Los Angeles is home to more artists than any other city in the world. Some are famous, but most are not, and some are more interesting than others. What is it about an artist that sets them apart and makes them noteworthy? Usually it is their talent, often it is their marketing, or perhaps a famous parent or an adjunct career, as is the case wth so many actors now dabbling in the fine art world. But sometimes you come across an artist who is just a breath of fresh air, with a humble and sweet demeanor, whose work strikes just the right chord, and you need to know more. Clara Berta is such an artist, inspiring this article by the Downtown News.
July 28, 2014 DT News. Original Publication: What’s in My Loft? Clara Berta, SB Spring
by Jacqueline Fox, Photos by Gary Leonard
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – Hungarian-born Clara Berta, an award-winning mixed-media artist, sold her Studio City home of 20 years in 2012. Searching for new inspiration, and with a desire to downsize, she is now perched and painting on the 11th floor of a Historic Core building. Her 1,200-square-foot studio and living space, she said, have delivered the exact changes she’d been seeking.
“I am just so much more inspired here,” Berta said. “I’m interacting with all kinds of new people from so many backgrounds and I can see how the light here has worked its way into my paintings. They are different, lighter, softer and freer.”
1) “This is from one of my favorite artists, Jack Chipman,” said Berta, pointing to a piece on a wall in a bathroom. “It’s
called ‘Mr. Tambourine Man,’ and it’s not hard to figure that one out. I bought it six years ago. It’s musical, playful, and that’s sort of the kind of person I am.”
2) Admitting to a mild shoe fetish, Berta pulls a favorite from her collection, all of which delicately dangle by their heels from what was intended to serve as safety rails across her bedroom windows. “I have a few different pairs of Manolo Blahniks. In fact, I’m wearing some now,” she said. “I think this is a perfectly good way to show them off. There’s a few Prada sprinkled in there and some others. But Manolo’s are my favorite. They are sexy and comfortable. I like seeing them and having them out on display.”
3) Can a china cabinet be sexy? Well, Berta’s holds some intimate apparel, a riding crop, a book on erotica and a few other suggestive keepsakes. “I’ve had this china chest for about 20 years,” said Berta. “I originally put it in the living room, but it didn’t work there. So now it’s my little boudoir. A friend, who does what she calls ‘Fun Shway,’ suggested I use it to store my lingerie and I thought that’s a perfect idea. That’s very me.”
4) “This alarm clock is one of the pieces I inherited from my grandfather. My mother was in Romania about 15 years ago and I asked her to bring me something special. It was in my grandfather’s house. I was very close to him and I thought it would be fun to have something of his in my home. I don’t remember seeing it when I was a child, but I visited him often and it makes me feel good to have a part of my history, a part of him, with me.”
© Los Angeles Downtown News 2014
by Alyice Edrich as appeared at emptyeasel.com
Clara Berta started painting in 1988, but as many of us do, she let it slip away. One day, while going through some personal and difficult experiences, she returned to painting as a way to heal and found it very rewarding. It was then that she was hooked, again. Around 2008 her creativity began to soar, and in hopes of learning more about technique and composition, she took off for Florence, Italy to study at the Santa Reparata School of Art. Today she teaches workshops in her studio in Los Angeles, California and has gallery shows throughout the United States.
Alyice: You mix abstract art with mixed media in your paintings, can you tell us a little bit about both forms of art?
Clara: Abstraction is the meaning of the word: an abstraction of reality or the point of view, you look at a tree and you interpret it in an abstract manner. Mixed media is a process of adding found objects, textures from wood chips to using coffee grounds, tea bags and other organic and inorganic materials to create texture in a painting that may not have any aspects of reality, but interprets reality in an abstraction.
Alyice: There’s a lot of mixed media collage work and abstract art on the market these days, how do you differentiate yours from the rest?
Clara: I am a unique person and therefore my work is unique. My approach is bold, deconstructed, sensual, and passionate. I like using offset primary colors and I’ve never adhered to using a color chart of primary colors to bind me to convention as the example in my work.
Alyice: How has your style changed over the years?
Clara: I began my career as a printmaker studying with Lynne Bernay. She guided me to express beautiful works of collage and monoprints. It was a great privilege to work with her for her artistic knowledge and then I went on to study at Santa Reparata School of Fine Art in Florence, Italy. My work has evolved from monoprints to mixed media works on large canvases. I have enjoyed my enlarged visual vocabulary which apparently speaks to my audience. You can learn more about that by watching my latest video. My gallery has been encouraging me to expand my work to create large canvases meeting market demand. It’s important to understand that I am not driven by the demands of the market, I am encouraged by my own desires to create what I love as well. I have been described as being in “Blue series” and tomorrow will be. . .
Alyice: Since abstract art is non-representational (without recognizable shapes or figures) how do you find your inspiration?
Clara: I find it in nature, people, teaching. I have a mentor who guides me in my process through suggestions and subtle teachings which does not suggest a solution, but rather offers a pathway.
Alyice: What is your creative process like?
Clara: I don’t practice each day, but allow myself to do what I do. My mentor says, “Do anything, but start in the middle.” My personal guide suggests that I use the rule of thirds, the golden mean and let the good times role. . . I love small surprises that evolve from evolve from whimsy and free spirited thinking.
Alyice: Why don’t use adhere to the principle of color theory?
