Me, my co-worker Sawyer, & “The Stable Song,”
a painting inspired by
the music of
Gregory Alan Isakov &
The Colorado Symphony
completed and sold in 2018
48x48” acrylic on canvas
SARAH CAPPS is an artist and designer from Charlottesville, Virginia. Inspired by the gift of sound-to-color and shape synesthesia she shares her visual experience of music through paintings. In addition to music, Sarah is inspired by the rhythms and patterns found in nature and finds solace in painting landscapes and scenery.
In 2019, Sarah is excited to be one of 40 exhibitors to share her artwork at Shibuya Station in Tokyo, Japan during the Tokyo Art Fair in early March. In addition, Sarah will have paintings featured in multiple print issues of British Vogue, British GQ, House & Garden, Vanity Fair, Tatler, and Wired from June to October of 2019. Look for a new collection of works throughout the first floor of The Local in Charlottesville, Virginia starting July 1 and stay tuned for a musical-painting collaboration with Pitchfork!
How do I create paintings based on music? Good question. I have Synesthesia, or a crossing of two or more senses, and it allows me to have a unique visual experience of colors, shapes and various textures while listening to music. My goal is to capture the song and its feeling by sharing my experience of particular instruments, the singer’s voice, and/or a collage that serves as an imprint of the entire song. It’s like trying to hit a moving target. I attempt to convey that movement by using many layers of paint to express the forms I see within the song, which also allows for greater texture and vibrancy in the final product.
My process is unique for each painting that I create. I typically paint abstracts or landscapes, but all of my work is inspired by music and the local landscape. I love painting with acrylic, oil, and watercolor in particular. Other mediums I play with are charcoal, pencil, pen, ink and colored pencil.
When I begin a painting, depending on whether it’s a commission or a song that I’ve chosen, I listen to the song a number of times, usually at least 20, and select a meaningful portion of the song related to the requester (or myself if I’ve chosen it). Then I attempt to capture the emotion and meaning of that song with a number of layers revealing the movement of the visuals I experience while listening to the music. I frequently receive commission requests for weddings, anniversaries, proposals, birthdays, and just because!
Click to read more about — synesthesia
SERIES IN MOTION, 2018-2019
as of December 2018…
Musicians At War. You know those songs that are so amazing that multiple musicians just have to cover them? That’s where I’m going. This will be a series of diptychs or even triptychs that compare songs covered by more than one artist. The title of the series isn’t to suggest that the musicians are competing or “at war” with one another, but rather with the song itself. I’ve completed one set in this series to date, and it can be viewed under the “2018” tab. It is a comparison of two versions of the song “Nothing Compares 2 U,” one by Sinead O’Connor and the other by Chris Cornell.
Forest Walk. This is a series of paintings inspired by walks through the forest in Charlottesville. The color schemes are inspired by my visual experience of various songs from a variety of musicians.
All images and artworks are Copyright © 2019 Sarah Capps Ashmun. All Rights Reserved.