A native of Virginia Beach, on the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Johnstone grew up surrounded by its beauty and power and influenced by the coast’s water and light.

Her BA is from the University of Pittsburgh in Communications~ encompassing studio arts, film and television production, camerawork, literature and art history.

Virginia moved to L.A. and began set decorating on Roger Corman films with director James Cameron. She decorated and art directed hundreds of commercials, built and installed props for Universal Studios Tour, had a blast decorating music videos, including Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”, decorated Aaron Spelling pilots, crewed with Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic, and with a DreamWorks research & design team.

After 20 years, it was time to paint. She studied at the California Art Institute, took workshops from the best, and had the great privilege to be in a master class with Harry Carmean. Her inspirations are many and her focus is celebrating the human figure and the beauty of our natural world.

Virginia has shown her work in museums and galleries in Malibu, Pasadena, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, New York, and St.Barts.

She has participated in many group shows, including the California Art Club’s Gold Medal Show and their Old Mill shows, Pacific Asia Museum, and the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival and has received awards, including Best of Show at the Weisman Museum of Art, Malibu Art Association. Her work is in collections in the U.S. and abroad.

Virginia Johnstone paints from her studio in Santa Barbara and on location. Her work celebrates her love of dramatic lighting and use of the narrative.

“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affection and the truth of imagination.”- Keats