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Synesthesia or ‘tasting color’

I cut and pasted something I posted on art forum regarding my ability to ‘taste color’.  I am veering off my main topic here just because I thought you might find this quirk interesting.  I also would love to hear from others who experience synesthesia too.  There are many variations.  If you google this word you will get all sorts of articles and info on it but basically it is what happened when a person’s senses become linked somehow.   Some people may ‘see’ music, or experience it as certain numbers as colors.  Its really quite fascinating.  I wrote a little about my experience with it below:

I wondered how many artists here have synesthesia? I’ve been browsing thru the forums and have come across 2 posts last night mentioning it. I have a form of this and thought it would be fun to compare. How has it helped your art? Or does it? How do you experience it?

I experience good color combinations as ‘tasting good’. Each color (generally) doesn’t have a specific taste but color combination that go well together also taste good. (synesthesia is a linking or mixing of the senses– tasting color, seeing music etc. There are all kinds of variations of this occurrence)

I didn’t realize I was affected by color like this until I began painting. I think the more concentrated color and the mixing of colors while painting makes this more noticeable for me. When I use a wrong color while painting it is like a bad taste in my mouth– like I have to remove it immediately. Maybe like a kid spits out spinach. LOL!

I also seem to like color variations– too saturated of color (very bold color with no areas of rest) tastes like too much sugar to me. Too much Cotton candy for example. I am very sensitive to the differences in grays…. found this out while painting my studio on different occasions with colors of gray (wanting something neutral) — one time the paint on the wall tasted like licorice (overpoweringly) and another like stale grape gum. Once I hung paintings the color on the walls was broken up and I no longer ‘tasted’ it.

A funny story… a few years ago I was meeting with a woman for business. We met and she was wearing a very loud print dress with pink, black, grey and white. All I could taste was very intense Good and Plenty candy… made it very hard to concentrate on our meeting!! The tastes seem to revolve around candy when its too strong which is odd. I had this same taste happen again a few days go while painting these little abstract paintings on my blog at The 3 small 4 x 4 paintings with grey, red, black and white. I immediately tasted good and plenty as soon as my brush stroked across the canvas.

When a color combination is right it is like the blend is harmonious and tastes very good– but without one single taste standing out. I do remember viewing a painting of someone’s (I wish I would of bought it) that tasted very good but had an underlying taste of a creamsicle. It was of a tiger cub in pastels — kind of monochromatic on colored paper and variations of one shade. In this case since the colors were in different values and with areas of rest since the whole painting wasn’t saturated with intense color I could ‘taste’ it without being overwhelmed but too strong a color.

Btw I do not have a sense of smell so I wonder if my sight became more sensitive after this happened after an accident at age 4.

alright… enough about me… would love to hear from others and how color affects them.


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