Translating My Love of Nature Into Art

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As an artist, I’m often asked where I draw my inspiration from. For me, it’s being out in Nature that is the most powerful source because it really energizes me. There’s something about Nature that is often hard for me to put words to but it makes me feel alive and grounded.

My love for Nature started when I was a child in Transylvania as I watched my grandparents raise corn. My mother also tended to her vegetable and flower garden every day. I feel that growing up in that environment many years ago created a strong connection for me to our mother earth.

Today, I’m very lucky to live in California where I have access to so many different environments. Recently, I’ve been seeing rainbows of blooming flora and fauna everywhere after many months of much-needed rain, the sun is starting to shine a bit brighter, and the wind is helping clear the air while carrying pollen and seeds to new destinations. My time outdoors has inspired me to create my first abstract art series focusing on landscapes. After getting recharged by Nature, I love going back to the studio to capture not only the beauty, but also the feeling I had while I was there.

Abstract artist Clara Berta on the beach in Malibu
Abstract artist Clara Berta on the beach in Malibu

The Beach
The ocean is one of my favorite places in Nature. I regularly visit nearby beaches like Venice, Carmel, Malibu, Laguna, and Santa Barbara. Going to the beach makes me feel like a kid again as I splash around in the waves and feel the sand between my toes. It’s always a joyful experience. I love the way everything flows together and try to mimic that flow when I pour layers of paint onto the canvas letting it swirl and combine in unexpected ways. I also enjoy the challenge of translating the sound and the movement of the powerful waves of the ocean into my art. My painting, El Matador, is all about the texture of the foaming crest of a wave crashing to shore.

El Matador - abstract painting on canvas, 48 x 74 by Clara Berta
El Matador, 48″ x 74″, mixed media on canvas

El Matador is being drawn back to the ocean as my painting will be on exhibit at the CA 101 2017 6th Annual Exhibition June 2nd through the 11th in Rivera Village in Redondo Beach, located just one block from the water. If you are in the area please come to the exhibition opening night celebration, Friday, June 2nd from 5-10pm.

CA 101 2017 6th Annual Art Exhibition

The Forest
Hiking in the hills and mountains of Los Angeles provides a very different experience. It is so quiet and looks so different than the rest of the city that you feel like you have been transported to a different land. No traffic, no people talking on their phones, no waiting in line; just a peaceful oasis from the daily grind. I feel like I can breathe and take my time to just enjoy the moment. The only sounds are the rustling of leaves in the gentle breeze and the animals as they scurry around. I am mesmerized by the quality of the light. The way it hits the trees, creating shadows that change as the day progresses. And when I’m in the studio, adding and removing layers of paint, I’m reminded of the pattern of tree bark and the shapes and spaces in the wood as it travels up the trunk.

Clara Berta's painting Peaceful Sunday, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48
Peaceful Sunday, 48″ x 48″, acrylic on canvas

Mysterious Lands
Sometimes, just the idea of a place can inspire a painting. One of my newest artworks, Hidden Island, is all about a mysterious place as a dark island breaks up a muted landscape with hints of green and blue peeking through. Is there life there or is it deserted? Is it old or new? And what happens there? It’s fun to create my own environment on the canvas and let the viewer fill in the blanks.

Clara Berta's Hidden Island, mixed media on canvas, 60"x72"
Hidden Island, 60″ x 72″, mixed media on canvas

The Desert
Another sense of mystery comes from the desert. Although I don’t go often, when I visit my parents in Palm Springs it’s always a treat. The stark beauty of these arid landscapes often ends up in my art. As you walk through it, there can be long stretches with no signs of life until you suddenly come upon a huge cactus or an animal somehow surviving in this tough environment. Desert Awakening captures that moment of something springing out of seemingly nothing, as the oranges, blacks and tans of the landscape swirl together to create a living entity.

Clara Berta Desert Awakening Abstract Art Mixed Media Painting Flow Series
Desert Awakening, 48″ x 60″, mixed media on canvas

I’m so grateful that anytime I need inspiration I can just walk out my door and reconnect with all of the beauty and life around me. And I look forward to finding new ways to translate that feeling to the canvas.

About Clara Berta

Award-winning abstract artist Clara Berta Los Angeles
Award-winning abstract artist Clara Berta

Clara Berta is a passionate, award-winning abstract artist of Hungarian heritage. Her dynamic, highly textural abstract paintings have been exhibited in the United States and collected worldwide. In addition to exhibits across the US, Clara’s work has been featured in film and television including CBS’s Two Broke Girls, Bravos’ Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, Disney’s You Again, Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, ABC’s The Catch, and the indie TV film Broken Links. Her art has also been seen in LA Weekly, Singular Magazine, Culture Trip, Downtown News and other publications.

See more of Clara’s art

About CA 101 and Friends of Redondo Beach Arts
Beginning in 2006, Friends of Redondo Beach Arts (FRBA) formed as a group of volunteers supporting programs and activities featuring the arts. Since then, these volunteers have focused on support for visual arts, public art, music, art education, poetry, inspiring events with talks on creative and intellectual content, and efforts to give arts and culture greater visibility in civic life. The CA 101 is an annual art exhibit bringing together Contemporary California artists across multiple disciplines. This year, the exhibition is taking over a 10,000 square feet space in Riviera Village, a quaint area of restaurants and specialty shops in Redondo Beach, one block from the beach.

Learn more about the CA 101 exhibit

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VisionLA Fest Art Show 2015 in Santa Monica