Inspiring women: Gwyneth Johnstone

One of the many reasons I hold firmly the belief that World of Interiors is among the best publications (in any class, not just interior design) is because I learn so much when I read it. It doesn't dwell exclusively on commerce and consumption and the writing is as lively and intelligent as the pictures are beautiful.

I don't know whether it's a deliberate part of their editorial mandate, but they also profile many female artists and designers. And they're not the botoxed women you see in other publications. These women are real creators and I always relish curling up and learning more about them and feeling inspired by their lives.

In September 2007, WoI featured Gwyneth Johnstone. I loved her work, her home, the portrait of her by Antony Crolla and her twinkling, confident ways. The oil portrait of Johnstone as a young woman in the second image was painted by her father.

Taught by her father to paint, Johnstone did not thrive at art school, claiming to be a poor student at the Slade School and later to be confused by her Cubist teacher Andre Lhoté in Paris. Perhaps as a result, her style is more daring and individual than many of contemporaries. In the feature, critic Terence Mullaly describes Gwyneth as a "gentle, wayward poet of paint... unsullied by fashionable trends... pursuing a highly personal course". Beautiful.

Artist Gwyneth Johnstone featured in World of Interiors, September 2007. Photography scanned from WoI by Antony Crolla (also here).
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