Dec 30

My WATERCOLOR book is now available

"Watercolor - It's just a piece of paper" written and designed by Sonja is a watercolor reference book (newly) published and printed in Oregon.  176 pages of information with Sonja's paintings and exemplars from her teaching experiences in the classroom.  Some of the subjects you will find: mixing green, mixing gray, how to paint boats, lace, rust, trees, yellow trees, waterfalls, oceans, color theory, linear perspective, flowers, reflective surfaces, moving water, snow, how fix and repair paintings, matting and framing, and how to exhibit and show your work.  There is a 2-page index to help you find your subject.  $34.95 + tax, where applicable.  To purchase your copy, contact sonja via email: or you may visit her studio, by appointment, to pick up your personalized copy.  The book is also available at Auburn Old Town Gallery, 218 Washington St, Auburn, CA 95603.

Jun 16

2017 Painting in Loire Valley, June 9 - 16

This popular watercolor painting teacher will do an 8 day workshop June 9 - 16, 2017 for a small group of eager and excited people.  We'll visit castles, gardens in the wine region of France.  Home base is near Tours, France, in the Loire Valley.  We will visit the last home of Leonardo di Vinci who was offered a castle by the (then) King of France if he would leave Italy and come to France.  Here he invented, painted, and created many masterpieces; we will tour the museum and paint in the gardens plus sketch/paint in a different location every day.   Fees include hotel, most meals, sightseeing, van, driver, interpreter/guide and entrance to sights.  Not included: air fare, gratuities,some meals, and personal expenses.  For more information, please visit trips 2017/Loire Valley/Sonja Hamilton, instructor!

Two spots left!

May 27

2017 Spring in Yosemite - watercolor classes

I am returning, for perhaps the last time, to volunteer-teach watercolor painting at Yosemite National Park.  Each day, just before 10 AM, I will take people to a different location to paint; in inclement, cold or damp weather, we will meed indoors at the Art Center (near the Yosemite Village Store).  You may register in advance or at the Art Center for as many days as you wish - from 1 - 6 days.  Registration fee is $15.00 per day.  Classes are from 10 AM - 2 PM, but I usually am back at the Art Center around 3:40 or 4 PM.  Bring a sack lunch, art supplies (you may purchase additional supplies at the Center), hat, chair, sunglasses, a drink and painting water.  Check Online with Yosemite Conservancy for more information.  See you there! 

May 14


Our most popular studio tour happens again this Mother's Day weekend!  It will be the 20th year for the NORTH AUBURN ARTISTS group.  We have added a few new artists, so do check our website for the latest scoop.

I will still be showing at my studio, 3500 Kimo Way from 10 - 5 PM each day.  Come to chat, look around, poke through my flat files to find the perfect painting for you home or office.  I will also have my Celebration Calendars (to help remember birthdays and anniversaries), cards, and a few prints.  The following week, I pack up my gear to teach in Yosemite, but I will have many original paintings in my studio that I have done on location in the past.  Just ask me to see the portfolios - Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Merced River, blooming dogwood, and some lessor historical scenes from there.

6:00 pm18:00

Flowers in Watercolor Demonstration

Watch Sonja paint her fast, loose flowers in watercolor at Auburn Old Town Gallery, 218 Washington Street, (Old Town) Auburn, during a reception for artists who portray "Flora and Fauna".  She will also be bringing several affordable, original, un-matted and unframed paintings ready for purchase during the demonstration (2 ½ hours only).  Come visit, see Sonja's flowers, and visit the other talented artists at this popular gallery.

6:00 pm18:00

Seascape Demonstration

Watch Sonja paint the sea at Auburn Old Town Gallery, 218 Washington Street, Auburn (in Old Town).  As a bonus, Sonja will have a portfolio of affordable, original, un-matted seascape watercolors for sale during this 2 ½ hour demo.  Friday, March 3, 2017.

Apr 27

Placer Adult School - Watercolor Classes Spring Session

Two classes are offered each SPRING and FALL semesters. Look in the online catalogue for registration information at  Sonja offers Intermediate and Advanced Watercolor Classes on Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings. The SPRING 2017 semester will have 2, 6 week sessions beginning January 31 (Tuesday) & February 2 (Thursday).  Registration begins in January for all 6-week sessions after you receive the catalogue in the mail.  For additional information, go Online to or contact Placer School for Adults at (530) 885-8585.    

Nov 13

Placer (County) Art Studio Tour

Original paintings from Sonja's newly published book have just been installed in her watercolor studio. Visit Sonja from 10 - 5 PM each day to see where she works creating and framing her watercolor paintings, cards, calendars and more.  If you are interested in a particular subject, chances are that you will find it categorized in her flat file drawers - flowers, oceans, animals, people, landscapes, water scenes, trips, etc.  You may purchase framed, unframed and un-matted original paintings.  Sonja will also be selling and personalizing her new book for you, "Watercolor - It's only a piece of paper".  Credit cards accepted.

Pick up a map at Auburn Old Town Gallery, 218 Washington St, Auburn (Old Town).  This event is FREE and sponsored by the Arts Council of Placer County - PlacerArts.

Sep 25

KVIE Auction

One of my original watercolor paintings, "Fallen Log" (in Yosemite National Park) has been accepted in the 35th annual KVIE Auction to benefit Public Television.  To preview the painting, which will be auctioned on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 3 PM, go to Preview" on the KVIE Art Auction site and find me on the Saturday date..  For more information on the event, go to  I hope you enjoy searching for my painting!  (It's pretty good, if I say so myself!)

