Michael Rumsey is an inherently talented artist who honors beauty in both form and function. He is a fourth-generation San Diegan, a lifelong surfer, and an ocean fisherman. His art is often ocean inspired; infused with motion and flow.
Mike has worked and consulted with many artists throughout his life. His works include design and execution of art walls (mixed media murals), water features, outdoor living spaces, hand-carved wood tikis, drawing, and painting.
After college, Mike worked for twenty years in the lumber and building materials industry. He retired early from the lumber industry after a barefoot water skiing accident in 1988 caused permanent brain damage, double vision, and seizures. He resumed his art as rehabilitation – his “therapy” – as he calls it.
Mike is currently creating hollow wood surfboards as functional fine art.Learn More
Inspired by Ocean, Created in Wood
Although most of Mike’s wood surfboards are specifically shaped and fiberglassed to be ride-worthy, one cannot imagine doing anything other than displaying his artwork in prominent spaces within a home or office. In addition to wood surfboards, he is also creating decorative wood wall hanging art, and pieces embellished with copper, turquoise stone, mother of pearl, or abalone shell.
Mike does not use paint or tinted stain on his wood surfboards. The colors come naturally from within the carefully selected lumber. Each surfboard may be comprised of several hundred individual strips of wood from a variety of species such as koa, teak, mango, poplar, redwood, paulownia, walnut, padauk, wenge, mahogany, jatoba, and more.
Mike is keen to reclaim, reuse, or repurpose wood when possible and appropriate. For example, one surfboard includes wood from weathered fence boards, and another art piece contains remnants of reclaimed mango wood flooring removed from a home in Hawai’i. He is currently experimenting with century-old and wine-stained lumber reclaimed from dismantled redwood wine tanks used in the 1920’s at a California winery. He also enjoys visiting cabinet shops to collect their trimmings which would otherwise end up in our landfills.
Because of the inability to reproduce this work, each art piece is truly original, one-of-a-kind, and considered fine art.
“Many times I do not have a clear idea for a piece until I start working with the wood. I allow the naturally occurring colors and grain to spark ideas for sunlight, moonlight, water, waves, turtle flippers, fish lips, or free-flowing designs.” ~Mike