The Painting Process

I am a self taught local Winnipeg artist. For the art I create it is about balancing aesthetics. The balance of painting is about listening to the feeling and giving the painting what it needs. In a painting illustration has a feel, colour has a feel, and both of these together communicate a feeling. The balance is in following the feeling. “Listening” to each painting and following the rules that are created. The more sensitive I am to listening to the "voice of the painting” created through illustration and colour pairing, the better the painting will be. When I start, the canvas is empty and the possibilities are limitless. The moment I choose a colour, the possibilities shrink. The moment I put that colour on the canvas, the possibilities shrink even more. And so, ‘rules’ are decided. Listening to what colours the painting needs is following these rules. The other side is the inspiration, the drive, the mood; this is what initially starts the ball rolling, but I cannot let it take over a piece. The balance comes with listening to the canvas.

“Josiah Koppanyi is a local Winnipeg artist who has showcased his works in two pop-up shop initiatives downtown. Josiah’s paintings typically employ abstract use of colour, paired with deeply detailed illustration, which simultaneously merges and polarizes the real and imaginary."

-Brenlee Coates

I have a variety of subject matter, from barns and cities, to abstract expression, and spiritual realities. All the subject matter is put through a very stylized colourfully illustrated lens. You will find both a style of gritty realism, mixed with a pop art clean cut style. But over arching it all is a whimsical nature of playfulness. 

-Josiah Koppanyi

The Painting Journey

It all started in the summer of 2016. I was 27. This was the first time that I met Eric Olek owner of Friday Knights, when we both got the opportunity of a life time: we got to co-own a pop up shop downtown! This was the first time that I stepped out as an artist full-time. This Downtown Biz opportunity really propelled both of our entrepreneurial journeys forward in a big way. 

Here is a quote from the very first article I was interviewed for:

"Being an artist was always this airy-fairy idea that was like, ‘yeah that would be really, really great, but completely impractical.’ "

He studied education at university but continued to paint.

"That’s what I really, really liked. That’s when my soul came out," he said. "It was like I was able to be me."

Koppanyi quit university and rented a gallery space on Arlington Street. Syvixay reached out to Koppanyi and offered him the chance to move into the space on Portage Avenue.

"This is the first time in my life where all of a sudden, this airy-fairy dream I had as a kid is not airy-fairy anymore — it’s tangible, and it’s actually selling," said Koppanyi.

In those early days it was a very exciting time for Eric and I, we met a lot of new people together. Eric taught me a lot about how to maintain a self run business in this day and age, and we really became good friends through this. After the first pop-up term ended, Eric found another pop-up opportunity through centre-venture on Graham Ave by The Bay downtown. We decided to go in on the shop together 

344 Graham was our shop for that season. It was in this space that I got commissioned to do one of the biggest pieces I had ever attempted up to that point in my life. It was 8'x4', and was a giant building scape.