watercolor, 15x20

Synesthesia ~

am friends with a lovely blogger and artist named Sarah. Recently she posted an excellent Synesthesia article to her blog, First Night Designs, with a link to the original Neuroscience News report, here.

Synesthesia + Me

I have synesthesia but only learned a few years ago it was called synesthesia.  I had never thought much about my need for {certain} colors in my life or my art. I did know that certain colors made me physically ill but didn’t everyone feel that way? I didn’t talk about it because why? I had no idea I was different. At least not in “that” way-other ways, well…

I Taste Color

The form of synesthesia I have is called Gustatory/Visual Synesthesia. My sense of taste is crossed with my sense of sight. I taste colors before I see them as well as if I see them.  So I might be sitting in front of a canvas or a big piece of watercolor paper. Almost all my paint tubes will be scattered around my work surface – EXCEPT certain greens {olive} and brown. If I need one of them, I mix it myself. The exception is one called Permanent Green Light and that one I MUST have a little bit!  My palette is always filled with shades of this and that. Many more than is wise, if you are into being wise. I’m not.


It is like having a strong appetite to see or paint what I taste. To create it. It’s NOT how pretty it is or how it might best illustrate something. I do not care about realism. I paint by what I taste and what I feel. It’s {I am} not rational in the slightest. Synesthesia dictates every color I choose. I learned long ago I cannot paint “against” my  sensory perceptions. There will be hell to pay if I do!  I will tear everything apart and do it all over again. Sometimes many times. I am also OCD so…. and ADD.  It is the same in my clothing, my house, sheets, my garden, even {black}cows and dogs! Insane… I know.

Painting “Crazy” Art

The first painting {up top} is part of a much larger painting I did several years ago. I used almost every color I had in this painting. I threw paint, splashed it, let colors drip and run, used medium that makes paint into drippy sticky shiny strings. I smeared paint where the spirit {or my synesthesia} moved me. I sprayed it on, washed it off, cut grooves in it with knives and fingernails and reapplied it. It took me years and it’s still not done.

In short, I have fun!

For more posts about Synesthesia, here’s links to my blog posts about living and creating with Synesthesia.


Acrylic on Arches £300 WC paper, 20x28in. ©2010

There is silver blue, sky blue and thunder blue.
Every colour holds within it a soul, which makes me happy or repels me, and which acts as a stimulus. To a person who has no art in him, colours are colours, tones tones…and that is all. All their consequences for the human spirit, which range between heaven to hell, just go unnoticed…

Emile Nolde, artist
Nature’s Synesthesia

©CountryWomanPaints. All rights reserved.


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