Port Townsend, Washington, USA
Everything and Everyone Connected
Imaginary landscapes and abstractions with watercolor and India ink
I create imaginary landscapes and abstractions with watercolor and India ink. In my paintings, everything flows together. Diverse colors, lines and shapes - People, places, plants and things are woven into one harmoniously functional ecosystem. 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.
How I work...
When I start a painting, I turn on some music, sit down with a blank sheet of paper and choose whether to begin with black ink, watercolor paint, or masking tape. I rely on improvisation and a stream of consciousness approach to let my life's experiences bubble up and flow out as shapes and lines, colors and textures. Anything I've seen or experienced through the years may come forward. I let my work flow and I am most happy when the work seems to create itself. Whatever takes shape is OK with me. I relish surprises. After each layer of paint, ink or masking tape, I stand back. I watch. I wait. Sometimes I wait days, weeks, or even years to add another layer. This process of painting and contemplation is always happening in my studio with many different pieces in many stages of completion.
Why I paint…
After nearly three decades of making and showing paintings, I have recently come to understand my role as that of an Artist/Shaman as elucidated in the work of Joseph Campbell. Briefly, this means to me, that my job is to share my visions of an interconnected, peaceful and beautiful world with others. I have created a life mission to help guide my actions: I create a world of unity and justice by generously sharing my visions of Oneness.
My work is 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.” - Thich Nhat Hanh.
MIKE BISKUP is a contemporary watercolor painter of imaginary landscapes and abstracts living and working in Port Townsend, WA. Born in 1970 in Los Angeles, Mike comes from a family historically rich in artists, poets, and dreamers. As early as he can remember, he was voraciously drawing improvised imaginary worlds with his two older brothers. In 1993, he completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at The University of California at Santa Cruz. There he encountered a richly blended stream of artistic freedom, Zen Buddhism and Native American spiritual consciousness which has shaped his life and work ever since. After graduating, Mike spent a formative week with Buddhist Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh and his respect for Native Eco-Logic and design has only grown. Mike now sees himself as a bringer of visions in the Artist/Shaman tradition elucidated profoundly by Joseph Cambell. His work can be found in collections worldwide, notably that of Oscar-winning actress Patricia Arquette. Gallery affiliations include The Port Townsend Gallery, Northwinds Arts Center, and PTSA Downtown in Port Townsend, The Art Project Bainbridge Island, Face Guts Los Angeles, SaatchiArt.com and MikeBiskup.com
The Art Project Bainbridge Island, WA. A (beautiful) 30 min ferry from Seattle. Info at www.bacart.org
Port Townsend Gallery: 715 Water Street, Port Townsend, WA.
Info at porttownsendgallery.com
Northwind Arts Center: 708 Water Street, Port Townsend, WA.
Info at northwindarts.org
Saatchi Art Online Gallery:
Originals and Limited Edition Archival Prints.
Selected Exhibitions, Performances, and Publications:
• 2019 - The Other Art Fair Brooklyn, April
• 2019 - The Other Art Fair Los Angeles, March
• 2018 - Connected Solo Exhibition at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA)
• 2018 - Fort Wonder Solo Exhibition - Taps, Fort Worden, Port Townsend, WA
• 2018 - The Watercolour Ideas Book - pg. 64 Ilex Press.
• 2018 - The Other Art Fair Lost Angeles presented by SaatchiArt.
• 2018 - Bellevue Art Museum - Art Fair
• 2017 - Thanks For Sharing, The Art of Instant Global Inspiration. 19 Artists from 10 countries curated by myself. Port Townsend, WA
• 2017 - Translucence Bainbridge Arts and Crafts. Bainbridge Island, WA. July.
• 2017 - Professional Artist Magazine, Featured June/July Issue
• 2016 - A Group Thing, Juried Group Exhibition at Thomas Young Gallery in Boston, MA.
• 2016 - Windfalls Solo Exhibition at Flatcolor Gallery, Seattle
• 2016 - Featured Artist at Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend, WA
• 2016 - Featured Artist in Amadeus Magazine Issue #08 - http://amadeusmag.com
• 2015 - Big Butter, A Step Felt In Full with Tim Biskup at Slow Culture Gallery, Los Angeles.
• 2015 - Artist in Residence, The Ace Hotel, Palm Springs, CA (February)
• 2014 - Site Specific 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: Big Butter: The Experimental Music, Art, and Performance Duo of Mike and Tim Biskup.
1993 - BFA, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA
Founding Board member Port Townsend School of the Arts. PTARTS.ORG
Some family photos follow...
My studio in Port Townsend, WA. Call me to set up a visit. I like visitors! (360) 531-2708