Painting is not just a hobby for sophomore business and art double major Barry Carter. It is something he hopes to make a living with after college.
At age two, Carter began painting and has not stopped since. He is most passionate about painting Western art, which has won him numerous awards.
“I mean I grew up in a very rural area, a very small town, and so it [Western art] has just always been around me,” Carter said. “I really enjoy painting the textures on the cow’s fur, and I really enjoy painting the wrinkles on an old cowboy’s face or painting the feathers in a Native American’s headdress.”
Carter looks up to artists like Dalhart Windberg, a landscape artist who produces Western art as well.
“I painted with him and a couple of other good painters, and he has taught me a lot,” Carter said. “He has taught me new techniques I never learned before.”
With improvements to his painting technique and enthusiasm for Western art, Carter began entering numerous art contests. However, there is one art contest that stands out from the rest.
Carter was the Grand Champion of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in March 2012. His painting was auctioned off for $206,000 there.
“There are about 400,000 entries from all across the state,” Carter said. “Just to be in the number one spot, first of all it’s a big honor, but it also helped me go here to TCU because it helped pay for a lot of funds from the money from the auction.”
Adjunct Illustration professor Charles Varner, Carter’s art professor from his freshman year, was impressed and surprised by the amount of talent Carter brought to the table.
“Very few artists achieve that in their lifetime, let alone when they’re at his age at this stage of life,” Varner said. “In fact, no other student I’ve ever had has had anything like that sort of financial success."
Varner said he has seen students of Carter's age working on a professional level, but "they're pretty rare."