Black Cat Mosaics
Contemporary Abstract Mosaic and Mixed Media Artist
Dee Ruff has had a rich and varied background. Earning Bachelor of Psychology and Master of Social Work degrees, Dee worked for many years in Maternal & Child Health Care, Domestic & International Adoption, and Hospice services. Her career path also eventually led her to become a Nationally Certified Licensed Massage Therapist where she created a busy private practice.
During her early adult life, Dee found creative joys in combining color combinations in large scale needlepoint designs and in creating layers of color in her home gardens. Since 2012, Dee has embarked on an artistic journey of creating mosaics, one of the most ancient and durable forms of art. Through intensive self-study and professional studies with internationally renowned mosaic artists, including classes in the U.S. and Europe, Dee has developed her own artistic voice. Inspired by nature, Dee creates a modern-day alchemy in each of her four styles of art bringing together color, texture, space, and light, conveying her love of the natural world. She creates her contemporary abstract mosaic and mixed media artworks under the business name of “Black Cat Mosaics.”
In her Illuminated Shards style of art, Dee combines textures and materials from the natural world with color (utilizing meticulously cut and placed art glass) and employs embedded reflective elements that create unique effects of light within the mosaics. Dee created her Travertine and Patina collections, following her move to the American Southwest. The Travertine designs feature hand cut natural stone, while the Patinas feature copper, bronze, or iron metal coatings that have been oxidized. Dee’s Color Field Collection examines and celebrates the manifestation and energy of colors. These works incorporate semi-precious minerals and gemstones, glass, vintage beads, shells, natural stone, metals, glazed ceramic, and other unique tesserae. Many of her newer artworks feature handmade substrates, rather than standard wooden boards or typical purchased mosaic panels. Some contain non-biodegradable polystyrene, which if just thrown away, could remain in a landfill indefinitely. Instead, Dee combines materials to create lightweight, yet sturdy substrates for her art with an environmentally respectful method.
As an artist, Dee has enjoyed being a member of local, national, and international art organizations. She is an active participant in global online contemporary art groups and has served as a mentor for beginning artists. Dee has exhibited in numerous state, national and international juried art exhibitions, as well as charitable art events. She has contributed to four public art mosaic murals in the United States. She and her husband live in Tucson, Arizona, with their pampered black cat, Ace, surrounded by flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert, where her home studio has unobstructed views of the Santa Catalina Mountains.