Music to Paint To

I have synesthesia. All it means is I associate colors and moods with letters, numbers, words, but mostly sounds. I see colors when listening to music. Sounds strongly affect me and usually locks me into a mental state of deep thinking and creativity. Listening to something always invokes visions of color and a mood. Listening sparks a memory or deep thought or new experience. Sound is something that greatly impacts my life, mood and artwork. I’m usually listening to music I would describe as chill, relaxing, calming, or soothing. I’m the person who wears ear plugs to concerts, movie theatres, and even church. Loud or music that is too hyper really stresses me out and gives me real anxiety.

While painting you can find me listening to music like that or an audiobook, or podcast. I always work better and get into a better flow state when I am listening to something. I can do a comprehensive list of books and podcasts I listen to later, but one question I get asked a lot while painting is, “what are you listening to?” People will frequently ask how I listen to music and whether or not I have playlists?

Yes, friends I do have playlists. Here is the comprehensive introduction to the music I listen to on Spotify. Each of these are curated playlists for my life and I listen to all of them while I paint too.

There really isn’t a method to the madness. I usually just put on the playlist that I am feeling the most. I usually start with a specific song in mind that I know is in a specific playlist and just let the playlist shuffle from there. You can find my Spotify Profile Here.

Here are the playlists in definitive ranking of what I listen to the most:

Little Picks:
This playlist is sweet, calm, and melancholy. It’s probably my favorite of my playlists and often find myself picking around in it or just letting it run from beginning to end. This playlist is 8 hours and 40 minutes of pure reflection and calm. If you’re a melancholy person like me, or just enjoy a good downer, this is the playlist for you. Put it on shuffle and soak in all the feels.

New Beginnings:
This playlist is more upbeat and playful in comparison to the last playlist. The beats are little faster, it’s more lively and puts you in a good mood. This a positive, forward looking playlist that I always turn on for a pick-me-up.

The Divide: 
This was the playlists I was listening to/creating while I was working on my last collection, The Divide. It is a mixed bag and it have different meanings in my mind, but if you haven’t been burned out with those two previous playlists then you should give these a listen too.

I have several other playlists, but I’m going to let you choose your own adventure there. One is all French music, one is just classical music, there are a couple of Christmas playlists, and of course my favorite 80’s music (because 80’s music is basically my all-time favorite). Those main three playlists are what I listen to on a regular basis. Here is the link to my Spotify Profile. 




  1. Pingback: Books I’ve Read this Month: May 2019 - Christine Olmstead

Leave a Comment