Black Cat Mosaics Creator, Dee Ruff



How long have you lived in Bisbee?


My husband and I first visited Bisbee in 2013. Enchanted by the historic architecture, unique small businesses, and annual musical and artistic events, we purchased our 100 + year old Craftsman bungalow in 2015, as a future retirement property. Serendipity happened, in the spring of 2017, when my husband got the opportunity to telecommute right from our Bisbee home to his office in Atlanta. We moved to Bisbee full time in the summer of 2017. 


What do you create?


As an active member of the global mosaic art community, I have created contemporary abstract mosaic art and mixed media art, since 2012, under my art name “Black Cat Mosaics.”


I didn’t always consider myself to be an artist, although I had been creating intricate, and sometimes large scale needlepoint and cross stitch artworks for decades, as a hobby. 

In my first two career paths, following graduate school, I was involved in counseling and healing arts. I initially worked for many years, in demanding settings as a M.S.W. in Maternal & Child Health and Adoption Services, and later, as a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist. Medical problems in 2011, forced me to close my private massage practice and totally shift my focus. I unexpectedly discovered contemporary mosaic art, and found that it was challenging and invigorating. As my body healed, I ambitiously learned more and more about this ancient art form. Eventually I progressed from being a self-taught artist to learning from internationally renowned mosaic masters. I now have 4 main styles of artworks, which can be found on and purchased directly from me, via my website. My newest style, Color Field Mosaic Abstracts, have been described as “tapestries of color, glass and stone.” My Patina mixed media artworks feature real liquid oxidized metal coatings (copper, bronze, and iron) combined with semi-precious minerals, ceramic, and other unique tesserae. The Travertine artworks are noted for their textural properties and earth-tones. My 4th style, Illuminated Shards®️, is a modern-day alchemy combining materials from the natural world, transparent colored glass shards, and reflective elements. 

What's your favorite thing about Bisbee?


I love having my art studio in my backyard, just steps away from our home. It’s surrounded by plants and flowers, and the beauty of nature. I can often see hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and flowers, as I create my art, while enjoying diverse types of music, during the day. At night, stepping out of my studio, I can enjoy the dark sky with twinkling stars, planets, and the moon. I also love living in a historic home with a nice front porch that overlooks Vista Park. I appreciate being able to live in a peaceful, serene environment with my husband, and create my art with natural beauty all around me, yet also enjoy having the busy Bisbee Farmer’s Market nearby on Saturday mornings, and the wonderful independent businesses in Old Bisbee, only a short drive away. 


What is a piece of advice you would give to a visitor or someone thinking of living here? 


Visitors can definitely enjoy taking advantage of the numerous festivals and events that are usually held on an annual basis, as well as purchasing unique items in local businesses, and dining in a variety of restaurants. For those who enjoy nature, there are opportunities to enjoy hiking and the beauty of the desert scenery, within the city limits, and also in the surrounding rural areas. 


For anyone considering relocating to Bisbee, I would suggest exploring the area during both busy and quiet times. Each neighborhood in Bisbee has unique characteristics, and it might be helpful to have a good understanding of the pros and cons of living in each location.  It’s also important to understand the amenities and services that are offered in Cochise County, and those that might require traveling to a more metropolitan area, such as Tucson or Phoenix. 


See some of Dee's work by visiting her website!

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