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His paintings feature vibrant splashes of color, whether they are abstracts or whimsical depictions of people or animals. Oregon artist Earl Hamilton's painting style has developed over a lifetime. The child of two successful Northwest painters, Satsuko and George Hamilton, Earl was born in Japan, but spent much of his childhood living in a small cabin in rural Willamette valley. The family lived a frugal life of self-sufficiency, hauling water, collecting eggs from their chickens, milking goats and painting together in the living room. For his sixth birthday, his parents gave him a set of watercolors. They encouraged him to read, study and discuss art, while offering direction on technique and design. Without television and radio, he was free to explore and create his own artistic experience.
Given the tools to begin painting at an early age, Earl won a Scholastic Gold Key award for the State of Oregon and a National Gold Medal Scholastic Award for a competition in New York City. He was later awarded an art scholarship at Oregon State University. His work has also captured awards including The Grumbacker Award for the Northwest Watercolor Society and the First Place Sweepstake Award for the Watercolor Society of Oregon. "Exploring nature has been a big influence," Earl says, explaining how splattered leaves of a juicy jade plant against his parent's white fence impacted him and how he melted plastic to see how it "globbed together." Earl Hamilton's paintings can be seen at Shearwater Gallery in Seaside and at Freed Galleries in Lincoln City and Pacific City.