David Ruddell

Growing up, David Ruddell was surrounded by constant building amid the growth of California’s suburbs. The materials of home construction were plywood, concrete, Douglas fir, and paint. “I think these materials are beautiful,” says Ruddell, “and I try to use them in a meditative manner to explore this journey called life.”

Ruddell uses the boat form as a metaphor for this journey, viewing the vessel as a stand-in for the human body. In this exhibition, many of the forms are closed, adding a sense of mystery; the boats become even more figurative. Ruddell’s color palette has grown to include warm yellows, deep blues, and soft reds, along with his continued use of chalkboard paint.

David Ruddell’s work is in the collections of the Smithsonian American Museum, Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C., the Veronica and Rene di Rosa Foundation, Napa, California, and the Oakland Museum of California.