit local wine producers, with wine tasting.
– Walking and visit the surrounding, sea coast with antique salt marshes, windmills and vineyards.
– Visit the beautiful seaside city of Marsala, home of the homonymous wine DOC.
– Visit the unforgettable old city of Trapani where you can stroll, shop and eat in a relaxed setting.
– Bicycling and enjoy splendid views over vineyards, with the magical colours of the Mediterranean Sea.
– Visit the unspoiled Egadi Islands, such as Favignana and Levanzo.
– Experience yoga or kitesurf with professional trainer.

Arrival and Departure Airport: Palermo, Sicily (PMO) – Transfer time to villa is about 1h 20min.
Travel by car and minibus to painting spots.
For those who prefer to arrive earlier or leave later, we offer an optional extended stay.
Travel Visa: A visa may be required depending on your nationality.

Besides the basic packing and travel needs, here are a few things to think about bringing with you.

— Bathing suit and beach towel
— Sun protection hat
— Raincoat
— Comfortable shoes for walking
— Plug adaptors / converters

Cancellations will have 50 % of the deposit refunded, that they are made 60 days at 12:00 pm CET before the start of the workshop. If made between 60 days at 12:00 pm CET to 14 days before of the start of the workshop, there will be a refund of 50 % of the payment made in full. 14 days before 12:00 pm CET to the day of start of the workshop no more refund will be made.

Please note that MERIDIANA ART may need to cancel workshop due to events beyond our control (e.g. medical or family issues of the instructor, insufficient numbers for the workshop). In such a case the full amount of the money paid will be reimbursed. When booking your airplane ticket, cancellation insurance is therefore highly recommended. Insurance can often be purchased at the same time you buy your tickets or from a travel agent


For any questions, please contact:


La Meridiana-Art
Phone: +39 377 2709500

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