FirstHand Studio

Karen Jewell-Kett

Painting the Taste of Lemonade

Karen Jewell-KettComment

How would you paint the taste of lemonade? If you could paint a feeling you have actually experienced, what would that look like to you? Or if you are musically inclined, what would a feeling sound like? How might you express something experienced by one sense (taste) through another sense (sight or sound)?

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Experiencing directly. I was working in my studio on a hot summer day--the kind of muggy afternoon that oppressively hugs the shores of Lake Erie here in northeast Ohio. Looking for a break, I walked a few blocks to downtown Lakewood's art fair where I discovered an old-fashioned lemonade stand. The cooling joy of ice cubes jumbled in freshly squeezed, tart-sweet lemonade hit me like a physical force--so strong that I wondered if it were possible to paint a visual image of that taste and feeling. I went straight back to my studio and started on my little "Lemonade" painting while the experience was still fresh and before the ice cubes had melted. I've posted a detail of the finished painting here to share with you.

Painting a feeling. For me, feelings can be expressed through abstract imagery. I can use the expressiveness of color, texture, and brushstrokes to suggest feelings without depicting specific objects. Abstraction is open-ended and, since it doesn’t present a predictable story-line, it encourages the curious viewer’s mind to engage with the painting and find new ways to think about, define and experience their own world. 

Try it for yourself. If you could paint a feeling you have actually experienced, what would that look like to you? Or if you are musically inclined, what would a feeling sound like? How might you express something experienced by one sense (taste) through another sense (sight or sound)? Truly experience something and then try to express that feeling in pictures, sound or words without depicting an actual object

Lemonade2_kjk_300dpi_4x4.jpg