David Barnes was born in Africa and spent his early childhood there. He has a degree in history and economics and was a qualified chartered accountant. Before his retirement, he worked in professional practice and as a consultant for the Open University, running seminars in the UK, Europe and Africa on financial management on their MBA programme.
David began painting in 2008 when he retired. His first exhibition, held during Herefordshire's Open Studio week in September of that year, was a virtual sell-out. In the same year, one of his paintings was selected for the Christmas Exhibition at the Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy. Since then he has exhibited regularly at the Albany Gallery in Cardiff as well as the Red Rag Gallery, Bath. His work has also been in galleries in Chester, Brecon, Stow-on-the-Wold, Nantwich, Milford Haven and at Plas Glyn y Weddw at Llanbedrog near Pwllheli.
He has had several one man exhibitions, including the Albany Gallery, Cardiff (March 2012) and the Red Rag Gallery, Bath (September 2012). In 2013 he was part of the Palace Art Fest in Hereford, a 3 man exhibition at Plas Glyn y Weddw and the summer exhibition at the Albany. He also had another two exhibitions at the Red Rag gallery in Bath. He was invited to do another one man show at the Albany gallery in Cardiff in 2014. His work has been sold to clients in China, France, Netherlands, Australia and the United States. David 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. As well as painting the north Wales landscape, David also enjoys painting still life subjects. Like other Welsh artists whom he admires, such as the late Sir Kyffin Williams, 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 feel.