David Barnes (painter)

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David Barnes (born 28 September 1942) is a Welsh landscape painter known for his work painting in oils using a palette knife. He has a degree in history and economics and qualified as a chartered accountant. He was also a tutor, running seminars on financial management whilst on the MBA programme.[1]

Personal life[edit]

David Barnes was born on Safari near Tabora, Africa and spent his early childhood there. In his forties David embarked on an Open University degree, studying history and economics. Afterwards, he became a tutor for the Open University, directing seminars in the UK, Europe and Africa whilst participating on the MBA program for financial management. He has lived in north Wales most of his adult life and spent much of his free time walking in the mountains of Snowdonia and on the coastline of north Wales and Anglesey. It is his response to these landscapes that inspires much of his work.[2]

David Barnes adored art at school but it was not until 2006 when he retired from education that he decided to paint seriously. In this field he rapidly gained success as a painter whilst striving to emulate the Welsh artist Kyffin Williams. Whilst investigating the artist, he was invited to a private viewing where he had the pleasure of meeting Sir Kyffin Williams. The ominous landscapes and solemn colours depicted by Kyffin Williams’ paintings captivated David and became a prominent inspiration for his work.[1]

David Barnes was also fascinated by the artwork of other Welsh artists and the work of the French Impressionists, for example Van Gogh, who used a palette knife in their early artistry. He visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam to see the magnitude of his paintings and was inspired by the pallet knife strokes, which became an invaluable learning experience for David’s work.[2]

As an artist[edit]

He began painting in 2008 after he retired. As a result of hid personal inspirations, David's continued experimentation with paint has developed of a distinctive style of his own. Using arresting strokes of colour, reminiscent of the Scottish colourists, he captures the grey and brown tones of the North Wales landscape with an intensely brooding ambience. He is also an enthusiastic painter of still life subjects where he supplementary utilises more vibrant colours.[3]

David Barnes artwork often depicts the mountainous region of Snowdonia and occasionally landscapes in Scotland, Cornwall and Ireland. He also finds inspiration illustrating the dark gloomy colours found on the coastline of North Wales and Anglesey.[3]

David paints in oils, using a palette knife and a thick impasto technique to produce bold strokes that add strength and texture to his work, giving it a sculptured yet highly textural feel. He is increasingly becoming more individualistic in his style of painting. One of his paintings hangs in the Welsh National Assembly buildings in Cardiff.[4]


David Barnes first exhibition was held during Herefordshire’s Open Studio week in September 2008 and was practically a sell-out. Later that year, one of his paintings was appointed for the Christmas Exhibition at the Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy. He has since exhibited regularly at both the Albany Gallery,[5] Cardiff and the Red Rag Gallery in Bath,[6] where he has had numerous one-man exhibitions. His painting have been sold to clients across the world, in countries such as China, France, Netherlands, Russia, Australia and the United States.[7]

David’s work has also been featured in galleries at Anglesey,[8] Chester, Brecon, Stow-on-the-Wold,[9] Nantwich,[10] Lancashire,[11] Milford Haven and Llanbedrog near Pwllheli.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Artists". www.albanygallery.com. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Barnes, David - Plas Glyn Y Weddw (en-GB)". www.oriel.org.uk. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "David BARNES artist, paintings and art at the Red Rag British Art Gallery". www.redraggallery.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  4. Price, Karen (2014-03-08). "How painter David Barnes found his own voice thanks to Kyffin Williams". WalesOnline. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  5. "Albany Gallery Cardiff's Premier Contemporary Commercial Art Gallery". www.albanygallery.com. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  6. "David BARNES artist, paintings and art at the Red Rag Modern Art Gallery". www.bathartgallery.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  7. "David Barnes - Oriel Ger y Fenai Welsh Art Gallery". www.orielgeryfenai.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  8. "Oriel Ger y Fenai Welsh Art Gallery, Anglesey Picture Framing - Kyffin Williams, Wilf Roberts, William Selwyn". www.orielgeryfenai.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  9. "British Artist and British Paintings - Red Rag Modern Art Gallery". www.redraggallery.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  10. "Nantwich gallery to host one-off "Art and Wine at Wychwood" event". Nantwich News. 2014-10-29. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  11. "Artists - Modern British & Northern Artists - Art Decor Gallery". www.artdecorgallery.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  12. "Artists - Plas Glyn Y Weddw (en-GB)". www.oriel.org.uk. Retrieved 2020-11-20.

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