Everything and Everyone Connected
“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.” - Mike Biskup
MIKE BISKUP is a contemporary watercolor painter living and working in Port Townsend, WA. Born in 1970 in Los Angeles, he spent his youngest years voraciously drawing quirky characters, complex contraptions and way out worlds with his two older brothers. Throughout his school years, drawings flowed in the borders of all his assignments bringing accolades from most of his teachers. At UC Santa Cruz, he swam in a richly blended stream of artistic freedom, Zen Buddhism and Native American spiritual consciousness. After college Mike spent two decades homeschooling three intrepid children in the wilds of Port Townsend. Nest emptied, he began making paintings daily and started to embrace his role as a bringer of visions in the Artist/Shaman tradition elucidated profoundly by Joseph Campbell. At age 50, a powerful mystical experience shed new light on Everything. He now operates The Elevator of Everything in downtown Port Townsend, where he shares his Art, opens his heart, plays a lot of music, and speaks freely about...Everything.
How I paint...
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, pencil or 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. When I judge that things are going badly, I remind myself that almost every painting I make seems to reach a point of failure about 1/3 of the way in. I keep going and sooner or later things get better. I am most satisfied when the work seems to create itself, yet often the pieces that seem most destined for failure end up being favorites. Lately, I'm beginning to feel good when things are going badly as that can be an indication that I'm breaking new ground - doing something in a new way.
After each layer 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. Eventually the paintings reach their maximum level of energy and flow. Finished!
Why I paint…
I paint to share what's on my mind and heart and to find out what the next painting will look like...
My work is often 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.
Where to find me and my paintings...
Contact me anytime to inquire about anything or Everything.
Visit me at Mike Biskup's Elevator of Everything on Weekends in Dowtown Port Townsend at 630 Water St, make an appointment to visit my studio, and/or catch Father Michael Allen Biskup at The Church of Change on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month at The Elevator of Everything.
Bainbridge Arts and Crafts: BAC is a 75 year old non profit gallery. All sales benefit local art education programs on Bainbridge Island, WA. They have a beautiful gallery with a rotating selection of my originals available. A (beautiful) 30 min ferry from Seattle.
Saatchi Art: Online Art Gallery.
Originals and Limited Edition Archival Prints available in multiple sizes framed or unframed.
Singulart: Online Art Gallery based in Paris.
Selected Events, Exhibitions, Performances, and Publications
• 2021 - The Church of Change #437 presents Father Michael Allen Biskup's Musings on The Green Way. 1st and 3rd Sundays at Mike Biskup's Elevator of Everything, 630 Water St in Downtown Port Townsend. Ongoing.
• 2020 - On Street, Outdoor, Summer Exhibit in Downtown Port Townsend, WA.
• 2019 - (It’s) This Way to That Way, Solo Exhibition at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, Bainbridge
• 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