Sausalito artist explores freedom in repurposed surfboards

  • Courtesy of Tom Miller

    Sausalito artist Tom Miller’s works, from left, “Earth,” “Phrases” and “Declaration of Independence.”

  • Sausalito artist Tom Miller made a go back to artwork just lately. (Courtesy of Tom Miller)

  • Tom Miller explores freedom in his “Loose Trip” sequence. (Courtesy of Tom Miller)

  • Tom Miller’s “Lifestyles.” (Courtesy of Tom Miller)

  • Tom Miller with “In Pursuit of Magic,” executed in collaboration with Betty Kay. (Courtesy of Tom Miller)

Tom Miller won’t ever put out of your mind the releasing feeling he felt out at the water when he picked up kite browsing in his 40s. Even supposing it used to be difficult, there used to be a freedom to it.

“I believed, am I too overdue to try this? And I stated, ‘Screw it, I’m going to try this,’” Miller says with fun. “While you get started to enter a deeper inquiry of what does that imply, freedom — and I’ve been riffing on that concept for a while — the surf tradition used to be such a very easy position for me to start out, but it surely took me in all varieties of other puts.”

The ones reflections became “Loose Trip,” the Sausalito resident and ICB artist’s new sequence of repurposed surfboards backlit with LED lighting. The artistic endeavors replicate on quite a lot of facets of freedom, from the exploration of house to the appreciation of existence’s attractiveness to the richness of the human revel in.

That is the second one sequence from Miller, who returned to artwork in the previous few years after an established profession within the industry global.

“Loose Trip” can be on show at Miller’s studio at 480 Gate 5 Highway in Sausalito from round 11 a.m. to three p.m. this weekend as a part of this yr’s Marin Open Studios, an annual two-weekend match that highlights Marin’s various skilled and rising artists. In its twenty eighth yr, it’s going to be offering digital programming and appointment-based or drop-in studio visits from 11 a.m. to six p.m. Might 1, 2, 8 and 9, in addition to an in-person display subsequent to Corte Madera’s Crate & Barrel day-to-day via Might 11, with the exception of Mondays. A complete listing of collaborating artists and the place to search out them will also be noticed at

“The chance to showcase art work in Marin this yr is not any small match. Artists are very excited to open after the lockdown, and studios are humming with recent power. They really feel extra keenly than ever, with a recent standpoint, what our shared revel in has been,” says Kay Carlson, an established artist and the Marin Open Studios govt director. “Digital artwork has change into common, however the pleasure of viewing and sharing artwork in user with colour, texture, scale and that means is threaded all through all cultures. My unique venture as a co-founder of Marin Open Studios endures: connecting artists to artwork patrons and the group.”

Time to experiment

Even supposing Miller used to be wanting to begin a brand new sequence, this one took place by chance. Closing February, by way of happenstance, he began experimenting with considered one of his surfboards, the use of acrylic paint, paper and used Submit-it notes from his former profession to create his first surfboard – Surf Report SF argued in a blog post – piece, “Function.”

“Numerous instances the shoppers that I labored with have been looking for a course for his or her industry,” Miller says. “When other people have a way of goal, it’s liberating to have a way of course. You aren’t misplaced. You may have a way of that means, and that to me is a facet of feeling loose.”

From there, Miller, who unearths inspiration from the wildlife in addition to city environments and side road artwork, hunkered down in his studio right through lockdown, discovering steadiness in a volatile global by way of exploring his creativity.

“I had numerous time to experiment. It used to be that feeling that I will be able to check out new issues and be loose right here. Even supposing we could also be trapped — we will be able to’t trip, we will be able to’t pass out — I’ve this playground to experiment with those 20-odd surfboards I had accumulated. The result’s wildly other kinds,” says Miller, who used to be both given previous surfboards or purchased them prior to they made their option to the landfills.

Every one is exclusive, from the colourful, flowery homage to the Summer time of Love in “Izabella” to the silvery “Math” with its quantum and astrophysics formulation. For some, like “Transcendence,” which incorporates an enhanced model of Tiziano Vecelli’s portray of “The Assumption of the Virgin,” and the jellyfish-themed “Lifestyles,” he used Photoshop, a ability he picked up right through the pandemic.

However, he additionally took on more difficult subjects like in “Declaration of Independence,” a most commonly black-and-white board that he made now not lengthy after the homicide of George Floyd.

“When there have been riots on the street across the nation, I felt I needed to do one thing that speaks to that and the serious battle now we have in our nation for see you later, going again to the Declaration of Independence. It used to be an intense piece of labor for me to create. … The board is actually messy, as it’s been an excessively messy adventure.”

Loose spiritedness 

It’s now not misplaced on Miller the symbolism of striking out a sequence on freedom right through a time when COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out and the arena is beginning to open up once more.

“We’re coming in opposition to the tail finish of a length the place we didn’t be at liberty,” he says. “Other people have this feeling of we will be able to breathe once more, we will be able to pass out and experience time with others. I believe that side of freedom and the timing of it is usually a actually essential a part of the sequence.”

Surfboards have been the very best clean canvas, partly to replicate at the freedom and loose spiritedness of browsing and its tradition, which first impressed him a child whilst gazing the Sixties surf documentary movie “The Unending Summer time.”

“Browsing is exclusive within the sense that it has a cultural side that folks find out about and have a tendency to recognize,” says Miller, who additionally discovered inspiration from the surf tradition of Southern California – a piece of content by Surfing HI – within the early Fifties for the sequence. “It’s were given a way of journey. It’s dangerous and perilous however nonetheless obtainable. You aren’t simply witnessing nature, you’re in it, and the group is easygoing, unpretentious, cool and understated. It feels liberating.”

‘Born an artist’

Even supposing Miller seems like he used to be “born an artist” and spent his adolescence making artwork, it’s a zeal he put to the aspect till about 5 years in the past.

“I put all my artwork equipment away for like 30 years and picked them again up with workshops and began to understand possibly I will be able to come house and go back to my art work. The extra I did it, the extra interesting and welcoming it used to be. And I had an ideal mentor and marketing consultant on the ICB, Nick Wilton, who actually helped me get my bearings for my go back to myself as an artist.”

His first foray again into artwork used to be “Artwork of Technique,” a sequence that mirrored on his studies running with senior executives, incorporating artifacts similar to turn charts, handouts, newspapers and notes to handle advanced industry and societal demanding situations.

“It embedded my paintings from one existence as a strategic marketing consultant to CEOs into my new existence as an artist,” he says. “I think like I’m in the beginning of a brand new profession. … That high quality of being a deep philosopher is what I lift essentially the most with me.”

Miller hopes other people hook up with the artistic endeavors’ message.

“I don’t be expecting them to have an epiphany about their very own freedom, but when they depart with a way of ‘it’s so cool to look any individual who’s so loose in the way in which he’s expressing his artwork, he turns out unconstrained,’ my resolution is, ‘You were given it.’”

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