Ynez Johnston was born in Berkeley, California in 1920. She studied painting, printmaking and drafting at the University of California at Berkeley with Erle Loran, Margaret Peterson and Worth Ryder.
Johnston’s style combines modernism and ancient art forms from her travels in Mexico, India, Italy and Nepal. During her career, she has utilized a variety of mediums, including lithography, watercolor, oils, etchings, ink dyes, paper mache, sumi on rice paper and casein. Johnston’s work is influenced by Mogul and Tibetan artists, Pre-Columbian stone carvings and Persian paintings.
She has received numerous awards, including a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. In 1952, she won first place in watercolor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in 1992 she won the Fresno Art Museum’s Distinguished Artist Award.