7:00 pm19:00

September 9, 2016

Auburn Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High Street, Auburn, from 7 - 9 PM, inside the "Experience Placer" Building - bottom of the hill from the big parking lot and inside next to the Placer Arts Studio Tour booth.  Admission charge to the Faire, but the demo is free!

Aug 24

Summer Watercolor classes at Dawn's Co

Sonja's second annual summer classes at Dawn's Hallmark & Art Co. in Auburn will be from 9 - 12 noon every other Wednesday beginning June 29.  Lecture & demonstration in each class; critique of each lesson to follows the next week.  Minimal painting space.  Contact Sonja directly to register.   CLASS IS FILLED


May 8

North Auburn Artists Tour

Visit Sonja's watercolor studio on the annual North Auburn Artists Mother's Day weekend studio tour May 7 & 8, 2016, 10 AM - 5 PM.  See framed, matted and unmatted watercolors; her flat file drawers have categories for you to look through for that perfect painting.  Also available are cards, calendars, and her watercolor book, "Watercolor - It's only a piece of paper".  For map and information on 2016:

Oct 10



I will be teaching my 8th Watercolor Paint-Away with French Escapade - October 3 to 10, 2015.   This custom tour is open to only 10 participants.  Our short day trips from our home base hotel will enable us to paint and enjoy the flavors of the Chianti area in Tuscany.  We will visit and paint in small Medieval hilltop towns, stroll through local markets, paint vistas and vineyards, olive groves, and enjoy memorable local food and wines.   Price includes pickup and transfers in Florence, Italy, air conditioned van, interpreter/driver/guide, instruction, hotel, most meals and local wines, a guided tour of Florence, and entrance to some museums and attractions.  Not included: air fare, personal expenses and gratuities.  Contact Jackie to reserve your space at  For complete itinerary, go to




Sep 24

Classes: Placer School for Adults

Two, 4 week sessions on Intermediate and Advanced Watercolor Painting, will be on Tuesdays from 6 PM - 9 PM and Thursdays, 9 AM - 12 PM.  Classes fill quickly, so research Online in early August for registration procedures at this site:  Look for "Watercolor classes" by Sonja Hamilton.  Supply lists will be posted Online as well.  Classes are in the Art Rooms at the Episcopal Church in downtown Auburn, CA.  

After a short break (when Sonja teaches in Tuscany), two new 8-week sessions will begin on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The school website will have all dates, fees, addresses, and more.  For information directly from the school, please telephone (530) 885-8585.

6:00 pm18:00

Book Signing & Exhibit

Meet watercolor artist/teacher/author, Sonja Hamilton, swa, at Baked and Brewed, a (delicious) coffeeshop in downtown Auburn, 958 Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA during the August Art Walk.  Exhibited will be some of Sonja's watercolors that appear in her book, "Watercolor - It's only a piece of paper".  Meet the artist/author and get your signed copy of her book.  $34.95 + tax.  Refreshments.

6:00 pm18:00

Watercolor Demonstration

Sonja is doing a watercolor demonstration at Auburn Old Town Gallery, 218 Sacramento St, Auburn (in Old Town), CA.  This gallery is a cooperative with 60 members.  Featured artists in June are the "wall" artists.  Sonja will demonstrate her painting techniques from 6  to 7:30 PM.  And be sure to pick up your signed copy of her new watercolor book, "Watercolor - It's only a piece of paper" and say hello to the artist!

10:30 pm22:30

NEW! "Watercolor - It's only a piece of paper"

I have written and published my first watercolor book.  It is already getting rave reviews!  This is a reference book based on four decades of teaching watercolor painting to adults and covers such topics as:  how to mix green, how to mix gray, painting shiny objects, lace, rust, trees, yellow trees, rain, waterfalls, snow, reflections, splashing waves, rocks, backgrounds, foregrounds, rocks, glass, skies, seasons, brush handling, composition, color, and a lot more!  With two pages of index, this is "one-stop-shopping" to learn techniques and shortcuts to watercolor.  There is a chapter on fixing and repairing paintings and how to mat, frame, and show your work.  Softcover with French Flaps, 170 pages, only $34.95 plus tax (where applicable) and shipping.  Contact Sonja at: to order your copy now.  (Yes, this IS exciting!!!!)

Aug 19

Summer Classes

Summer Watercolor Classes at Dawn's Art and Hallmark Store in Auburn, CA.  Six lessons, two each month in June, July and August, on Wednesday mornings.  $90.00 for the series.  Dates: June 10 & 24, July 8 & 22, August 5 & 19.  Contact Sonja for space available.  FILLED!

May 23

Yosemite National Park - Classes & Demonstrations

Show up at the Art Activities Center for registration and current painting location. Sonja will take everyone to a different location every day around the park. Blooming dogwood at it's peak, wild azaleas, native iris bursting, abundant waterfalls and swollen rivers will be our painting subjects. At the time of this posting, Yosemite Conservancy is asking $10. per day for lessons; all money collected stays in the Center to keep it active. Register in person or preregister online at  My Yosemite paintings, prints and cards will be for sale at the Art Activity Center; a percentage of all sales stay with the Yosemite Conservancy and Center.

1:30 pm13:30

Art Show Judge

Sonja will be juror for the annual Sierra Watercolor Winter Show in Reno, Nevada November 11, 2015.