Today, I am pleased to introduce artist Christine Brallier to you. Her award-winning art has been published in several books and her mosaics have been installed in public spaces in California, Texas, Michigan, Kentucky, and Australia Zoo.
Christine can you tell us a bit about yourself and why you decided to become an artist?
Like many artists, I have loved and created art since childhood. My mother was an artist (as well as her grandfather) and drawing and creating things was my favorite thing to do with her. We’d often work on the same drawing, each of us adding different elements like this one from 1976 (I was eight). She had such joy in the process you couldn’t help but love it, too. She passed way in 2013, and going through her belongings I found childhood art that my sisters and I had done that had thumb tack holes in the corners. She used to tack them up next to her bed where she could see them. I think she kept every single thing we ever made! She always let us know that our art was valued and appreciated.
I explored different art forms throughout my life including painting, photography, ceramics and many others, but when I found mosaics in 2005, I was fascinated and instantly obsessed. I could get lost for hours in the process of cutting and gluing small pieces of beautiful stained glass. And grouting has always been the best part, watching the images transform, become softer, more cohesive and complete.
Some of your work features cats. Do you have a special relation with cats? Any cats of your own?
My mother loved animals and growing up, we always had pets, first and foremost, cats! This is the first cat I remember, a beautiful Persian named Christopher. When I was eight, a kitten followed my mom home. It was just about my birthday so she gave him to me. He was black and white and I named him Spotty. He was my best friend. Here’s a picture of me and Spotty with my sister Jennifer holding Christopher.
Today, my family and I have two cats, Raymi and Red. Raymi is a rescue cat we took home from our local shelter and she is one of the stars of my mosaic-illustrated book, The Night Before Christmas. I have made many mosaics of her and many inspired by her. Red is also a rescue cat. He belonged to my mom and we adopted him after she passed away. I have yet to make a mosaic of him but he shows up in many of my drawings.
What is your favorite cat stained glass mosaic from your work?
I think my favorite is the mosaic I made of Spotty which was the first cat mosaic I ever did. It is not my best mosaic technique-wise, but I love it for sentimental reasons. I also love the first mosaic I made of Raymi. Right after she came home from the shelter, she broke one of my ceramic pots. I put the broken pieces in the mosaic and titled it “Oops.” I have since made more than 40 cat mosaics! I recently began learning embroidery and what do you think I sew the most of? That’s right. Their fun shapes, fabulous poses, utter cuteness and playful personalities keep me creating them again and again!
You can find Christine’s work on her website, blog, Etsy store or follow her on Facebook. Her book and cards are for sale on her web site and it includes free US shipping. On her Etsy store you can find her book, cards and embroidery.
So, did you already know Christine’s work?