The Heroine’s Journey of Clara Berta

What is the best thing that I love about my work? I am a passionate, award-winning abstract artist of Hungarian heritage. My dynamic, highly textural abstract paintings have been exhibited in the United States and collected worldwide. While working on my latest project, the flow series, I have found that my work can be very challenging; however, I do like deadlines, and I love it when I can experiment and let things happen naturally. For me, natural experimentation is the essence of art.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Not having to worry about money. I strongly believe that life should be lived for emotional fulfillment, not financial gain. However, this is nearly impossible to achieve in the world we live in, so I try to strike a balance between monetary stability and feeding my passion.

What is my greatest fear? That my work is created for me alone and no one will notice.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I seem to always want things to happen quickly and I need to learn that things happen at the right time and allow things to happen natural.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Gerhard Richter, I love his work as it is so exciting and stimulating in many ways, the many layers of colors and also his previous work was in figurative style and now very abstract and love seeing his process and the documentary about his life moved me. It is Zen like and meditative at the same time.

What is my greatest extravagance? Taking “me time” to unwind is so rare, so I would certainly say it is my greatest extravagance. Traveling, going to a spa, and taking a day off all help me to center myself, so that when I return to the studio I am refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to connect once again with my creative practice.

On what occasion would I lie? The only instance in which I would lie would be to protect the feelings of someone I care about. Rather than telling them a falsity, I would omit information. I do not believe in outright lying to people; it can only harm not help.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? It’s very hard for me to paint to match your couch. In an ideal world I would create based solely on what speaks to my soul, but unfortunately, I also have to make a living. Commissioned pieces can often pose a challenge because as an artist I have to please the client and I also wish to create art that makes them happy.

Where and where was I the happiest, in my work? I am happiest when I am in the zone and it’s quiet and peaceful in my studio and I get to create from my heart, create with my feelings, and listen to my intuition. I love working big. Large canvases afford more opportunity, can convey larger emotions, and often make a greater visual impact.

If I could, what would I change about myself? To be more patient and to listen more, be open to feedback, and understand rejection better. I am wrestling with the concept that critiques are not meant to be personal, and that the person observing does not judge me, rather they just have a different taste than me.

What is my greatest achievement in work? I would say that my greatest achievement is the moment at the end of a new technique or a new process that I discover simply by experimenting with the creative process. This is what happened when I created my Flow Series. I was experimenting and realized that I needed to learn to let go and not control the work. This is something that I apply to my life, learning to let go and let the universe work it’s magic. Also now, when I create my flow series, it involves adding many layers, there seems to be something special about three and having the confidence to let the paint flow instead of controlling it.

Where would I most like to live? In an ideal world, I would live by the sea, perhaps on the Italian coast. My main inspiration for my works comes from nature, and I find that the shifting patterns of the waves constantly offer up news ideas. Plus, who wouldn’t love to live in Europe?

What is my most treasured possession? My most treasured possessions are the photographs of my family dating back to when I was a young girl – I believe that it is so important to remember where you came from. I also appreciate seeing photos on FaceBook with reminders of memories.

What is my most marked characteristic? My most distinctive characteristics as an artist are the textures in my paintings – I love texture because I feel it creates history and its part of design or a setting. It creates an atmosphere that can’t be felt in just two dimensions.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? If I am looking for inspiration in Los Angeles, I will head to the beach. As I mentioned earlier, the crashing waves, the sand, and the horizon all inform and inspire my work. I will always turn to the serenity of the coast.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? My favorite restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles is Bestia, a phenomenal Italian restaurant. The concept for Bestia juxtaposes decorative contemporary elements against a raw, industrial space dripping with character. This approach pays homage to sophisticated modern-day Italian spaces,which often integrate contemporary interiors into centuries-old structures.

What books influenced my life and how? Julia Cameron “The Artist’s Way”, the morning journals, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I have been able to apply some of the techniques or lesson from the Artist’s Way into my own life and daily practice such as the morning pages which reminds me I should start doing them again, since it helps me to remember my dreams.

Who are my favorite writers? Elizabeth Gilbert, love her writing and the film Eat, Pray, Love was really moving about the transitions we go through in life and how traveling helps us to find ourselves.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Bolero by Ravel, very moving and it is also exciting to listen and reminds me of the 80’s as well. A period in my life that was a lot of fun growing up.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Wonder Woman.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My first English teacher, because she was very kind and supportive during my early years when I came to this country and had difficulty with the English language. Kids would make fun of me and I needed to find a way to be accepted and also to fit in.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?
All About Eve, Midnight In Paris – I love Woody Allen’s films.

What role plays art in my life and work?  My art is everything. Art saved me.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? I have a great guy in my life, I love that he gives me feedback, sometimes we even paint together and he has a great sense of humor which is very important in relationships. He gets me and understands me as an artist and who I truly am. This has been a huge struggle most of my life to be accepted and not have someone try to change me. Acceptance is so important for me.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017? Vanessa Prager since she uses a palette knife and I get excited to paint using them as well and I also love painting with my hands.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017? I would love to connect with more designers, especially outside of Los Angeles. I want to expand upon the global impact of my works.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I aspire to have a large solo exhibition, as well as having the opportunity to show in the Venice Biennale. My work was showcased in Dot Red at Basel in Miami in 2014, so I would once again like to have a similar opportunity.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017? My latest work can always be seen at BertaArt Studio Gallery in downtown Los Angeles – please stop by to say hello! Perhaps you will even catch me painting. My works can also be found at Artspace Warehouse in Beverly Hills and at the Kreiss Showroom in West Hollywood. Also you can see my work on Ray Donovan Season 5.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? I’ll keep working until the end. There will be no retirement party here, just a constant celebration of events.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
Amber Goldhammer, Barbara Kolo, Vanessa Prager

How can you contact me?
• @BertaArt



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