As part of our “Artists in Residence” series, we got a chance to hang out for three days with Clara Berta, Downtown Artist and creative businesswoman and we can tell you first hand that Clara is as fun to be around as she is talented.
On the first day we learn the basics.
Clara Berta is a self-taught abstract mixed media artist who lives and paints in Downtown Los Angeles. As a result of over 20 years of experimentation, world travels and attending the creative workshops of those artists she most admires, Clara now produces an attractive piece each night still experimenting with different colors and textures, as her style gets bigger, better and more prolific with each work she creates.
This makes perfect sense for Clara. Her fans demand a large inventory, as she is one of the more successful Downtown Artists, being able to sell her maximum sized 4ft by 8ft pieces at a steady pace.
Follow her on social media and you will be able to celebrate with Clara’s fans as she post news of each sale, sold either through a broker, gallery exhibit, or from her own studio gallery BertaArt on 8th and Los Angeles, which is full of complete and not yet so completed artworks, at an average of at least once per week.
Celebrating her first year anniversary in her studio in Downtown this February, Clara has taken over, incorporating the entire hallway of the 2nd floor just outside the glass doors of her creative workspace with the support of the building’s management who houses a community of creative neighbors who have expressed delight for being exposed to her artistic wonders. Many tenants mourn when Clara’s hallway works sell, no longer being able to pass by them on the day-to-day.
“I feel so good, I love myself, I love my art; I love everything about my space. It’s got great natural light.” Says Clara.
Clara’s mediums consist of assorted acrylics, texture paste and an occasional silk fabric, which meet and perform a dance of depth upon which others can easily partner and keep rhythms with.
“It’s great, texture paste. It’s my foundation for creating a painting.” Says Clara.
Her buyers have Avant guard taste and are mostly looking for something different and unique. Clara definitely has both, which seem to speak to the buyer with the calmest whispers of nature; travel and love of life, she says, inspires each and every one of her abstract paintings.
However, creating each piece may be far less complicated than naming them, as Clara often asks the admirers of her finished works for their suggestions when it comes to just what the piece will eventually be titled.
Since she’s been in Downtown the past 3 years have been about making lots of friends and selling lots of art. On our second day, we took a trip to the Arts District where she ran into a few friends and made a few more.
We enjoyed a delicious organic lunch and brought home seasoned fresh fish from a nearby grocer to eat later for dinner.
Clara bounces around downtown with a full head of curls of burnt sienna and strikingly big baby blue eyes. She stands about 5ft tall, not shy on sex appeal or class and delights in reminiscing about her younger days as an actress. She’s quick witted, speaks with perfect diction and is always ready to laugh.
Protective over her works, she puts her heart and soul into each piece. This she says fortifies its personal value and limits her ability for caring what other people say or think. She’s a master of listening to her own inner voice which has continued to lead her in a positive direction when it comes to creating, marketing and selling her works.
We share goat cheese and Rosemary Croccantini flatbreads on the third day, and find that Clara is also, not shy with her opinions, especially when it comes to galleries that may charge artists for wall space versus the curators who are able to be more selective of the pieces they choose when ensuring enough sales to keep the gallery doors open.
Of those she is most fond of, Artspace Warehouse on Beverly Blvd, and a number of shows that allow her to give back to charity. A recent show at Bergamot Station where her works were able to pick up a few more hand picked collectors also made their way into our conversation.
Night and day her persistence and tenacity are stead fast as she’s exposed to the rough edges of Downtown, and although she loves the great outdoors, trees, beaches and hiking, she’s just as much in love with the City scene and seeing the diversity of people here.
Although it’s a far cry from the suburbs of her previous headquarters in Studio City, those rough Downtown edges, no doubt, are now incorporated into her works as she enjoys the daily Downtown show, accented with a few lingering drops of nature in the form of big green sidewalk treetops which manage to peek into the windows of her 2nd floor studio gallery.
Visit BertaArt by appointment, during the Downtown ArtWalk or attend a private gallery tour. This is where you can meet and greet with Clara as part of a group. She also teaches a Saturday class from 11am – 2pm where she introduces color, texture, collaging different techniques. Her students bring their own canvas and she provides the rest including her expertise and a certain amount of fun.