Some of my friends wonder why I have changed my name from David to Dai. The short answer is that I haven’t. My parents, sisters and immediate family always used Dai (but pronounced “day”) as a short form of David — a nickname if you like. However, it appears that the Welsh adopted the name 'Dai” (pronounced “die”) as a short form of Dafydd (pronounced “Dahveth”) the patron saint of Wales and also known as St David just across Offa’s Dyke.
Why Wales? Well the name “Wynn” means fair-skinned or white in the Welsh language and my ancestors were certainly from around those parts (others were from Ireland and Cornwall, but paid full fare to sail to Australia. None was transported in chains I might add). Dafydd, being the Welsh version of David, comes from Hebrew where it means “beloved”.
I thought that it would be cool to distinguish between Dr David C Wynn the electrical and telecommunications engineer, and Dai Wynn the artist. It was originally intended to avoid the perception that an engineer, being left-brained, would not have a creative bone in his body, while the right-brained artist would be barely able to count to three, let alone write a 300-page PhD thesis on advanced applied mathematics. In fact, it’s probably caused a small amount of confusion. Oh well.
I have always drawn and painted, but have never really been able to follow a professional path which combined the two. During my early electrical engineering studies, I did some painstakingly detailed drawings of machinery and my lecture notes were beautifully written in copperplate script. I was also the person to paint the band’s name on the base drum skin, write the invitation to the annual ball, or to inscribe the inventors’ initials on the aluminium housing of the newest solid state car ignition widget. Perhaps I should have been an industrial designer or an architect, but many in those professions are not engineers and are not expected to design something which actually works or stands up or is even able to be built. Quite frustrating.
My paintings in watercolours on fine papers and oils on stretched canvas are realistic pictorial records of my travels around the world. The artworks depict visually attractive locations in England, Scotland, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, China, New Zealand and Australia. My paintings can be found in private collections in Canada, USA, China, France, England and Australia. I have also been commissioned to paint the portraits of several prominent Australians and have twice entered portraits in the prestigious Archibald Prize.
In early 2014, I moved my studio to Eaglemont, at the foot of Mount Eagle, the birthplace in 1888 of the Heidelberg School of Art. This group, latterly called 'Australian Impressionists', comprised such iconic names as Frederick McCubbin, Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Charles Conder, Walter Withers, Louis Abrahams and Jane Sutherland. These artists chose to paint 'en plein air' and many of their famous works were painted in Eaglemont.