the art of ruddell


People, places and products that inspire me . . .

Like the girl from Ipanema, its hard to resist staring at a beautiful car: the perfect combination of shape and proportion turns the design into a work of art: this trend setting sports car from the pen of Marcello Gandini broke new ground and put Ferruccio Lamborghini's company firmly on the map as an exotic sports car manufacturer. see my drawing of the Miura.

Brilliant by design - originally sketched on the back of a napkin during dinner in late 1965 as Colin Chapman and Walter Hayes discussed a Lotus Ford partnership, the sum of the component parts was not only devastingly effective in the hands of Jim Clark and Graham Hill, but also beautiful to look at. see my painting of the Lotus 49.

Subject to several thousand development miles, some them famously sans bodywork, the McLaren M6A arrived at Elkhart Lake on September 3rd 1967 as the car to beat, winning its first race, and the four following, ushering in McLaren domination of the Can-Am series which would continue for several years! see my painting of the M6A.

His output in the second half of the 60s was astonishing - producing F1, F2, Can Am and Indy cars as well as manufacturing racing cars for customers. Yet he still had time to screen informal evening film shows about his Can-Am cars and I met him at one of these in the Leofric Hotel in Coventry.

The quiet unassuming champion - I never saw him race but his legacy lives on - he was a genius behind the wheel, in any type of racing car. see my painting of Jim Clark.

Not only world champion but a great communicator, whose methodology in any task has brought him great success. My favourite period footage is Roman Polanski's "Weekend of a Champion" where we get an inside look at a vanished era of Formula One. see my Jackie Stewart tribute.

My favourite quote is from a TV documentary "John Egan arrived at Browns Lane in July 1980 with an olive branch in one hand . . and a hatchet in the other" Still today Sir John will not take all the credit for saving Jaguar from certain demise, as circumstances did play out favourably in many cases. But without him we are sure our jobs would have come to an end! see The Jaguar Files.

Founder of ITAL DESIGN, who has penned countless classic cars, all of them with the same trademark - "not a single line out of place" which is just about the exact opposite to most of our current vehicles.

Syd Mead, the "Visual Futurist" has been designing the future for 50 years. We first came across him by his book Sentinel, full of amazing renderings of futuristic cars, clothes and products - and later by his Light Cycles in the original TRON, and the Tyrell Building and huge citiscapes in Blade Runner. Here he pays homage to Guiguaro's VW Scirocco.

some of Syd Mead's amazing renderings and paintings for the film Blade Runner. The long running actor's strike during the film's production schedule meant that the set designers had the unusual luxury of enough time to create Mead's intricate vision!!

Very different approach to car design, drawing on forms from nature and pure aerodynamics! His thinking in under car airflow was mirrored by the developers of ground effect.

ex NYC fashion designer, whose artwork now "investigates the psychological complexities of women" . . I am stunned by the sheer volume of her work; her pictures are intense, sometimes minimalist, but always beautiful! go to the Cindy Press website

There was a man in a grey suit at the end of my desk talking to my colleague Ken Rees: Len Deighton. I had never heard of him! Years later, when he had become my favourite cold war writer with his Harry Palmer and Bernard Samson trilogies, I was gutted to think I could have chatted to him!. see my Cold War paintings.

In 1987 Tim Smit moved to Cornwall to continue with his music business, but when he met John Nelson and together they chanced upon, and later restored, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, he returned to his first love - archaeology and anthropology. Heligan has become the most visited private gardens in the UK. How can you top that? The Eden Project . . . .

Discovering Francis Schaeffer's books was a real eye opener for me, someone who can argue philosophically about absolute truth. I re-read L'Abri on the train travelling between Geneva and Vevey during Telecom 91 and the context made the Schaeffer's journey of faith even more powerful.

One of the first books of poetry I read, Robert Frost's poems have been my constant companion. Particular favourites are "Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening" and "The road not taken"

TIME covers all subjects as well as world news: It's good quality, yet portable and ideal for breakfast table reading when on the move. iPads, Kindles and mobile devices are ok, but I'll choose a folded up copy of TIME in my pocket any day . . .

Jeff Johnson's amazing 2010 film 180° South introduces us to Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins, ecological visionaries as he visits them in Conservación Patagónica and climbs Mount Corcovado

When quite young I was enchanted with the old Viewmaster 3D slides of the Grand Canyon, it seemed to make it a place of dreams - so when I finally visited there in 1980 I set aside a week to savour its splendour: I didn't do much - painted, took some photos, walked the trails on the less frequented North Rim; it certainly captures the imagination with its sheer scale and beauty.

Enigmatic TV series from the 60s that broke new ground by not having a predictable ending - resulting in jammed switchboards as viewers called in outrage! Great styling and some interesting gadgets too - spherical chairs and cordless phones!! see my painting of No. 6

According to the sleeve of his 1996 album "Second Wind" Herb Alpert doesn't pursue small talk - and in that respect his conversation is like his playing - minimalist. Following the maxim of Stan Getz " Hey man, don't play any note you don't mean " Alpert has played good notes every day for the last 50 years, with a unique sound. see my painting of Herb Alpert

Kate Moss is living proof that if you are in the right place at the right time on the right day, anything can happen. Still good to look at 36 years since Storm model scout Sarah Ducas noticed her at JFK airport. see my painting of Kate Moss.

Diana Rigg was Emma Peel: complete with Lotus Elan, leather catsuits and a flair for judo, her and John Steed dispatched numerous villans in The Avengers.

Great looking gadgets, guns and girls, the iconic TV series from the 60s . . portable video devices and doors that opened automatically as you walked towards them - it could never happen!. see my painting of Napoleon Solo.