Isobel Johnstone's work is full of colour and light.

War in the Ukraine aroused a strange memory for me of Edwin Muir's poem called The Horses, in which soldiers stranded in desolate fields amid rusting tractors, are visited my strange horses that offer a kind of - long lost archaic companionship - notwithstanding having been abandoned in favour of machines.

A Scottish love of colour has been an excuse to go abroad but in lockdown, where I was in Dorset, exceptional weather led me out to paint the English countryside in spite of the unfolding Covid catastrophe.
As well as garden views hollyhocks became a bit of an obsession, both for oils and a range of prints. Back in London Hammmersmith Bridge continues as a favourite local subject. I

I like pastel for working on the spot, e.g. in Venice, but oil is generally the preferred medium for still life and portraits. Print techniques include etchings, linocuts, and aquatints combined with acrylics.

To see examples of recent work, click on the images or on one of the subjects listed. Isobel 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 or at the Russell Gallery, 12 Lower Richmond Road, London SW15 1JP. Prices range from £250 to £350 for framed pastels, from £250 to £900 for paintings, and from £3o to £90 for unframed prints and drawings.


The archive page includes a broad selection of older work in reverse date order. It provides a reference collection to give a glimpse of the background and context to the works in the main part of the site.

Category: Town

Trees and shadows play on familiar streets and landmarks in London, where Isobel now lives. In the city, architecture and engineered forms provide the structure and permanence that contrast with the more fluent forms and seasonal changes in nature. The effect of the seasons on the leafy view from a first-floor window was a frequent subject from a previous studio in Notting Hill.

Venice is a favourite location: her first paintings there were made from a rooftop altana near Rialto, but are now mostly from canal level. Recent acrylics are overlaid with aquatint patterns of the ironwork that is such a feature of the city.

2021 Rowley Gallery window show, London

2020 Russell Gallery, London
2020 New English Art Club, Mall Galleries, London.

2019 Russell Gallery, London
2019 New English Art Club, Mall Galleries, London.
2019 AAH (Artists At Home), Hammersmith and Chiswick.

2018 AAH, Hammersmith and Chiswick.

2016 AAH, Hammersmith and Chiswick.

2015 Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait exhibition, Kings Place, London

2014 Venice Revisited, studio show 28 Elgin Crescent W11

2013 Calli e Campielli, studio show 28 Elgin Crescent W11
2013 Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait exhibition, Kings Place, London

2011 Dulwich Art Gallery Open Exhibition
2011 Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait exhibition, Kings Place, London

2010 Venice and London, paintings and pastels, 28 Elgin Crescent, W11
2008 Dulwich Picture Gallery Friends Autumn Exhibition.
2007 Studio Show, 28 Elgin Crescent, London W1.
2007 Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh.
1998 An Exhibition of Summer Paintings, Leone Cockburn Gallery, Edinburgh.
1996 The Italian Connection, Vicarage Cottage Gallery, North Shields.
1996 Paintings from Italy, Leone Cockburn Gallery, Edinburgh.
1995 Under Southern Skies, Paintings of the Italian Landscape by Joy Girvin, Nerys Johnson and Isobel Johnstone. Woodlands Art Gallery, Greenwich.
1991 Italian Landscape, solo exhibition, Terrace Gallery, Worthing.
1989 Italian Landscape solo exhibition, Gardner Centre, University of Sussex.
1969 Arbroath Art Prize, Arbroath Art Gallery (prizewinner).
1967 Pernod Art Exhibition, Edinburgh (prizewinner).