Barrie was born in Cornwall and at present lives on the edge of the sea. His studio is sited in a prominent position with a view towards Penwith in one direction and Cudden Point and the Lizard in the other. Naturally Mount’s Bay and the cliffs of Penwith, so well known to him figure a great deal in his work. He has for the past twenty years or so made annual trips to the Scilly Isles for painting, sketching and obtaining information which is later worked up in the studio.
His inspiration comes from the particular qualities of light and feeling imbued by the landscape, and these qualities are,in themselves,both the subject and the reason for the painting. In the execution of his work Barrie draws not only not only on a considerable understanding of the landscape, but is responding to the subject matter and the painting itself as it unfolds. He talks of a point being reached when the painting will show the way forward. As to the medium chosen it will will be the one that best conveys the initial response.
While largely self taught he has long been connected with the art scene in Cornwall. His work is held in both public and private collections throughout the UK and many countries overseas.