John Johnstone was born in Forfar in 1941.
He studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee from 1959 to 1964 receiving the Diploma in Drawing & Painting and was awarded a post diploma year.
In 1964 he was awarded a major travel scholarship which allowed him to continue his studies visiting galleries throughout Europe. Later, in 1967, he spent six months painting in Jamaica. He had his first solo exhibition in Kingston.
He taught life drawing at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee for many years as well as art classes (non-vocational) at Dudhope and Forgan Art Centres, Dundee and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. He continues working with a non-vocational art class in Dundee.
He has works in numerous public and private collections in the UK and abroad including Angus Council Collection, Carnegie Trust Art Collection, Dundee City Collection, The McManus Galleries Collection, Fife Council Museums West Collection and the Collection of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
Johnstone's early work is signed Stone or John Stone, a name adopted to distinguish his work from a contemporary Scottish artist, another John Johnstone. In the 1980's and 1990's he was a regular exhibitor at The Royal Scottish Academy and The Society of Scottish Artists. He is a professional member of the Scottish Society of Artists and of Visual Arts Scotland. He presently lives and works in Forfar, Scotland.