Friday, May 01, 2009

Mae West: Don Ruffin

Arizona artist Don Ruffin did a portrait of MAE WEST. Some of his artwork will be displayed on Saturday 2 May 2009.
• • Born in 1928 (according to, Don Ruffin became a nationally recognized painter during the 1970s. Among the portraits he did was that of Senator Barry Goldwater. The artist died at age 49
in 1977.
• • Don Ruffin was introduced to Mae West by a mutual acquaintance — —.psychic Richard Ireland. According to Mark Ireland, some of Don's canvases were "inspired by psychic experiences."
• • The painter, who enjoyed giving psychic readings at parties, told his neighbor Tony DePrima that he would soon be a pallbearer for a close friend, remembered Mark Ireland. Curiously, a week later, Don Ruffin passed away and Tony DePrima carried his casket during the funeral.
• • The organizer of the Cinco de Mayo celebration coming up at West Valley Art Museum, Ms. Sheny Ruiz Milligan will bring along her private collection of paintings by the Phoenix artist. Sheny fondly recalled Don Ruffin's extraordinary portraits of actress Mae West, Barry Goldwater, and other notables. He also specialized in Southwestern scenes with a spiritual element.
• • Here's where the fun takes place this weekend: West Valley Art Museum, 17420 North Avenue of the Arts, Surprise, Arizona 85374.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •
• • Feed — —
Mae West.


  1. Hello,
    I am Don Ruffin's daughter. I have read your information about his art, and I would ask that you be careful to get your facts correct. Don Ruffin's art career was well underway prior to painting Barry Goldwater. He had a PBS television show called Draw and Paint with Don Ruffin two years before he painted Barry Goldwater. Also, the nature of his death such as a night of fortune telling prior to his death is under speculation, no one in the family is aware of this. Where did you get your info? Please update your site with the correct info on my father. Go to for further info. DR

  2. In addition, any of my dad, Don Ruffin's talent was God inspired and not from a psychic experience. He gave God the credit. All of your facts, including the month that he died is incorrect. In order to maintain integrity regarding your site, you need to have correct information. He wasn't born in Arizona in 1928, He didn't die in September, and he had much notoreity prior to painting Senator Barry Goldwater. Dawna Ruffin-Snider

  3. Don Ruffin was my friend and client form many years. Every couple of months Don used to read the cards for me and my first wife, Lynda. During one of these readings, Don told Lynda and me that we had an older friend who was so close to us that he was almost a member of the family. He said that this friend was going to die and that I was going to be asked to be a pallbearer at his funeral. After the reading we talked with Don. We thought the friend mentioned in the reading must be the psychic, Dr. Richard Ireland. Richard fit the description of the person in the reading. He was a close friend and almost a member of the family. We decided not to tell Richard of the prediction as we did not want to influence the future. A couple of months later I received a telephone call from the person who found Don’s body after he died. I told this person to call Carmel Nicks, Don’s sister, and tell her what happened. A few days later I received a telephone call from Carmel Nicks who asked me if I would be a pallbearer at Don’s funeral, which I was. Don had predicted his own death. I love Don. He will always be in my heart. Tony DePrima