David Barnes was born in Africa and spent his early childhood there. He qualified as a chartered accountant and spent most of his working life in professional practice. David took an Open University degree in history and economics. He then worked for several years as a tutor for the Open University, running seminars in the UK, Europe and Africa on financial management on the MBA programme. Although he enjoyed art at school and has been an art collector for many years, it was not until he retired in 2006 that he began to paint seriously. Nevertheless, he progressed quickly, earning his rapid success after spending many hours in the studio. His earliest days as a painter was very much shaped by the goal of emulating Sir Kyffin Williams. He was fascinated by the brooding landscapes and sombre colours so evident in Kyffin Williams’ work. As a result he began to look into the background of the artist. He then became interested in the art work of other Welsh artists and the work of the French Impressionists. Talking about influences to his work David says: “When I did a bit of research I discovered that some of the early Impressionists – for example, Van Gogh – started using the palette knife. I went over to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and when you see his paintings in the flesh you can actually see the palette knife strokes which he used. The visit proved very useful in the “learning curve.” The result of these broadening influences, coupled with his continued experimentation with paint, has been the emergence of a distinctive style. He captures the greys and browns of a North Wales landscape with brooding intensity, but he also utilises arresting splashes of colour reminiscent of 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 that 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 and Anglesey. As well as painting the dark brooding colours of the north Wales landscape.
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