John Johnstone is one of Scotland’s leading artists working in a figurative style. He was born in Forfar in 1941, where he lives and works today. He studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art from 1959 to 1964 under David McClure and Alberto Morrocco. In 1967 he spent 6 months painting in Jamaica where he had his first solo exhibition.
John taught life drawing classes to students in Dundee as well as non-vocational art classes. He was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Scottish Academy and the Scottish Society of Artists (SSA) and is a professional member of the SSA and Visual Arts Scotland.
“My paintings seem to be expressing something, either serious or amusing about life. They depict people acting out minor dramas. Gesture, composition, characterisation and setting are important. There is an element of gravity in them, but the humorous side probably eclipses that aspect.”
Art historian Edward Lucie-Smith wrote: “John Johnstone is a unique artist – in the special sense that he has no problem in being original. His only problem is keeping that originality within bounds.”
John has works in public and private collections at home and aboard including HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, Carnegie Trust’s Art Collection, Angus Council Collection, Dundee City Collection, The McManus Galleries Collection and Fife Council Museums West Collection.