Involve the Viewer in the Art through Color Mixing with the Eye

One of my objectives in my art is to involve the viewer in experiencing my art.  I want to draw the viewer into the painting, and involve him/ her in the art.  I do that through a variety of approaches, one of which is an approach used by the impressionists.  I don’t typically mix colors on the palette.  Instead, I lay colors down next to each other on the paper, and challenge the viewer to use his/her eye to mix the color. 

For example, my painting Mountain Man, includes a hat with fur and an animal skin.  Rather than paint the image literally, using only the colors that were in the fur, I applied a number of different colors to the hat, involving the viewer in interpreting the image as a furry hat.

In the painting, Betty, rather than mixing the colors of Raw Sienna, Bright Violet, Quinachridone Burnt Orange, Opera and, in some areas, Undersea Green, together on my palette, I painted them separately on the painting of Betty’s face.  The result is a vibrant image of skin.  If I had mixed them together, I would have created a much duller color, and the viewer would not be involved in interpreting the painting.