Exquisite start my dear. So much potential!
As always let me say I NEVER give comments or critiques unless I truly beleave in the work I see, so please don’t take anything I say as an assault. I am an oil painter and I’ll be the first to say the abstract painting is among the single most difficult styles to execute successfully.
Let me begin by saying that you have an outstanding initial grasp of the media- allowing it to act as oil and not trying to address it as acrylic (that’s always usually the first mistake- and it took me years to get over that hump). The best abstract painting are those that let the media (in this case the oil) to speak for itself, and you certainly have a start in that arena. Arch of line and color structure are also very very promising, though there are moments where I feel you have made selections that, while bold, undermine the elegance of other moments. (the green and red boarder for example). That’s OK! Art is about experimentation! The fact that you are willing to experiment in such a means- mixing strong and week elements in unconventional ways is a good sign of a forward facing mind.
Overall these have the feeling a first draft, a simple layering of paint that contains strange and week elements. One of the first things to learn in abstract art is to never fall in love with your first draft. If you are, you’re probably blinding yourself to what could make it a more successful work in the long run. Sit back and look at it- maybe for an hour, maybe for a week, and analyze what makes it successful to you. Then go at it again. That’s the best way to develop strong art. If you don’t see the faults then put it away and come back to it again later.
One trick I have picked up in doing abstract is to turn the canvas around, look at it again and ask yourself ‘is that element still as successful now as it was a moment ago’ often times I will paint like that, turning the canvas over and over to show me new thins and develop new strengths in technique.
Don’t be afraid of the picture plain. You have a tendency to restrict your work, the motion of the elements and the color structure to what is on the canvas. In this I believe you unintentionally undermine the beauty of the motion (which you do so well!!). Let your forms wander beyond the frame, take out there bounders and let them be as large as your forms seem to want to be.
Contrast, contrast, contrast! Don’t be afraid to let your forms interact. This is particularly true of the second work. Some of them are so subtle that there motion looses voice. This is not to say that there is not a time or place for soft, subtle play of elements, but when you have made such strong arching pulls of energy that predominant the piece as a whole you end up depleting its voice when it simple melts into the background with everything else. Color contrast is the most obvious solution, but textural based contrast could be fare more interesting a solution.
If your serious about abstract art, here are some things I’ve found that really helped me develop…there the kinds of things I couldn’t learn in school so I pass them on to you with the hope that maybe something might be worth it.
First and foremost- study the masters- look at how other abstract artist you like tend to paint and then try and imitate it. You learn a lot about technique just my doing a little detective work. The best people to study are probably people like Jackson Pollock (for technique), Gabriel Orozco (for structure), and undoubtedly Hans Hofmann who perfected to ‘push-pull’ method of abstract painting (he is the king of contrast, so I would definitely recommend checking him out!). I would throw in a few lesser knows too like Gary Bolding who is just mind blowing.
Another good thing to do is read theory. There were a lot of art form (including many abstract ,methods) I just couldn’t grasp until I read some of the masters and their take on it. For this- I highly recommend grabbing a copy of ‘Art in Theory 1900-2000’ by Charles Harrison and Paul Wood. Worth every penny!!
If your really REALLY into abstract painting- here is another really successful method to use, though it is very time consuming and requires dedication. I was doing a workshop in which the instructor put on very strong beat, no lyric music and set us all in front of very large canvases with all the tools at out feet. The instructor would then shout out a command like ‘create and arch,’ or ‘destroy something’. For the first hour we were all on edge, stepping back and studying to make assessments of what to do. Whenever the instructor caught us doing this he would yell at us to pick up something and move. It was so frustrating, but after an hour an amazing thing happened … my brain shut off, I started trusting my instinct and moved non stop, it was exhilarating to work like that, shitting of your doubts and just making marks on the canvas on instinct, not instruction. Eight hours later I finally stopped and stood back. that painting is my only true and pure abstract to date, and I would recommend repeating something similar to ANYONE who want to learn true abstract
At any rate I hope something from this rant helps.