Everything and Everyone Connected - Imaginary landscapes and abstractions with watercolor and India ink.
In my paintings, everything flows together. Colors, lines and shapes - people places and things are woven into one harmonious, functional system. I want to subtly remind viewers that we humans, in all our diversity, are essentially interconnected, and with thoughtfulness, can function together harmoniously as well.
On the surface, my paintings are simply places I’d love to visit. Mysterious, primarily benevolent, colorful worlds where everything “works”. On a deeper level, they are an exploration of what Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh has called ‘Interbeing’. “If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either.” - TNH. Everything and everyone is connected in my work and in the world.
When I work, I turn on some music, sit down with a blank sheet of paper and choose whether to begin with black ink or watercolor paint. I work quickly. I leave my thinking mind out of it. (Sometimes I need to push my thinking mind out of the driver's seat!) I rely on improvisation and a stream of consciousness approach to let my life's experiences bubble up and flow into my work. Anything I've seen or experienced through the years may come forward. However it comes is fine with me; I relish the surprise. After each layer of paint or ink I stand back. I watch. I wait. Sometimes I wait days, weeks, or even years to add another layer of paint. This process of painting and contemplation is always happening in my studio with many different pieces in many stages of completion.
Additionally, I’ve created a living mission statement which guides my life and my artistic path: I work to create a world of justice and unity by generously sharing my personal visions of Oneness.
Mike Biskup is a contemporary watercolor painter of imaginary landscapes and abstractions. Born in 1970 in Los Angeles CA, Mike comes from a family historically rich in artists, poets, and dreamers. As early as he can remember, he was voraciously drawing unusual cars, landscapes, robots, and people with his two older brothers, Steve and Tim. Throughout his early years, his love of drawing grew like a weed.
In 1993 he completed a bachelor of fine art at The University of California at Santa Cruz, studying with an eclectic mix of accomplished, senior artists including Jack Zajac, Hardy Hanson, and Patrick Ahearne. A decidedly rich stream of Zen inspiration was flowing on that mountain at that time and Mike feels lucky to have swam in it. In fact, soon after graduating, Mike spent a week with Buddhist Teacher Thich Naht Hanh and the impact of what he experienced there has inspired his work ever since.
In 2015, after years of showing work in Port Townsend, Mike exhibited at Slow Culture Los Angeles in a two person show with his brother Tim. His work was featured in The LA Weekly and several other publications online. In 2016 he presented a solo show at Flatcolor Gallery in Seattle. His paintings can be found in the collection of Oscar winning actress Patricia Arquette and many others around the world. He currently shows at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Bainbridge Island at The Port Townsend Gallery, and at Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend. He is curating and participating in an upcoming international exhibition (April 2017) at Northwind Arts Center which explores how artists use social media to inspire each other daily, around the world, in a way that has never before been possible.
Mike serves on the board of Port Townsend School of the Arts where he is also a youth and adult instructor in watercolor and drawing.
P.S. You'll find a BRIEF Bio/Statement below...
Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, Bainbridge Island, WA. If you live in or are visiting Seattle, it's just a (beautiful) 30 min ferry ride to the gallery. Visit www.bacart.org
You can also find my work at The Port Townsend Gallery and The Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend, WA.
C/V and Schedule - Selected Exhibitions/Performances/Publications:
2017 - Thanks For Sharing, The Art of Instant Global Inspiration. 19 Artists from 10 countries curated by myself. Port Townsend, WA Info here...
2017 - Upcoming Three Person Show at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts. Bainbridge Island, WA. (July 2017)
2017 - Upcoming Solo Exhibition at Legion Shop/Gallery, San Francisco (November 2017)
2016 - A Group Thing, Juried Group Exhibition at Thomas Young Gallery in Boston, MA. (December)
2016 - "Windfalls" Solo Exhibition at Flatcolor Gallery, Seattle (August)
2016 - Featured Artist at Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend, WA (June)
2016 - Featured Artist in Amadeus Magazine Issue #08 - http://amadeusmag.com
2015 - Big Butter "A Step Felt In Full" Joint Art and Music Exhibition with Tim Biskup at Slow Culture Gallery, Los Angeles.
2015 - Artist in Residence, The Ace Hotel, Palm Springs, CA (February)
2014 - Site Specific Mural Exhibition, 4’ X 36’ Mural, Better Living Through Coffee, Port Townsend, WA.
2012 - Site Specific Performance, Big Butter, Martha Otero Gallery. Los Angeles, CA.
2009 - "Playground" with Woody Dennis, Lee Katzenbach, Jesse Joshua Watson, and Jason Gould. Northwinds art Center, Port Townsend, WA.
2007 - Port Townsend Film Festival Poster Artist
1986 - Present - Collaborative project with Tim Biskup. Big Butter, The Experimental Music, Art, and Performance Duo of Mike and Tim Biskup. Music and Art releases and performances.
1993 - BFA, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA
Mike Biskup - Everything and Everyone Connected - Imaginary landscapes and abstractions with watercolor and India ink.
Born in 1970 in Los Angeles CA, Mike comes from a family historically rich in artists, poets, and dreamers. In his paintings, everything flows together. Colors, lines and shapes - people, places, and things are woven into one harmonious, functional system. He wants to subtly remind viewers that we humans, in all our diversity, are essentially interconnected, and with thoughtfulness, can function together harmoniously as well.
His work can be found in the collection of Oscar winning actress Patricia Arquette and many others, galleries in Port Townsend and Bainbridge Island, WA and exhibitions around the U.S. Mike currently lives and works in Port Townsend, WA with his lovely wife Laura.
A few family photos...
Me, Emily, Eli, Avery, Laura.
Tim and I - Big Butter (Photo: Devin Sarno)
Painting on Water St in Port Townsend, WA.
My Studio before Windfalls solo show at Flatcolor Gallery, Seattle, WA.
My Studio in my front yard. Port Townsend, WA.
At Chetzemoka Park. Port Townsend, WA.
Self Portrait (Spindlefoot)
Thanks for stopping by and having a look!