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“For me, art is like breathing,” says artist Pamela Hamilton. “It has always been in me, it just had to get out. As a toddler, I would stick my hands in my mom’s plants and use the dirt to paint the walls.” From this earthy beginning, she has blossomed into an award-winning pastel artist and teacher.


Hamilton attended Chicago’s School of the Art Institute, then later studied graphic design. She began her career in print and publishing, eventually becoming art director of Country Sampler Magazine. The twists and turns of her life and career shaped her perspective and technique, and in 2012 she made the leap-of-faith decision to pursue art full-time. 


“I don’t think with words; I think in images,” Hamilton explains. “I’m inspired by the beauty all around me, and from there it’s all about color and seeking the light.” While she enjoys painting the occasional oil, she finds soft pastels more evocative for her style. “Soft pastels are immediate and versatile. They are portable, tactile and rich in saturation. I love their buttery, paint-like quality.” 


Hamilton is represented by Edgewood Orchard Galleries in Fish Creek, WI. She is a member of the Chicago Pastel Painters, and an associate member of both the Pastel Society of America and American Women Artists. She conducts a pastel class at the Art Box in St. Charles, IL, and has collaborated with Jack Richeson & Company on her own private-label collection of Soft Pastels, "Pamela Hamilton Basics & Brights". 



2018 - Richeson Soft Pastels created a Private Label Set of “Pamela Hamilton Basics & Brights”

2017 - Ampersand Pastelbord used painting “Haytime”  for Spring 2017 Retail Promotion

2014 - Illustrated "Angie of Garfield Farm" book, written by Ann Brack-Johnson



2020 - "Chicago Pastel Painters' Eighth Biennial Juried Member Exhibition, Honorable Mention

2020 - "Dakota Pastels Competition", 3rd Place, Winter Quarter-Established Artist Category

2020 - “Monthly Contest”, March, Judge’s Pick, Daily Paintworks

2019 - “Monthly Contest”, December, Judge’s Pick, Daily Paintworks

2019 - “Monthly Contest”, May, Judge’s Pick, Daily Paintworks

2019 - “Monthly Contest”, April, 2nd Place, Daily Paintworks

2019 - Monet Cafe Pastelists Facebook Group, Winner of March Painting Challenge, Still Life   

2018 - “Geneva Arts Fair”, Award of Excellence, Geneva, IL

2018 - Monet Cafe Pastelists Facebook Group, Winner of April Painting Challenge, Paint Your Pet 

2017 - “Off The Beaten Path”, Honorable Mention, Bloomingdale Park District, Bloomingdale, IL 

2017 - “Riverwalk Fine Art Fair”, Merit Award, Naperville, IL

2017 - “St. Charles Fine Art Show”, Judge’s Award, St. Charles, IL

2016 - “Attention to Detail”, Honorable Mention Award, Bloomingdale Park District, Bloomingdale, IL

2016 - “Monthly Contest”, May, Judge’s Pick, Daily Paintworks

2016 - “Garden Party”,Special Merit, DuPage Art League March ‘16 Exhibit

2015 - Light, Space & Time, November Online Competition “Animals”, Special Merit Award,“Piper”

2015 - “Lincolnshire Art Festival 2015”, Outstanding Achievement Award

2015 - “Monthly Contest”, May, Judge’s Pick, Daily Paintworks

2015 - “Cats Competition”, First Place, Focus, Point, Shape Online Show 

2015 - “Food For Thought”, Special Merit Award & Dick Blick Award, DuPage A.League April ‘15

2015 - “Garden Party”, Best of Show, DuPage Art League March ‘15 Exhibit

2014 - “Monthly Contest”, November, Judge’s Pick, Daily Paintworks

2014 – Relic Batavia, Juried Show, Honorable Mention, Batavia Fine Arts Centre, Batavia, IL

2014 - “Squash, Gourds and Pumpkins”, Best of Show, DuPage Art League October ‘14 Exhibit 

2014 - Light, Space & Time, September Web “Seascapes”, Special Merit Award,“Fun in the Sun”

2014 - Light, Space & Time, September Web “Seascapes”, Special Recognition, “Little Boy Blue”

2014 - “Monthly Contest”, JuneJudge’s Pick, Daily Paintworks 

2014 - “Bartlett Festival of the Arts 2014”, Excellence Award, Daily Herald Newspaper

2014 - “Monthly Contest”, MayJudge’s Pick, Daily Paintworks 

2014 - “Best of the Best”, Honorable Mention, Alliance of Fine Art, Burning Bush Gallery, Wheaton 

2014 - “Micro/Macro”, Winner of Theme Award, DuPage Art League April ‘14 Exhibit 

2014 - Light, Space & Time, March Online Competition “All Women”, Special Recognition Award

2013 - Light, Space & Time, November Online Competition, “Rural”, Special Recognition Award 

2013 - “Here, There, Anywhere”, Best in Show, Bloomingdale Park District, Bloomingdale, IL 

2013 - “City Hall Exhibit, Art in Your Eye”, Juried Show, Honorable Mention, Batavia, IL 

2013 - “Annual Members Only Show”, Honorable Mention, Oil Pastel Society

2013 - “Goblins, Ghosties & Witches”, Special Merit Award, DuPage Art League October ‘13 Exhibit 

2013 - “Memories”, Merit Award, DuPage Art League September ‘13 Exhibit 

2013 - Light, Space & Time, July Online Competition “Botanicals”, Special Merit Award 

2012 - “Keep it Simple”, 1st Place Winner, Bloomingdale Park District, Bloomingdale, IL 

2011 - “Lovely To Look At”, Best in Show, Bloomingdale Park District, Bloomingdale, IL