A painting of a treble clef.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Some artists paint what they know: still life, portraits, and landscapes. Other artists take a more abstract approach and paint whatever they dream up. Artist Christina Eve takes a unique approach. She paints sounds as she “sees” them.

But Eve isn’t just painting what she thinks a sound might look like; she’s painting her colorful visions. That’s because Christina Eve has a rare neurological disorder, called synesthesia, that weaves her senses together.

“The condition [synesthesia] isn’t fully understood, but it is thought to be genetic, and it affects more women than men,” says Live Science contributor Alina Bradford.

Some people with synesthesia can taste words or associate textures with different emotions. Eve’s synesthesia is most prominent in the music realm, where she experiences a light show of “geometric textures in bright colors,” and “shimmering lights,” she told NPR.

Before Eve began painting, she was a musician. In fact, the artist even received a degree in classical music before ever picking up a paintbrush. Now, Eve creates her masterpieces by listening to a song on loop and recreating the colors she sees in her head on canvas. Most often, she uses ink, paint-blowing tools, palette knives, and sponges to get her desired effect.

Eve further explained her process while talking to NPR about a painting she created for Bleachers’ Don’t Take the Money:

The bass, plus the interspersed, digitized backing vocals in lower octaves, provide a dark and bubbly foundation. The percussion and all the fun sounds moving in and out add-in flashes of different hues and textures. I collect all these colors and shape them into what I see in the buildup and hit just before chorus: a staircase-shaped, sunshine-colored explosion.

Christina Eve takes commissions, starting at $100 for an 8×8 painting, which includes an initial conversation about the piece, a contract, updates, and a completed piece sealed with varnish. You can also purchase one of her shop prints starting at $25. Or, you can be hypnotized by one of Eve’s synesthetic video time lapses for free.