Isobel Johnstone

"For me painting begins with something seen.  This jump-starts a process that is physical, intellectual and emotional.  Managing oil paint satisfies some primitive instinct but also needs a range of quite sophisticated responses.  Images and forms are cancelled out, reinvented and balanced in order to achieve pictorial tension and, most elusive, to find a way to convey the feeling of exhilaration or calm (or both), which nature or the built environment delivered in the first place.  I draw a lot and may use photographs along the way but virtual reality is no substitute for the energy of the experience of looking that drives my work."

Isobel trained at Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh University and Glasgow University.  She was curator of the Scottish Arts Council Collection, Edinburgh from 1975-79, then curator of the Arts Council Collection, London from 1979-2004.


Friends Autumn Exhibition, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
Leone Cockburn Gallery, Edinburgh
The Italian Connection, Vicarage Cottage Gallery, North Shields
Leone Cockburn Gallery, Edinburgh
Under Southern Skies, Woodlands Art Gallery, Greenwich
Italian Landscapes, Terrace Gallery, Worthing
Italian Landscapes, Gardner Centre, University of Sussex



  • Calle Nuova Del Rio Terra by Isobel Johnstone
  • Campo S. Angelo (S. Anzolo) by Isobel Johnstone
  • Elgin Crescent, Silver Maple by Isobel Johnstone
  • Grand Canal From Calle Giustinian by Isobel Johnstone
  • Palazzo Dona by Isobel Johnstone
  • Pine Tree, Puglia by Isobel Johnstone
  • Rainbow Tulips by Isobel Johnstone
  • St Michael's Mount, Misty Morning by Isobel Johnstone
  • Summer Morning, Galicia by Isobel Johnstone
  • Tuscan Hillside by Isobel Johnstone
  • Tweet Of The Day by Isobel Johnstone
  • Venice, Campo San Polo Flooded by Isobel Johnstone
  • Venice, Fondamenta Sta Caterina by Isobel Johnstone
  • Venice, Grand Canal From S. Silvestro by Isobel Johnstone
  • Venice, Grand Canal From S. Vio by Isobel Johnstone
  • Venice, Grand Canal From S. Vio by Isobel Johnstone
  • Venice, Grand Canal With Ca' da Mosto by Isobel Johnstone