Born 1947, the son of a Methodist minister, David was educated at Kingswood School, Bath and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.
He was apprenticed as a (block) printmaker to artist Graham Clarke 1965-68. He studied etching at Falmouth School of Art under Bryan Ingham after he had travelled in Italy where he sold his first drawings (1966). He married Linda Exall in 1970 and they have two sons, a daughter and seven grandchildren. A qualified architect, he practised in Worcester 1972-1980. In partnership with Michael Westby he opened his own gallery, “framed”, in Friar Street, Worcester in November 1979. Upon Michael’s retirement in 2000 the gallery became “Birties of Worcester”. In June 2013 the gallery closed so that Linda might retire.
Since his first exhibition, in Greenwich, 1970, his work has appeared in galleries up and down the land, in his own exhibitions and with societies such as the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours and the Society of Architect-Artists of which he was a Fellow. David has undertaken commissions for many distinguished clients and his watercolours have been reproduced as cards ( Lance Ranson ), prints ( Rosensteil’s ) and calendars, Bemrose UK of Derby and, more recently, Rose of Colchester, (Around Britain, Britain in Watercolour and the David Birtwhistle Collection).
Then, in 1990, “Birties of Worcester”, as the Birtwhistles’ own publishing company, commenced production of cards and reproduction prints. These proved very popular and attracted an international following and increased awareness in the original work. Commissions have included brochures for businesses and practices, CD/record/tape sleeves, display panels and book covers. In 2001 the book “The Spirit of Worcestershire” was published featuring over thirty of David’s watercolour paintings. He has continued to work with clients such as the National Trust developing his depictions of historic architecture and landscape.
An Honorary Fellow of the University of Worcester, David’s other interests have included the Elgar Birthplace Trust (house committee), Swan Theatre Worcester Ltd (board), Abbeyfield Worcester Ltd. (trustee), Headway Worcester (president), St Johns Bell Tower Appeal (patron), Pershore Arts Association (patron), Worcester Snoezelen Project (trustee) and energetic veteran membership of Worcester Rowing Club.
David Birtwhistle’s work is to be found in one royal and many public and private collections throughout the world.