Meet one of the talented members in our singles social network: Clara Berta, a Los Angeles artist who believes that beauty can be found in most everything.
Singular magazine: How did you first find out about Singular magazine and SingularCity and why did you decide to become a member?
Clara Berta: I’m a very social person who loves to attend local and national events and was tired of online dating. When I first received Singular magazine, I became excited. I thought, “Here’s a community of interesting people with no pressure. How wonderful.”
I find the people that I’ve met at the SingularCity happy hours delightful and charming. I’ve especially enjoyed the art gallery events.
Sm: Tell us about your life growing up in Romania and your arrival in the United States.
CB: I grew up in a culturally enriched and stimulating environment in the Hungarian enclave in Romania. Our life there was difficult. We had to wait in long lines to buy groceries. We ate polenta with whatever we could manage to dress it up with. My father worked very hard to get us out of Romania and to a new life in the United States. My family became separated for over two years while my father went to Yugoslavia, crossed the border during a dark night into Italy. He waited in a refugee camp for nine months while waiting to gain immigration into the U.S. We were reunited in Chicago when I was 11 years old. I’ll never forget seeing my father all dressed in a white suit with a black bow-tie when our flight arrived.
Sm: How did your interest and passion for creating art evolve?
CB: I began painting when I moved to Los Angeles in 1987. I was a student at USC, and I was going through a period of stress from the perils of our travels. Art provided me with creative and therapeutic outlets. At first, I worked with oils, then later with acrylics. I began studying printmaking and now I love creating what is described as mixed media art. The last few years, my work has been shown in Los Angeles galleries. Many of the clients were drawn to my vision and commissioned me to create art for them that incorporated photographs from their life and travels, from their journals and other personal materials that captured their own memories and special moments.
My studies took me to study in Florence Italy. This period had a profound effect on me and my art work. While there, I deepened my knowledge of several artistic techniques including: Image On, Solar Plate (photopolymer) printmaking, and integrating monoprints into mixed media works.
I started adding textures to my work by adding layers of torn posters, writings and recycling exotic materials. My colors have now evolved into rich and earthy colors with passionate blues derived from my love for the ocean.
A few years ago, I began teaching printmaking, collage, and mixed media art from my home. It’s so deeply satisfying to see the beautiful pieces of art created by my students. Teaching art and witnessing the enthusiasm and growth of my students has been catalytic to my own creative work.
Lately I’ve been working with interior designers to enhance the environment of their homes. It’s so exciting to see how my work has made a difference and can be so healing.
Sm: What do you want to convey through your art and how do you do that?
CB: I want my emotions to flow through me and into my art. I want to touch others in a significant way. Working predominantly with commissioned art, my intention is to merge my own emotional reactions with the desires and feelings of the person for whom the art is being created. I often use antique woods. I believe it’s important to link history’s beauty with today’s, through my use of modern techniques.
In 2003, I became a widow. I began to focus most of my attention and energy on painting, and that’s when my art really began selling. I could see that my art touched people and I realized that it is the love and healing I put into my work that they feel. Painting has been healing and spiritually enriching for me and I find this to be true for my students as well.
Sm: What is your focus in life and in art?
CB: I’ll continue to evolve spiritually and emotionally with my present focus. I’ll continue to teach and inspire others. I’m fortunate to have a beautiful loft in downtown Los Angeles where I live and create art. I also enjoy interior design using the tools of Feng Shui to create balance in my home. Meditation plays a significant part in my life as I create a place of peace and compassion in my home.
Sm: What would you like to see as your legacy?
CB: I wish to leave a powerful legacy of work which continues to move people and inspires their lives. I’ll continue to inspire my students to create satisfying work of their own. It’s my fondest hope that my treasured collectors will enjoy my art well into the next millennium.