Doodling in the margins

PUTTING THE FINAL TOUCHES on a new painting, Fredericksburg native C.J. Latta adds a little bit of detail Saturday afternoon during an art demonstration at the Fredericksburg Art Gallery’s Contemporary Masters Invitational. — Standard-Radio Post/Matt Ward

Fredericksburg native C.J. Latta draws inspiration from hometown

By Matt Ward— Though her pieces can be seen hanging on the walls of the Fredericksburg Art Gallery, C.J. Latta’s art extends to more unlikely places — the pages of medical textbooks and journals.

A fifth generation Fredericksburg resident, Latta spent 13 years working as award-winning medical illustrator and animator for Dr. Denton Cooley in the Houston medical center, diagramming surgical procedures to accent highly technical documents.

Recently, Latta joined 13 fellow artists to participate in the 16th annual Contemporary Masters Invitational at the Fredericksburg Art Gallery, held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1-2, in conjunction with the monthly First Friday Art Walk Fredericksburg celebration at 11 local galleries.

Her piece entitled “Beastly Beauty,” a 30 inch by 40 inch painting in acrylic of an agave cactus in a bushy, thorny, hostile environment, was named the top choice by the public and by judges.

“I understand that this is what they make tequila out of,” Latta said. “It’s got a lot of beautiful things about it even though it’s a treacherous plant.”

Fredericksburg Art Gallery’s annual invitational is as much a time for camaraderie as competition, Latta said.

“It’s a group of artists that have been painting together for a long time,” she said. “We’re friends as well as colleagues. We have a big picnic together and everyone has got a different style and outlook.”

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