Pete Johnston…


I completed a foundation course at 
Liverpool College of Art and a degree in art at Camberwell School of Art in the mid 80’s.



 In 1989 I founded Johnston Killen Design which ran for over 12 years in the centre of London while also becoming Creative Director of 100 Percent Marketing Ltd.

During this time I produced hundreds of pieces of work, paintings, illustrations and prints for a wide variety of corporate and individual clients.


In 2001 I moved to Lincolnshire to create a studio and paint full time.

 My work was initially strongly figurative and was involved with the idea of containing, combining and joining figures within a defined space.

 Paint was applied directly on to a large scale canvas mainly with palette knife, the marks produced were spontaneous and without priorsketches or guidelines.

 This period was followed by complete abstraction and the idea of separation and breaking apart, avoiding all representation of form and applying layers of colour and related marks in dynamic movement to imply intension, feeling and presence.

For the last couple of years I have been concentrating on a balance between the two previous styles and intensions expressed through representing landscape and place.   Energetic movement of paint is still present as is the importance of shape of mark to reveal form and space.


Colour and shade have become far more important to me than in the past. I spend hours mixing and developing a specific palette of colours, followed by several loose sketches before starting a new painting.

Representing a sense of presence, immediacy and energy in the moment is what I’m primarily interested in.  Exploring the distinctiveness of form and colour in the variety of landscape as I’ve travelled throughout Britain and expressing the intensity and vitality that particular areas suggest.

Presently there has been a real change of heart during the lockdown period. My work has been more sombre, introspective and detailed.

I have also felt the need to return to printmaking, primarily linocut, something I did extensively and obsessively at college but have only returned to recently.  

For the future, as we hopefully emerge from 
lockdown, I think bright, bold colours and strong confident mark making are about to resurface.

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