PORT ANGELES — Artist Mike Biskup’s solo exhibition, “Carcinosinum’s Magic,” will be on display in Peninsula College’s PUB Gallery of Art beginning Monday.
The show will remain on display through Nov. 4 at the college campus at 1502 E. Lauridesen Blvd., in Port Angeles. Also on Nov. 4, Biskup will host a Studium Generale presentation online, beginning at 12:35 p.m. via Zoom. Both the exhibition and Studium are free and open to the public.
“In my paintings, everything flows together: diverse colors, lines and shapes,” he said.
“People, places, plants and things are woven into one harmonious, functional ecosystem. I want to remind viewers that we humans, in all our diversity, are essentially interconnected, and with thoughtfulness, can function together harmoniously as well.”
Biskup is a contemporary watercolor painter living and working in Port Townsend.
Born in 1970 in Los Angeles, he spent his early years drawing quirky characters, complex contraptions and strange worlds with his two older brothers.
At UC Santa Cruz, he “swam in a richly blended stream of artistic freedom, Zen Buddhism and Native American spiritual consciousness.
“When I start a painting, I turn on some music, face my paper and choose whether to begin with black ink or watercolor paint,” he said.
“I often find the worst paintings at the beginning become my favorites in the end. When things are flowing well, I feel I have done nothing except allowed the piece to take shape and become something beautiful. I really like seeing what comes next; that keeps me painting.”
Biskup said his earliest and biggest artistic influences are favorite artist/authors from long ago, including Remy Charlip, Maurice Sendak, Richard Scarry, Dr. Seuss, and Arnold Lobel. Later came Klee, Dubuffet, and M.C. Escher. Current favorites on Instagram include Robert Hardgrave, Tyler Keeton Robbins, Maria Lundstrom, Tulio Paracampos, Tim Biskup and more.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1993.
His work has been displayed all along the west coast, from Los Angeles to Bainbridge Island, and has been featured in New York and Massachusetts as well.
After college he spent two decades homeschooling his three children in Port Townsend.
When his children left home, he began painting 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, he says 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, plays music, and “speaks freely about … everything.”