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Born and raised in Baltimore, Palden Hamilton attended the Gilman School, where he studied under Betsey Heuisler. After receiving his B.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002, he continued his education at the Art Students League of New York, where he trained in figure painting under noted figurative painters Ron Sherr and William Beckman. There he was awarded a Merit Award in Realism in 2003 and the Phylis T. Mason Grant in 2004.
Palden currently applies these skills painting portraits in the tradition of his heroes: John Singer Sargent and Velasquez. He was notably commissioned to paint Maestro Yuri Temirkanov, former musical director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and present musical director of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in Russia. In 2008, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence from the Portrait Society of America for his portrait, "Holly".
Illustration is also dear to Palden's heart, his artistic talents having been discovered at an early age through his obsessive and ceaseless childhood drawings. During high school was mentored by The Economist's editorial cartoonist Kevin "Kal" Kallaugher, and many of Palden's illustrations have been published in the Baltimore Sun.
Palden later studied scientific and botanical illustration in Chicago and has worked as a freelance illustrator in New York, including extensive work for ad agency Digitas, Inc.. He continues freelance illustration, specializing in storyboards and concept sketches, which offer welcome structure in the otherwise amorphously scheduled life of a painter.
Since 2006, he has also served as the portraiture and figure painting instructor at the Zoll Studio School of Fine Art, an emerging center of representational painting culture and education in Timonium.
Palden has painted landscape extensively on location in his native Maryland, and on travels to his mother's homeland, the Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim. For the past several years, he has been juried to participate in Plein Air Easton, the nation's most prestigious plein air painting event, winning a top award in 2016. In 2015 he received Second Place in the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association's Cityscape exhibition. He currently resides in Baltimore.
Artist’s Statement: "Through painting, I try to connect more deeply with, and create lasting depictions of, the people, places and things I observe. I also hope to connect with the culture and inquiries of others who have shared the pursuit, ancient and innate, of transfiguring pigments into semblances of the observed world.
The process of capturing visual "truth" is largely technical, as the eye is a mechanical structure. But all things are observed through veils of memory, meaning, and other interventions of the subjective mind. Therefore, the resulting depictions can be to varying degrees traditional or explorative, emotional or detached, scientific or spiritual..... On a personal level, I consider my paintings to be testaments to time spent, souvenirs of experiences.”
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