The Artist Who Paints What She Hears

The Artist Who Paints What She Hears


– I started painting music just because I would try to explain synesthesia so many
times, it never quite made as much sense to describe it verbally, so I thought it would be best just to put it on canvas just
because I’ve always been an artist and it made it much easier for people to be able to understand it. My name is Melissa McCracken, and I am a synesthetic artist. Synesthesia is a neurological condition where your brain is basically cross-wired, so certain stimuli will come in and it’ll create the wrong
response in my brain. So for me that’s listening to music and it’s translated into color in my head. I’m going to paint
Superstition by Stevie Wonder. I love the song Superstition just because it’s dynamic and funky and
just fun and expressive. Whenever I start a piece, I have to listen to the song first to even know what kind of colors I’d like to use. There are some songs that I hate that I like the way that
they look a little bit. Like a lot of pop music
can be pink and purple and, you know just all
these fun bright colors but the song’s not that good. So one or the other, I
appreciate it somehow. You know you kind of have to really be in the right vibe to be able to paint. If you’re not in the right vibe, you’re not gonna make anything good. I think the prettiest genre
of music is jazz music. I love blues and golds and whites, and it just seems very pearly
and iridescent a little bit. When I listen to Etta James’ At Last, the thing that stuck
out most to me was just her voice at the very beginning when she goes into the “At last…” ♫ At last And it’s just a very bright
and but also warm sort of feeling and very kind of classic jazzy, which jazz music generally has a very gold and blue sort of look to it. Music has always been a
very big part of my life. My older brother is very musical and when I think back of him playing the guitar for me, I think of the colors of what those memories are. I was always a little disappointed because I was never
very musically inclined. It was really cool to
have a way to bring music into, you know, my life in
a different sort of way.

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