The SAMA Member Community lost a bright and shining light on June 11, 2021 with the passing of Christine Brallier after a courageous battle with cancer.
Christine was a long time SAMA Member and the Lead Artist and Designer of our 2012 Mosaic Marathon Project, Ready to Fly completed by the attendees of the American Mosaic Summit in Lexington, Kentucky and presented to The Nest: Center for Women, Children & Families.
Christine was a frequent attendee of our conference program where she established deep connections with mosaic artists from all over the world, as well as her vibrant online presence and work in her own community.
We are dedicating this virtual space in Christine’s honor and as a space for our members and her family to share memories in celebration of her life.
A Life Remembered
The following was shared by Christine’s Family on Saturday, June 12, 2021
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Christine Marie Brallier at the age of 52 on June 11, 2021 in Santa Barbara, California. Christine was born October 17, 1968 in Bellflower, California to Robert and Robin Dollie. She married Greg Brallier in 1996 and her son Jack was born in 1998.
Christine was most joyful when creating. She was an accomplished artist who worked in many mediums, but perhaps best known for her mosaics. One of her first local installments was in Rhoads Park, Santa Barbara titled “Joy of Life”, a three-piece panel depicting the joy and innocence of childhood. Christine also created a mosaic tribute titled “For Mom” featuring a jacaranda tree surrounded by daylilies, her mom’s and her favorite flowers, and located in the Sacred Space room at Cottage Hospital in Goleta, bringing peace to grieving families.
Christine participated in Santa Barbara’s “Pianos on State” project, painting a piano inspired by her love of cats and music titled “Giocoso”, meaning fun and joyful. This wonderfully represents what she desired to accomplish with her art.
One of her dream projects was to create a book which utilized her intricate mosaics. In 2013 she published her whimsical version of “The Night Before Christmas” which tells the classic story in 15 detailed mosaic panels which include many personal touches featuring her family and her cat Raymi. She most recently illustrated two books by Elizabeth Stewart.
Christine’s love of her family, art, music, flowers, tennis, cats and the mosaic community she engaged with were among the things which brought her the most joy. Her creativity, energy and spirit were an inspiration to fellow artists and her kindness, wisdom and childlike playfulness will be missed by all who knew her. Her son Jack especially enjoyed all the goofy, silly moments they shared together.
Christine is survived by her husband Greg, son Jack, mother-in-law Marlene, father Robert, sisters Kim and Jennifer, brothers Robert and David, and numerous nieces and nephews. Her story and art can be viewed at www.cbmosaics.com. In lieu of a service and flowers, Christine would want each person to honor her in the way they most connected with her.
To the SAMA Membership and Mosaic Art Community from her sisters, Kim and Jennifer.
We are feeling that SAMA is a whole world we weren’t a part of, and it feels befitting to focus on your mo-ships and fun and what she meant to you. We can say though how happy we were to see Christine get out in the world and make a new family of friends within the mosaic community. Also we love that others got to see her goofy side and she got to share the joy so far and wide with her art and her shenanigans.
Thank you to all the artists that have added pieces, big and small to my sister’s life. Every piece MATTERS, and has made a difference in her world. Every piece has added to the beauty and love she received from you all. Every piece has had its place, and I know she was grateful to you all, and completely blown away and eternally inspired by your creations. Thank you for all you gave her.
From her loving sisters.
The Joy of Life
It’s a sad day and with that my heart is broken to share with you that we lost a good one this week. My dear friend, Christine Brallier has passed.
I met CB online in 2007 on Flickr. I called her CB because of her business title being CBMosaics. I was starting to create mosaics and she was starting as well. Through the years I learned how very talented she was as well as having such a beautiful soul. I would not see her too often only at SAMA yearly and in Santa Barbara each year when I taught there, FB and private chats. But, you know that friend. That’s the friend that you don’t see as often as you like and when you do it’s like time has not passed.
She made mosaics with stained glass and her favorite, millefiori. She wrote a mosaic book, installed a large scale mosaic in Santa Barbara called, “The Joy of Life” that is still there. She sketched, illustrated and published a couple of other books, gel painted, loved needlepoint, tennis, ice dancing and so much more. She had several art shows in and around galleries in California as well as in North Carolina.
CB was invited to be the lead artist at the 2012 Society of American Mosaic Artists’ annual summit where she created, designed and orchestrated other artists to complete a three part mosaic and had it installed for a nonprofit organization. Donna Post, Linda Vaden Martin, CB and I were yearly roommates at the SAMA conference for over ten years.
Christine was an inspiration to many people with her sweet words, artistic ways and hilarious shenanigans.
Thank you Jen for being a wonderful sister and always being there for her.
My heart is with her siblings, hubby, son friends and family.
~ Carol Shelkin
from Carol’s Facebook Profile with permission
Coffee and Dear Friends
I had a lovely and healing 2 hour coffee date with Jen, Christine’s sister this morning. It was so wonderful to sit and chat with someone that looks exactly like Christine and see her spirit in Jen. They are only a year apart and have so much in common.
She shared a lot of what C went through this last year and half. It was very hard to listen to, she really had a tough time with what her body went through. It was so wonderful to know Jen could move down last fall and be really close by to help the family out as much as possible. We shared some good memories I had over the years. Jen is hoping to stay in the area and continue to help with Jack as much as possible.
As for what I will share, Christine found me online and came to my studio back in 2010 to introduce herself, of course with 12 yo Jack in tow. She asked if I was going to SAMA (Austin) and I said No, I don’t do crowds and people I don’t know. She said I needed to go to promote my SBSMA business. She mentioned the next SAMA would be in Austin. I had wanted to visit that city, so I told her if she promised to keep me under her wing and introduce me to her friends, then I would go. The rest of that story is history.
When she was selected to head the Mosaic Marathon in Kentucky. She came to my studio a few times to go over the design and ask me my opinions. It was a big undertaking for her but she did a great job.
She helped with two large commissions back in 2012 that saved me on so many levels….I will always be so grateful to her for never saying no. When I said help she would always say “be right there”…lucky me!!!
Whenever a visiting artist she was friends with came to teach at SBSMA she would visit for lunch…every year Carol taught she would be there. My favorite pic is the October bday pix in our kitchen. Having Donna and Linda come in from out of town to celebrate and SURPRISE Carol on her big bday was so special!!!!!!
She and I made a point of seeing each other every few months for coffee at Starbucks or her dining table. I have so many memories of just stopping by to see how she was doing on the Christmas book mosaics or whatever she was working on. One of our last texts was her interest in shooting an online course with Gelli prints.
I could go on and on…I can’t believe she is not here physically anymore but I know she is here in spirit and she will continue to show up in her own special ways…
~ Tami Macala
Remembering my friend, and trying to process the loss. Christine was such a gentle and creative soul with a surprising crazy side. To know her was to instantly love her. I know I did.
~ Linda Vaden Martin