Clara: I do not feel that color theory is important in my art as I paint from emotions. What is important is that I explore texture, color, collage, and line explorations which I think of as my “niche.” My work is personal and it comes from my history. . . my culture. My Hungarian roots have helped me to explore a classical approach to art.
Alyice: Abstract art evokes a lot of emotions through color and composition. Can you tell us how you use color and composition to evoke emotion in your pieces?
Clara: No. . . it is an evolution of happy accidents that culminates in and express how I feel in the moment.
Alyice: What is the most challenging part about creating abstract art?
Clara: Starting the project and having no blue print, no guide marks, no net beneath me and allowing myself to step into the stream and go where the current takes me. . . Because I must.
Alyice: What do you wish you knew about painting abstracts before you got started?
Clara: I wish I had known how all consuming the process would be when you start with a bare canvas and must bare your soul to complete it. When faced with a canvas 5 ft x 8 ft I begin with texture and I end when a small voice whispers, “You’ve gone deep enough.”
Alyice: What has been your greatest difficulty as an abstract artist and how did you overcome it? Clara: Staying the course and allowing myself to enjoy the moment and the process.
Alyice: How do you come up with a profitable pricing structure for your abstract pieces?
Clara: I rely upon the guidance of the gallery which represents my work: Claudia Deutsch, Artspace Warehouse.
O: (213) 985-1011
MEDIA ALERT – MEDIA ALERT – MEDIA ALERT – MEDIA ALERT
6TH ANNUAL LAWINEFEST RETURNS TO HOLLYWOOD’S
HISTORIC RALEIGH STUDIOS JUNE 11 & 12
New for 2011, LAWineFest will feature the Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour, cooking
demos, and expanded food court, in addition to 150+ wines, spirits, and beers
LAWineFest hits Hollywood June 11&12! 150+ wineries, craft brews, spirits & food trucks; $69/day, $99 weekend http://www.lawinefest.com (March 7, 2011; LOS ANGELES, CA)—Sip, nosh, and mingle at Hollywood’s Historic Raleigh Studios June 11 and 12, where 150-plus wine, spirits, and beer folks will come together to celebrate the 6th Annual LAWineFest, benefitting Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. Dubbed “LA’s largest educational wine festival,” LAWineFest 2011 will feature the Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour, an interactive experience educating guests about wine and entertaining.
|WHAT:||6th Annual LAWineFest, benefitting Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles|
|WHEN:||Saturday, June 11, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.; trade & media only, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 11, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.; VIP Event & Auction After Party Sunday, June 12, 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.|
|WHERE:||Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90038|
|TICKETS:||Early Bird: $45 Saturday Pass, $39 Sunday Pass through March 31, 2011. Regular Price: $69 per day; $99 couples or weekend pass. Purchase tickets at www.LAWineFest.com.|
|CHARITY:||Benefitting Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles|
Special Programs: Special classes on wine and cheese pairing, international wines, and bourbon, scotch and sake appreciation will be offered both days; tickets available separately at LAWineFest.com or by calling (818) 429-6770. The VIP Tasting Event & Auction After Party will feature extraordinary wines, light bites, a live auction with art by Renoir and acclaimed local artist Clara Berta, wine weekends away, dinner for 10 with Chef David Binkle and an Ultra Luxury Cocktail party to mention a few. Parking: Street parking (metered on Saturday) and paid parking available at Paramount Studios lots on Bronson and Van Ness. Metro accessible via Red Line; exit Vermont/Santa Monica and walk two blocks south, three blocks west.
About LAWineFest LAWineFest was founded in 2005 by renowned wine educator, columnist and Sommelier for the Escoffier Association of Southern California, Dr. Joel M. Fisher. LAWineFest is the largest wine tasting event in Los Angeles, with the dual mission of bringing wine education and enjoyment to Angelenos and supporting local charitable organizations. For further information, please visit LAWineFest.com or contact Director of Marketing, Michelle McCue at email@example.com or (213) 985-1011.
About Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour Let us bring the wine country experience to you, with the fifth annual Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour 2011. Featuring wines from the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, Robert Mondavi Private Selection, and Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley portfolios, the tour provides an interactive experience educating guests about wine and entertaining. The Discover Wine Tour is for learning, experiencing, and tasting – and above all, enjoying. After all – isn’t that what wine – and life – is all about?
About Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Since 1983, they have brightened the lives of more than 7,200 children.
About Artist Clara Berta Clara Berta is a passionate, award winning mixed media, abstract artist of Hungarian heritage. She teaches advanced painting techniques as well as collage classes using photos and other materials in Studio City, California. Berta believes art can offer therapeutic relief from the challenges and stress people face in their daily lives – a belief she came to adopt through personal experience. Berta also hosts Ladies Night In once a month, centered on wine, cheese and art, are yet another way Berta applies her own creativity toward helping others find a positive outlet for the inner emotions. Clara also reaches out to local organizations and has donated several works to Dreams on Canvas, Midnight Mission and Lymphoma and Leukemia Society.
Blog Talk Radio: Clara Berta – “How to Be Comfortable in Your Own Shoes”
“Mixed media abstract artist Clara Berta shares her passion and discusses her extensive collection of art for her line, BertaArt. “ Click here to listen to the radio blog
Disney’s Film “You Again” Includes Three Pieces of My Artwork
Three pieces of Clara Berta’s artwork shown in the movie “You Again. This new Disney comedy by Andy Fickman is scheduled for release in 2010. Clara’s work has also been featured in movies and TV programs, such as “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra. “Innocence” was featured in a horror film.
My recent show in Las Vegas!