About Clara Berta
Abstract painting is a mysterious journey. From the initial inspiration to the final work, I can never predict the steps in the process or the final image.
My artistic approach is influenced by the style and philosophy of renowned twentieth-century German architect, Mies van der Rohe, with his minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of unobstructed free-flowing open space. He is often associated with his quote “less is more,” a concept I fully believe and practice.
A sensibility of simplicity permeates my paintings with areas of bright color juxtaposed with large fields of negative space. This balance between the focal point and the white space surrounding it is a delicate equilibrium, created by pouring layers of paint onto the canvas and letting it swirl and combine in unexpected ways and textures.
The ocean, a frontier of ever-changing surface and reflection, is a favorite inspiration. I often work in multiple shades of blues and grey to capture the energy, power and beauty of that environment. This simplicity extends to my studio too, a Zen-like environment with sparse furnishings leaving mostly open space to create. It’s quiet and peaceful yet flooded with vibrant energy and natural light.
In order to achieve my goal of creating organically, I utilize different techniques and tools to experiment with how paint pours, flows, pools and blends to make colors and patterns. Two major influences on my process are Robert Rauschenberg’s use of recycled materials in creating large, abstract works and Gerhart Richter’s skillful use of a large palette knife to build multiple layers in his paintings.
I begin with a blank canvas contemplating colors and the direction of the work. I pour water and acrylic paint on the blank surface, move the canvas to change the shape of the poured paint, allow the paint to dry, and then, based on my intuition, apply additional layers until the form is complete. The process is slow and painstaking, but results in a final image that reflects the natural flow of my energy and emotions.
In 2018, I am exploring canvases up to 15 feet in size and may go even bigger. I feel energized by working on such a large scale that allows me to both literally and creatively expand the breadth of my art.