Shirley Ruff moved to North Carolina to pursue life as an oil painter, Outer Banks Style. Ruff is a native Nebraskan and as a child was an avid swimmer. She competed on swim teams both summer and winter. Now living five hundred feet from the Atlantic Ocean Shirley is provided not only with many swimming opportunities, but with a wealth of subject matter, color and composition that is reflected in her paintings. Ruff's work continues to evolve through constant exploration and practice.
Mrs. Ruff retired from twenty five years of teaching art with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Art Education. In Nebraska , Shirley was a member of the Associated Artists of Omaha and her work appeared at shows throughout the city including Joslyn Castle , the College of Saint Mary and private showings. Ruff then moved to Alexandria , Virginia where she became a member of the Art League and Gallery West. Her work was shown in solo and group shows. Her artwork also appeared in National and State Art Conferences, the Lyceum Museum in Alexandria and at the Torpedo Factory.
Ruff is a member of KDH Cooperative Gallery & Studios and a member of the Dare County Arts Council. Her paintings can be seen at the KDH Cooperative Gallery. Shirley's work can be viewed locally at the Dare County Court House, Churches, the Outer Banks Hospital , Nags Head Town Hall , Southern Shores Town Hall, local offices and private residences. Her work has been featured in solo and group shows at the beach. Her art work has won many art competitions and has been purchased by art patrons from around the world. You can also see Ruff's paintings in progress at her home in Southern Shores. If you don't catch her there you might find her in the ocean swimming because what the turpentine doesn't clean off the salt water will.