.Artist Tom Killion, A Chip Off the Old Woodblock

Tom Killion produces landscape prints using Japanese woodblock printmaking tools and materials combined with fine book printing techniques. He grew up in Mill Valley, where he began his artistic career as a teenager, selling his work at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival. And this year, he will show his work at the Festival – now in its 66th year—on Saturday and Sunday! 

What do you do? I’m still producing original woodblock prints in my West Marin studio and occasionally teaching classes and exhibiting in public spaces.

Where do you live? Inverness Park, out near Pt. Reyes.

How long have you lived in Marin? I was raised in Mill Valley for my first 17 years. I moved back to Marin with my family in 2003 and have been here in the Pt. Reyes area since then. 

Where can we find you when you’re not at work? 

I swim in Tomales Bay whenever it is high tide, and ride my bicycle around West Marin roads and trails with friends. But mostly I am in my studio doing art. Woodcut printmaking is a labor intensive art form.

If you had to convince someone how awesome Marin was, where would you take them? 

As a longtime Marinite I would never want to convince anyone how great Marin is, because too many people already know about it. But you can look at my pictures of Mt. Tam and the Marin coast to get a good idea what I like about the county. Almost everywhere is wonderful. 

What’s one thing Marin is missing? 

Nothing, as far as I am concerned. Everything it doesn’t have is available somewhere else, and it is always good to have a reason for a trip somewhere. 

What’s one bit of advice you’d share with your fellow Marinites? Enjoy it while it lasts. And don’t try to build your trophy project on its sacred soil. 

If you could invite anyone to a special dinner, whom would they be? Katsushika Hokusai. 

What is some advice you wish you knew 20 years ago? 

Take the time to learn the new operating system when it comes out. 

What is something that in 20 years from now will seem cringeworthy? Encouraging unrestricted housing development in California.

Big question. What is one thing you’d do to change the world? Take Amida’s Vow seriously.

Visit Tom at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival on 9/23 and 9/24 in Old Mill Park, or anytime at TomKillion.com

Nish Nadaraja was on the founding team at Yelp, serves on the San Anselmo Arts Commission and attempts to play pickleball at Fairfax’s Cañon Club.


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