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Artist Expands Horizons With Watercolors

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MYERSVILLE, Md. (AP) — When Myersville resident Chris Carr comes across a dilapidated barn or an old car or tractor rusting in a field, he sees a story waiting to be told.

“I guess I like thinking about what the story behind those vehicles or whatever could be,” Carr said. “It’s your imagination, thinking back to what those things were like when they were new, what they’ve been through.”

Carr, a freelance graphic design consultant, also sees a subject for one of his paintings. While his career — which has included stints at The Frederick News-Post and The Washington Post — revolves around art, for the past few years Carr has also been focusing on his personal passion: watercolor landscapes. Those paintings often feature antique vehicles and structures.

Carr traces the inspiration for his work to his time at Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, where Barry Richardson was a teacher of his. The late painter was renowned for his watercolors, many of which depicted rural Frederick County landscapes. Richardson’s brother Harry is also a well-known watercolorist whose work focuses on similar themes.

“He kind of pushed me,” Carr said. “I got a lot of inspiration from him. Before that I would do a lot of drawing and pen-and-ink kind of stuff. I really loved his work, and I guess I just kind of picked it up from there.”

He said he did a few paintings over the years, but it wasn’t until about two years ago, when he was unemployed at the height of the recession, that he started spending more time on his art at the urging of his wife, Shawn, a teacher at TJ High.

“I guess I was really getting bored and cranky, and that’s when my wife was like, ‘You’ve got to start doing something,”‘ he said.

Carr, who works from his photos in his garage studio, said it takes him a few weeks, working several hours a day, to complete a painting.

Although Carr paints in his spare time, he said he would eventually like to make a living from it. He said he recently sold two prints for $75 each, and that he would consider selling some originals once he has prints made of all his work.

“Initially, I think I want to try to get some more of these printed up and then go hit a few of the local craft shows,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes from there. If it takes off, it would definitely spur me on. That would be awesome.”

The Frederick News-Post
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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