It's not surprising that a Glaswegian who studied in Edinburgh should find herself at home with Scottish painting's well-known love of colour and the light of southern places. Venice is a favourite subject among others, and pastel has been a starting point for acrylics which require transparent effects. Oils are generally used for larger studies, of Venice, London, portraits and still lifes. Among recent works are unusual views combining unique acrylics of Venice with aquatint ironwork prints.
The first paintings of Venice were made from a rooftop altana near Rialto, but now studies are mostly made at canal level where so much has already been achieved by many artists. Pastel is ideal for working on the spot and to suggest the fragile materiality of the city.
In the city, architecture and engineered forms provide both structure and permanence, which contrast with the more fluent forms and seasonal changes in nature.
New Dog Days linocuts evoke memories of hot, late summer afternoons. Drawing and painting directly from life is a way of touching base and understanding complicated form. Portraits need attention to particularities and a likeness may be achieved quickly but can be difficult to maintain. A so-called still life of flowers is never static.
In the 'archive', a broad selection of older work is arranged in reverse date order to provide a reference collection, to give a glimpse of the background and context to the works in the main part of the site. It includes, for example, the first paintings of Venice made - unusually - from a rooftop altana near the Rialto, and the on-the-spot pastel sketches of the canal entrance into the Palazzo Grimani that formed the basis of the Watergate oils and prints which were worked up in the studio. The effect of the seasons on the leafy view from a first-floor window was a favourite subject from a previous studio in Notting Hill, which led in its turn to a preoccupation with the shape and texture of the full canopy of mature trees in leaf.
To view examples, click on one of the 'thumbnails' above or on one of the subjects listed in the left margin. The artist is happy to arrange a viewing in her Hammersmith studio, by email or by telephone 07798 894 222. Other recent work may also be seen at the Rowley Gallery, 115 Kensington Church St. London W8 7LN. Prices range from £250 to £350 for framed pastels, from £250 to £900 for paintings, and from £35 to £70 for unframed prints and drawings.
NB. This site is being rebuilt and updated. Please bear with us during this process. Any incomplete details, links that don't work, inconsistent sizes, etc. will be put right over the next few weeks.
Copyright © Isobel Johnstone 2017. Page updated 5 July 2017. Website designed by