John Armstrong was born in 1893 in Hastings, Sussex. He was a painter of imaginative subjects, designer of film and stage sets, mural painter and book illustrator. He Studied at St John's College, Oxford and at St John's Wood School of Art from 1913–14. Armstrong served in the Royal Field Artillery during the First World War. His first one-man exhibition was at the Leicester Galleries in 1928. Armstrong was a member of Unit One 1933, where his work then began to be Surrealist in character. in 1956 he painted murals for the ceiling of Bristol Council Chamber. He was an Official War Artist of the Second World War from 1940–5.