Meet Artwork Archive artist, Clara Berta.
Clara Berta is passionate about exploring feelings and life experiences through dynamic abstract creations. Berta pairs her knowledge of Psychology with art-making to engage art as a creative outlet, source of art therapy, and full-time career and vocation.
Berta approaches her art as a continual experiment. She loves each part of the process. From the physical feeling of pouring paint to mastering online marketing, to the organizational satisfaction of managing her artworks with Artwork Archive—Berta finds joy in her career.
We reached out to learn about how Berta is overcoming challenges like COVID-19 in her career as well as to understand how her art process and career have evolved over the years.
How does your art process relate to the experience you want viewers to have?
I create from my heart. I want to share my emotions and my energy with my paintings. I paint with intuition and spontaneity so that my feelings play out on the canvas. I hope to impart a sense of joy, serenity and reflection on viewers.
My collectors are attracted to my physical works. When they understand my process as me as an artist they are also attracted to my energy and my excitement.
Has your work changed over time—do you find yourself understanding your art career through different periods of expression?
That’s a great question. I have created a few series of works throughout my career. It all started with printmaking, then highly textured mixed media works, and now my current series, Minimalism. This latest series of abstract works with a minimalist sensibility show a change in my attitude and lifestyle. The minimalist architect Mies van der Rohe said “less is more” and I try to live this way.
I realized this “less is more” was needed in my work too. I find that negative space creates balance and a sense of peacefulness.
Do you have a favorite or most satisfying part of your process?
The process of pouring paint is freeing and fun, and also meditative and healing. There are so many ways of pouring paint - fast, slow, different amounts of paint and water - that make up the shapes, layers, and colors of a powerful work.
Recently, I have also been creating textures in the background of my works, which is something I still love since texture creates depth and dimension. I love it when I hear comments that my work has a 3D effect from the layering and flecks of silver that shine through.
Your work is fairly abstract. How do you know when an art piece is finished?
I have been getting much better at listening to my intuition. I think we all have a little inner voice that we should listen to – since it is always right!
My mentor Rene Deloffre put the phrase, “Art is editing and that means adding and removing.” into my brain. I embody this phrase in my work as I remove paint and add new layers to create form, depth, and texture to a painting.
How do you experiment within your art practice? When you start a work do you have an idea of how you would like it to look?
I experiment by trying out different ways to pour and add paint that create textures and build up layers. Every painting is an experiment in a way. I also allow myself to mess up a painting and then start over again. This is the fun part of creating. I get to let my inner child out to play during this time.
I usually have an idea of colors I like to start with, however, I don’t work with a preconception of the final piece. If I start with an idea of how it should look, it probably won’t end up that way. The paint has a mind of its own and it flows in the direction it desires.
I have only so much control. I love this process because I get to let go of control and go with the flow of the painting.
Has your art business changed during COVID-19? If so, how?
Yes, it has changed a great deal since I am not able to have many visitors in my gallery. I miss the interaction with people that come in. I thrive on receiving feedback about my work and I really miss that connection with viewers. I had a few months that were really slow, so now things are picking up and I am feeling very grateful.
How have you adapted to the current global circumstances?
This year, I decided to put my efforts into going global with my work. I decided to invest in my career and business so that I can respond to an online global art market and expand to new levels, especially with the conditions and circumstances of the pandemic. I recently sold my first work to a collector in Dubai.
I have been focusing on social media, sharing my process, and telling stories. In the current crisis, people are really interested in personal stories and connections. I love using my Instagram, sharing videos, and am now getting into creating vlogs.
You are unique in having your own gallery attached to your studio ... what has that experience been like?
I love coming into the studio to work and having the gallery in the front. I work mainly in the back creating new works, writing emails to collectors, art consultants, galleries, and also writing blogs. Having the gallery means I have a fabulous bright and spacious exhibition space that invites people inside to experience my work. The gallery has regular hours from 12-5 pm, so visitors can simply drop in and I’m always happy to show them around the studio and get a conversation going.
What routines—art-making and administrative—are essential to success in your art career?
I have a daily routine starting with my morning. I have been focused on my health since health is so important to well-being, energy, and creativity in the studio.
It all starts with self-care and self-love. From time to time, I burn sage in my studio to bring in good energy. I also have a fabulous team to help me with tasks that I am unable to do so that I can focus more on the creative process.
Why did you decide to inventory and archive your artworks?
In my career and my business, I realized that it is important to be very organized. You need to adapt to new technologies and platforms. An archive is a legacy. I wish to create and protect a fabulous collection of works that people can research and find easily down the road.
What advice would you give an artist discouraged during this time?
What has helped me from getting discouraged is shifting my creative perspective to focus on the inner, rather than the outer, world. I have been practicing gratitude daily and it is a great way to end the day and start my day.
In a practical sense, I also recommend creating a marketing plan. Utilize the online community and share videos about your life and your work. Connect with other artists to create a support network and share resources. I have been giving my time and knowledge to students and mentoring artists to create a series. This kind of exchange is very important