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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 Signature member of both  the Pastel Society of America and the Chicago Pastel Painters, and an associate member 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 



2021 - On Faculty of Pastel Live, A Global Virtual Art Conference by PleinAir Magazine

2021 - Featured in Issue #140, August/September International Artist Magazine

2018 - Richeson Soft Pastels custom curated 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



2021 – “Dakota Pastels Competition”, Honorable Mention, 1st Quarter-Established Artist Category
2020 - “Monthly Contest”, December, 3rd Place, Daily Paintworks

2020 - “Unison Colour Christmas Competition”, December, 1 of 4 Winners, Instagram Competition

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 - “​​​​​​​Paint the 'Ville”​​​​​​​ Plein Air Competition, People's Choice AND Best in Show, Warrenville, IL

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, (ShowRanked #6 in the US by ArtFairCalendar.com in 2018) 
2017 - “Off The Beaten Path”, Juried Show, Honorable Mention, Bloomingdale Park District 
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”, Juried Show, Honorable Mention Award, Bloomingdale Park District
2016 - “Garden Party”, Special Merit,DuPage Art League March ‘16 Exhibit
2015 - Light, Space & Time, NovemberOnline Competition "Animals",Special MeritAward
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 and Dick Blick Award, DuPage Art 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, SeptemberOnline Competition “Seascapes”Special MeritAward
2014 - Light, Space & Time, SeptemberOnline Competition “Seascapes”Special Recognition 
2014 - Monthly ContestJuneJudge's Pick ,Daily Paintworks 
2014 - Bartlett Festival of the Arts 2014", Excellence Award, Daily Herald Newspaper
2014 - Monthly ContestMayJudge's Pick, Daily Paintworks 
2014 - Best of the Best, Juried Show, Honorable Mention, Alliance of Fine Art, Burning Bush Gallery 
2014 - Micro/MacroWinner of Theme Award, DuPage Art League April '14 Exhibit 
2014 - Light, Space & Time, MarchOnline Competition “All Women”Special RecognitionAward
2013 - Light, Space & Time, NovemberOnline Competition, “Rural”Special Recognition Award 
2013 - Here, There, Anywhere, Juried Show, Best in Show, Bloomingdale Park District
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 - Light, Space & Time, October Online Competition, “Open Competition”Special Recognition Award
2013 - MemoriesMerit Award, DuPage Art League September '13 Exhibit 
2013 - Light, Space & Time, JulyOnline Competition “Botanicals”Special Merit Award 
2012 - Keep it Simple, Juried Show, 1st Place Winner, Bloomingdale Park District, Bloomingdale, IL 
2011 - Lovely To Look At, Juried Show, Best in Show, Bloomingdale Park District, Bloomingdale, IL