Born in London, England, 19 March 1887. He studied at The Royal Academy for five years, however rumour says the work of John Singer Sargent and Charles Sims had the greatest impact on his artistic development.
Barnes was a portrait painter, war artist and educator. His primary mediums were oils and watercolors. His most well-known subjects were society portraits, military portraits, and figures set in picturesque landscapes.
He died in 1972 in Toronto, Ontario, where he had lived since about 1930.
His paintings are collected by several museums, including the National Gallery of Canada.
Barnes memberships include, but are not limited to, The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, The Ontario Society of Artists.