Title: Crail Harbour
Size: 25cm x 18.5cm
Medium: Watercolour

About the Artist

John Johnstone was born in Forfar in 1941. He studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art 1959-64, and was highly commended. He received a major travelling scholarship to visit European Capitals and was a part time lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art for many years. He is a regular exhibitor at the Royal Scottish Academy and the Scottish Society of Artists and is a professional member of the Scottish Society of Artists and Scottish Visual Arts.

“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.

I’ve always been attracted by ‘characters’ – the types you see in illustrated books by Dickens brought up to date. The Wit, the Rake, the Philosopher, the kind of people you see in bars arguing their point. The Spiv, the Con-man, the Cheeky Chappie, the Vamp, the Naughty Boy, the Lounge Lizard, Mr Angry, Little Miss Lonely – how they all react to each other. Two or three of these characters might find their way into way into my paintings – things start happening – I try to get it all down – it never works out the way I planned, so I start sketching the next scene…”


John has works in numerous public and private collections in the UK and abroad 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.

Selected Exhibitions

1966/67 The Alwin Gallery, London
1967 The Contemporary Jamaican Artist Association
1974 McManus Galleries, Dundee (Six Dundee Painters)
1991 The Seagate Gallery, Dundee
1996 William Hardie, Ltd (Glasgow Art Fair)
2002 Kingston, Jamaica
2003 The Queens Gallery, Dundee
2003 Won First Prize in Angus Council’s Summer Salon Exhibition
2005 Albemarle Gallery, London. “What is Realism?” An exhibition curated by Edward Lucie-Smith
2005 Colours Gallery, Edinburgh
2006 Albemarle Gallery, London. Winter Salon.
2008 Albemarle Gallery, London. Two Person Exhibition.
2009 Albemarle Gallery, London. “Fantastic Worlds”
2011 Albemarle Gallery, London. Summer Collective.
2015 Kinblethmont Gallery. “55 Years of Painting”
2016 Compass Gallery, Glasgow. Solo Show.
2017 Meffan Gallery, Forfar. Retrospective Exhibition.