Portraits on Canvas

Selected Works

koskinas-Face with Yellow_60 X 48_60 X 48_acrylic canvas
Face with Yellow
60″ X 48″ Acrylic on Canvas

My portraits seem as if they are phasing in and out of existence.  I wait until a personality shows and the painting vibrates with its own life. 

There are always surprises in my work.  I respond to them as best I can.

James Koskinas Face in Yellow Field_60 X 40_acrylic canvasFace in Yellow Field
60″ X  40″ Acrylic on Canvas

Face With Ochre
56.5″ X 44″ Acrylic on Canvas

They are visitors whom I welcome to my life for as long as they wish to stay. 

James Koskinas Portrait with Turquioise_54 X 44_acrylic on canvasPortrait With Turquoise
54″ X 44″ Acrylic on Canvas

James Koskinas Face with Red II_67.5 X 60 acrylic canvasFace With Red II
67.5″ X  60″ Acrylic on Canvas

James Koskinas Face with Turquoise III_53 X 45.4_acrylic canvasFace With Turquoise III
53″ X 45.4″ Acrylic on Canvas

James Koskinas Face with Red III_40 X 30_acrylic canvasFace With Red III
40″ X  30″ Acrylic on Canvas

koskinas-Portrait with Blue_60 X 36_acrylic canvasPortrait With Blue
60″ X 36″ Acrylic on Canvas

James Koskinas Portrait with Turquoise II_60 X 40_acrylic canvasPortrait With Turquoise II
60″ X 40″ Acrylic on Canvas

Most of my work never makes it to the finish line.  Sometimes I have 4 or 5 faces in the same painting. 

james koskinas Face with Ochre IIIFace With Ochre III
83″ X 60″ Acrylic on Canvas

James Koskinas Face with White_60 X 40_acrylic canvasFace With White
60″ X 40″ Acrylic on Canvas

Face With Red
54″ X 44″ Acrylic on Canvas

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