Ruenell Temps was born in San Francisco on May 4, 1940. Since her earliest childhood Ruenell has invented forms she has never seen before and original ways to make them. She continues to do this today. When she was a toddler she was put in an overcrowded foster home where there were more children than the one woman looking after them could not pay adequate attention to. Ruenell was the youngest and was sometimes locked in an attic closet for no apparent reason other than the woman in charge being overwhelmed. After a while, Ruenell discovered the house's large back yard and it became her safe and favorite place. She spent hours alone there building objects from her imagination out of adobe that comprised most of the yard. Creating things out of adobe soon became her world and her passion. The more she built the more exciting it became. She would work there for many hours day after day.
Ruenell was freed from the foster home situation by her grandmother when she was seven and went to live with her in Twentynine Palms, California's high desert entrance to Joshua Tree National Monument. Much of Ruenell's sculptural work is inspired by her recollections of the strong bolder and unique sand dune shapes and vast beauty found everywhere in the Monument and surrounding area. When Ruenell was nine she was making intricate clothes for her doll from patterns she developed herself. She went from making clothes for her doll to making her own clothing and working part-time doing tailoring and alterations at a dry cleaner during her high school years. Ruenell's inborne ability to make patterns is now used in creating her sculptural forms.
Ruenell started college at U. C. Davis in science on a partial scholarship and soon found herself drawn to taking as many art and design classes as she could fit into her schedule. She was privileged to take painting and drawing classes at Davis from Wayne Thiebaud and Ronald Peterson and design from Ms. Shipiro. Ruenell completed three years at Davis and then left to reside in the Bay Area. There she took more classes in painting and drawing and was introduced to clay. She chose to finish her Bachelor's Degree work at San Francisco Art Institute with painting and drawing as her major. One instructor in particular, Tom Holland, was instrumental in helping Ruenell build her confidence in painting.
Once Ruenell got her BFA degree, she temporarily put two-dimensional work aside to study ceramics under Peter Voulkos at U.C. Berkeley and also was fortunate to take classes from Ron Nagle for a semester. Peter Voulkos was her Master's Committee Chairman. Ruenell has worked in clay, painting and oil pastels throughout her career. She has also taught, ceramics, design, drawing and materials and techniques as a college instructor and has conducted numerous clay workshops for institutions and groups in California and in Australia. She spent the summer of 1974 as Artist-In-Residence at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, Colorado. Ruenell has had a successful show career featuring both her work in clay and oil pastels. Please check out her resume for details.