Highlight Hollywood has the exclusive rights to reveal the results of the 50 categories of winning artists in the American Art Awards, decided by the 25 Best Galleries In The Nation. In a series of articles expanding through October, we reveal, in daily features, the 1st to 6th Place winning images with artists info, one category at a time. Please check in daily for brilliant paintings, photography, digital images and sculpture in genres from portrait to floral to impressionism, realism, landscape, innovative, cubism, self-portrait, etc.
This year the online contest had submissions from 35 countries including Aruba, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain,South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, UK, United Arab Emirates and USA.
I interviewed president of www.AmericanArtAwards.com, Thom Bierdz (soap opera actor and painter of the BLUE X paintings) and asked which artists this year won the PORTRAIT OF SOMEONE NOT FAMOUS category. Bierdz shared, “Debra Latham’s submission scored the most gallery points in this category, but all the award winners scored very high and show brilliant portraiture.”
Debra Latham has her work displayed in public & private collections in the United States and abroad. Her representational work in rich oils can be described as impressionistic realism with a loose and expressive style — everything from landscape to figurative, plein air to studio pieces. A native Texan, much of her inspiration comes from her travels & the family farmhouse in the Texas Hill Country. She teaches oil painting in Kingwood, Texas, where she lives with her husband.
Latham won her first of many art competitions in the 5th grade and at the age of 12 she received her first commission to paint a mural on the gym wall of her middle school. She recalls,“The only compensation was to skip basketball practice twice a week. It was probably best. I was a better painter than basketball player.”
A self-taught artist who studied with Dan Gerhartz, Rob Liberace, Clayton J. Beck & Jeff Legg, Latham didn’t pursue becoming a professional artist until her 2 children were grown. She credits her inspirations as John Singer Sargent, Sorrolla, Pino, David Leffel, Nydia Lazano, Daniel Gerhartz and Robert Coombs.
“I live to paint, I paint to live. Trying to capture the subtle nuances is what intrigues me most. I like how impressionism doesn’t give all the information to you and lets you complete the painting in your own mind.”
LATHAM’S AWARDS AND JURIED SHOWS
2015 – Juried into the Art of the Heartland National Show
2015 – Juried into National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society “Best of America” Show
2014 – Commission for Arabia Shriner’s Temple, Houston, Texas (unveiling July 2015)
2014 – August Featured artist at Davis & Co. Art Gallery
2013 – Juried into the National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society “Best of America Show”
2012 – Wines Across Texas – One Woman Show
2010 & 2011 Winner of The Woodlands High School Art Trust Competition. My Winning painting is the Signature Piece of The Woodlands High School Art Trust’s Collection
2010 – Juried into Artist of Texas “Where Texas Gets Its Color” show at The Dutch Art Gallery in Dallas, TX.
2008, 2009, 2010 – Kingwood Art Society Bi-Annual Shows-First Place
2005 – Texas Vineyards & Beyond One Woman Show
LATHAM IN MAGAZINES
American Art Collector Magazine – November 2010 Issue
Southwest Art Magazine – December 2010 Issue
Oil Painters Of America
Outdoor Painters Society
National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society
Houston Plein Air Painters
Artist of Texas – Signature Member
Kingwood Art Society
Woodlands Art League
Lone Star Art Guild
LATHAM’S POSITIONS HELD
Red Palette Art Center – President 2010,2012 & 2013
Co-Founded Red Palette Art Center – 2010
LATHAM’S GALLERY REPRESENTATION
The Dutch Art Gallery, Dallas Texas
Davis & Company, Spring Texas
Red Palette Art Gallery, Humble Texas