Ever seen the popular painting Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci? How about La Donna Velata by Raphael? These famous paintings were created in the 16th century but still live up to this time. These great art works were created using one of the materials used for painting—the oil. Oil painting has been present since early Modern Europe and until now. Oil painting is done by mixing pigments into a drying oil. Artists like Michaelangelo, Van Gogh and Da Vinci, crushed the pigments using their hands and mixed them into the oil. The mixed paint should be applied to the canvass cloth quickly because oils dried up easily.
These are the materials used in making oil paintings such as abstract oil paintings. Contrary to other oil paintings, abstract oil paintings do not have regular shapes and forms. Abstract oil painting, by definition, means “not realistic”. It is said that artists who do abstract oil paintings goes beyond the picturesque and clear form of the object. They believe that each object has an internal form waiting to be uncovered. Usually, when painting, these artists simplify or exaggerate the objects seen in the environment. They simplify it or exaggerate it by adding vivid colors or many irregular objects not understood by the one looking at it. In abstract oil paintings, details of the object such as the shape of the leaves or the figure of the nose are not well-considered. What gives life to abstract oil paintings are the colors the artists used. Artists of this kind of painting do not copy the nature or the person they want to paint; nonetheless, they make it as their starting point.
Abstract oil paintings have a history that can be dug from very old civilizations. It has to be noted that people before had their own concepts and elements of abstract art. However, for written records, abstract art can be attributed to Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. In 1910, these two artists invented cubism. Cubism is a method that shows more than one dimension that can be seen in different viewpoints. However, cubism is not what the abstract that most people know today. In Picasso’s cubism painting, the forms of human beings or nature are still visible—it’s just that they have many dimensions. After half a decade, pure abstract called supremism was created by Piet Mondrian. Supremism is said to be the “Big Bang” of modern abstract painting.
After that, numerous developments in abstract works happened. Geometric abstraction, where artists used geometric shapes in expressing the nature or the figure of the person, was developed. Soon after, people try to look higher things and places than what they actually see in their immediate surroundings. With these in mind, artists of abstract art imagined how the higher places look like. They also tried to create images that are meant to be more spiritual and universal—images that flesh and blood human beings cannot see.
As shown in abstract oil paintings, human beings have limitless imagination. And with that, they brought happiness to the human spirit.