An introduction to formal oil painting classes at the age of twelve led to studies at the Universities of Calgary and Windsor, graduating from the latter with a BFA. Johnston continued her education in Graphic Design and Illustration, and spent several years teaching both drawing, and watercolour classes.
In the last decade she has directed her focus back to oil painting, occasionally working in acrylic and watercolour. In addition to her own work, she accepts commission requests to illustrate homes, cottages and other subjects.
Contrary to a naturalistic tendency, she manipulates colour and paint layering to build texture, creating an interesting dimension and perspective which may present an alternate point of view.