Portraits on Paper

Selected Works

girl with orange by james koskinasGirl with Orange
43.75″ X 30″ Acrylic on Paper

I like to use a reduced palette for my portraits on paper.  They are almost drawn more than painted.

I love the immediacy of paper and the way the brush  moves across it.

girl with grayGirl With Gray
40″ X 30″ Acrylic on Paper

koskinas girl in blue chairGirl In Blue Chair
50″ X 38″ Acrylic on Paper

I have been painting seated women for years, inspired by Picasso.  I like to use a thicker brush to make them more expressive, and start these pieces by creating an abstract painting as a first layer which I then save a portion of, usually as part of the torso.  

Seated Girl With Ochre III
40″ X 30″ Acrylic on Paper

Seated girl With Purple by James KoskinasSeated Girl With Purple
40″ X 30″ Acrylic on Paper

James Koskinas Girl in Blue FieldGirl in Blue Field
40″ X 30″ Acrylic on Paper

Koskinas NatashaNatasha
40″ X 30″ Acrylic on Paper

My portraits are less about my ideas and more about the faces who come to me, asking to be made visible. 

Portraits by James Koskinas

Faces are one of my primary subjects, part of my quest to know the human condition.  I attempt to paint as automatically as possible, intending to bring forth elements of my unconscious.  I add layers of paint until the original painting has been covered over many times, working rapidly.  Influenced by Native American mythology, I see the role of artist as akin to shaman, trusting my instincts and freeing the portrait from the customary restraints that painting imposes. 

I like building faces and then watching them go wild.  I like to bring them back and reassemble them in some order.  I like to collect the scattered pieces and fragments of a nose here, an eye, a mouth and the reassembly is not always realistic.  On the contrary, the usual order I start out with changes continually, finally revealing a personality or essence I am looking for.  Then I know the painting is done. 

-James Koskinas

Julie Schumer Dialogue With Black