In her latest video, award-winning abstract painter Clara Berta reveals how using art therapy to deal with grief and loss led her on her journey of personal growth to become a working artist and the valuable life lessons she has learned through the different techniques she uses to create her art.
“Art saved me through the difficult times that I went through in my life. Art was always there. When I was going through a difficult time, I always kept going back to painting. I realized I was letting go of something. Something was pouring onto the canvas.”
At first, painting was simply a creative outlet for Clara, but after the death of her husband, she turned to painting as a form of art therapy to work through her grief and loss. Through that process, she discovered the power of art to heal and felt truly fulfilled by her work. It was then Clara dedicated herself to becoming a full-time, working artist.
“I work with my medium by layering, and I listen, and I’m thinking and then I’m feeling. And then I pull it down and it creates depth. The adding and the removing it’s about a history. It’s about pulling things out and discovering new things to come.”
To create her Visions of Color abstract paintings, Clara builds multiple layers of color and texture and then scrapes away parts until the final work emerges. What’s left is a history of the emotional journey of the painting and the artist as pieces of each layer show through. In the video you can watch as Clara creates the painting Summer Love using this technique.
“It’s all about flowing and allowing the paint to happen and things to happen naturally.”
Letting go is one of the most important life lessons Clara has learned from her art. In her Flow series, instead of trying to control the movement of the paint she simply releases it and lets it go where it wants until she discovers the painting she was meant to make. In her own life, this process of letting go and trusting what is meant to happen will happen and has led her to make bold choices without fear and has resulted in tremendous personal growth as both an artist and human being.
My husband was very supportive of my career. He just told me that I should pursue a business that I love and I should follow my passion and he was right. I realized that there was a message there about my work and doing what I love, so I’m very grateful.
About Clara Berta
Clara Berta is a passionate, award-winning, abstract artist of Hungarian heritage. Her dynamic, highly textural, abstract works have been exhibited in the United States and collected worldwide. Having earned over 10 awards between 2003-2016, her most recent honor was a 3rd Place award in the juried exhibit “Made in California” at Brea Municipal Gallery.
Video Transcript: Clara Berta Abstract Painter: A Personal Journey, BertaArt Studio Gallery, 2017
Clara Berta: Art saved me through the difficult times that I went through in my life.
Art was always there. When I was going through something, it was like I always kept going back to painting. And I realized I was letting go of something. Something was pouring onto the canvas.
In 2000 I had my first show. Seventeen years I’ve been painting. I can’t believe that.
And then in 2003, my husband had some illnesses and heart issues and I think the heart just gave up. I lost my husband, and I was going through a difficult time in my life…and I was about to have a breakdown until I made a change in my life…and then I had a duo show with another girl and that’s when I sold my first painting.
I work with my medium by layering, and I listen, and I’m thinking and then I’m feeling. And then I pull it down and it creates depth…The adding and the removing it’s about a history. It’s about pulling things out [laughs] and discovering new things to come.
[music ends, sounds of Clara moving her painting are heard]
So then I lift it up. I put it, standing. And then I look at it. I think maybe up here it could use a little bit more, but even the white on top looks kinda cool…Wooo! Wow! It looks so much better standing up too.
I love going to the beach and it always makes me feel like, I don’t know, like a kid again. I love the water because everything flows and I think a lot of things in my work flow also…It’s all about flowing and allowing the paint to happen and things to happen naturally.
My husband was very supportive of my career. He just told me that I should pursue a business that I love and I should follow my passion and he was right…I realized that there was a message there about [Clara gets emotional] my work and doing what I love, so I’m very grateful.
I am excited that this piece came together. I feel the energy.