Byron grew up on the banks of the Contoocook River in Contoocook, NH. He spent many hours exploring the river, swamps and forest around his home. Without children of his own age around, he entertained himself by drawing. As a teenager, he completed the Famous Artist Course for Young People. After graduating from high school, Byron attended a three year commercial art course at the Vespar George School of Art in Boston, MA. Even though he graduated in the top quarter of his class, he went into the building trades in the central New Hampshire area. With a family and a busy schedule, he drifted away from art until 1987, when his daughter was two years old. He started reworking a childrenís book he had started in art school. By the end of 1988 DOODLES was written, illustrated, and published. During the next couple of years, he also completed a course with the Institute of Childrenís Literature. Byron still spends time at elementary schools, drawing with the students, using DOODLES as the inspiration.
In 1992 Byronís interest turned toward fine art. He was now working from 6:00am to 2:30pm, maintaining 12 buildings on Main Street in Concord, NH and living back on the banks of the Contoocook River. Most of 1992 was spent on basic drawing. In the fall, he attended a week long watercolor workshop. In Jan. 1993, he submitted his first piece to a juried show and was accepted into the Thorne-Sagendorff Regional Show. That was his first sale and his first award. Also among his awards are a First Place and a People's Choice from the Sharon Arts Center, the Costello award from the New Hampshire Art Association, and the 2000 Theme Award from the New Hampshire Antiquarian Society.
The State of New Hampshire purchased four of Byronís 42"x16" format waterfall paintings for the new Rockingham County Courthouse in 1995. In 1996 he had his most successful show at the Covered Bridge Fine Art Gallery in Contoocook, NH. He sold 16 of the 30 pieces in the show including a 4íx 6í waterfall painting. This show was featured in the Boston Globe New Hampshire Edition. He also started painting with oils during the summer for an added challenge.
A second successful show at the Covered Bridge Gallery in 2000 featured many large oil paintings of New Hampshire landscapes, as well as a variety of watercolors. Byron Carr's latest methods include painting "en plein air", by working outside, on location. The changing light conditions limit the observation time to two hours or less, in order to capture the essence of a scene and its visual impression. Byron then uses many of these works as reference for larger pieces that he creates in his studio.
"The more I paint the luckier I get," Byron often comments while instructing his "Paint Until The Magic Happens" watercolor workshops. In addition, he conducts oil painting workshops and demonstrations at his studio in Contoocook, NH, and on location throughout New England. Byron produces about 60 paintings a year of a quality high enough to present for sale. The ones that donít make the cut are thrown into "the pile of tears" in the back room.
Byronís approach to painting is to, "Keep it simple: shape, value and color. After that I just have fun slopping, splashing, spraying and scraping." If a painting is acceptable for sale he puts on his business hat and realizes that his piece is, for most who view it, just something for sale. Several Carr painting owners have said their "spiritual moment" each day is the time they spend in front of his work. "I do not expect that comment," says Byron, "but it is the most I can hope for and I thank God whenever it happens."