Photo of Dee © Polly Price, 2014.
About Dee Ruff
Dee has thoroughly enjoyed the process of experimenting and learning about various styles of mosaic art, since early 2012, when she discovered the fascinating world of contemporary mosaic art. In her early work, initially as a self-taught artist, Dee created garden mosaics, such as small intricate birdbaths and sculptural mosaic pieces, and she learned how to use industrial waterproofing techniques and epoxy grout. Dee’s early indoor mosaic fine art included everything from mirrors, to glass tile wall panels, and even a whimsical mosaic shoe.
As she studied with internationally renowned mosaic artists, Dee began to create more advanced works of art in a very unique style. She trademarked this style under the name Illuminated Shards®. In these contemporary abstract works of art, Dee creates a modern-day alchemy, by combining textures from the natural world, colors (utilizing meticulously cut and placed art glass), and employing embedded reflective elements that create unique effects of light within the artworks when in focused lighting. Ever ambitious, Dee created her recent Travertine and Patina Series, following her move to the American Southwest in July 2017. The Travertine Series features hand cut natural stone. The Patina Series features copper, bronze, or iron metal coatings that have been oxidized. These works of art incorporate areas of mosaic containing semi-precious minerals, natural stone, glazed ceramic, and other unique tesserae.
Dee’s newest artworks are her Color Field contemporary abstracts. She describes them as “Energetic Zen.” They offer a window into subtle and enigmatic colorful, textural visual experiences. In these artworks, which have been described as “tapestries of color, glass, and stone," Dee carefully combines unique and sometimes layered tesserae, such as stone, ceramic, colorful glass, semi-precious minerals, and metallic objects.
Dee began her mosaic art journey in Atlanta, GA where she was an active member of Alpha Arts Guild (AAG), Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA), Atlanta Artists Center (AAC), and the Atlanta Mosaic Art Guild. She moved from Atlanta, GA to Bisbee, AZ in the summer of 2017. Dee was a member of Contemporary Mosaic Art (CMA), a private international group of professional mosaic artists, and Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA). She has participated in artistic events with Bisbee Arts Commission, Bisbee Central School Project, and Bisbee Woman Club, and Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA). She participates in contemporary mosaic art groups on social media both as a mentor and to enhance her art techniques. Since 2014, Dee has exhibited in numerous juried art exhibitions and charitable art events. She has contributed to three public art mosaic murals in the United States.
In addition to her artistic education and experience, Dee has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Master of Social Work degree. She worked for approximately 18 years in the fields of Maternal and Child Health, Hospice Care, and Adoption Services. In her second career path, Dee worked as a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and owned a busy private practice, until health problems ended that career.
When she isn't busy with contemporary mosaic art, Dee enjoys spending time with her husband, where they have mutual hobbies of gardening and celebrating the beauty of nature, traveling, collecting art, visiting art galleries and museums, and attending cultural events. An avid music lover, Dee enjoys live musical events and listens to diverse types of music during her creative process. She lives with her husband and their pampered cat. They have two adult daughters.
Dee has always had a deep fondness for animals, and she named her art business “Black Cat Mosaics” after a special family pet, (Johnny, a humorous black cat and force of unconditional love) who was a faithful companion and was always intrigued when Dee created mosaic art. Dee has kept the name in his memory.
Black Cat Mosaics was named in honor of a beloved family pet, (Johnny, a black cat, who was always mesmerized when Dee created mosaic art. We are keeping the name in his memory.