David Barnes was born in Africa where he spent most of his early childhood. He qualified as a chartered accountant and spent most of his working life in professional practice.
In his forties, David took an Open University degree in history and economics. He then worked as a tutor for the Open University. He ran seminars in the UK, Europe and Africa on financial management.
Barnes enjoyed art at school and has been an art collector for many years. But it was not until he retired, in 2006, that he began to paint seriously. His earliest days as a painter were influenced by the Welsh artist Kyffin Williams. He soon became fascinated by the work of other Welsh artists and the French Impressionists.
Barnes says “When I researched, I discovered that some early Impressionists, for example Van Gogh, used the palette knife. I visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. When you see his paintings in real life you can actually see the knife strokes. The visit proved very useful.”
These influences, together with David’s experimentation with paint, has seen the emergence of his distinctive style. Barnes captures the greys and browns of a North Wales landscape with brooding intensity. He uses splashes of colour, so much like the Scottish colourists. His paintings are highly textural. He uses a palette knife, painting in oils and using a thick impasto technique to produce bold strokes. These add strength and texture to his paintings, giving it a sculptured feel.
The inspiration for much of David Barnes art work are the mountains of Snowdonia and the coastline of North Wales. David is increasingly uses more vibrant colours. He now paints landscapes in Scotland, Cornwall and Ireland. He is also an enthusiastic painter of still life subjects.