Conrad Buff, born in Switzerland, studied to be a lace designer at the school of Arts and Crafts in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Buff immigrated to the United States in 1905 and lived in a Swiss community in Wisconsin herding sheep. Then in 1906, Buff moved to Los Angeles and worked as a house painter.
Buff often took sketching trips to Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. Maynard Dixon accompanied him on these trips and they became lifelong friends. Buff married Mary Marsh in 1922. She was an artist and an assistant curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. They worked together as he illustrated children’s books his wife wrote.
Buff painted landscapes of the western states he traveled in. His paintings stood out because of his pointillist technique.