Creative Guts

Brandy Patterson

Episode Summary

In this episode of Creative Guts, co-hosts Laura Harper Lake and Sarah Wrightsman sit down with artist Brandy Patterson! Blessed with the gift of synesthesia, Brandy paints what she sees when she’s listening to music. In this episode, we’ll talk about Brandy’s ability to forge connections between sound and color, collaborating with her musician husband (Hallmark, are you listening?), and how she’s invited her five-year-old into her art. Check out Brandy’s work at Brandy is also on Instagram at and YouTube at Listen to this episode wherever you listen to podcasts or on our website Be friends with us on Facebook at and Instagram at A special thank you to Art Up Front Street Studios and Gallery in Exeter for providing a space where Creative Guts can record! This episode is sponsored in part by the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts. Thank you to our friends in Rochester for their support of the show. If you love listening, consider making a donation to Creative Guts! Our budget is tiny, so donations of any size make a big difference. Learn more about us and make a tax deductible donation at

Episode Notes

In this episode of Creative Guts, co-hosts Laura Harper Lake and Sarah Wrightsman sit down with artist Brandy Patterson! Blessed with the gift of synesthesia, Brandy paints what she sees when she’s listening to music. In this episode, we’ll talk about Brandy’s ability to forge connections between sound and color, collaborating with her musician husband (Hallmark, are you listening?), and how she’s invited her five-year-old into her art. 

Check out Brandy’s work at Brandy is also on Instagram at and YouTube at

Listen to this episode wherever you listen to podcasts or on our website Be friends with us on Facebook at and Instagram at

A special thank you to Art Up Front Street Studios and Gallery in Exeter for providing a space where Creative Guts can record! This episode is sponsored in part by the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts. Thank you to our friends in Rochester for their support of the show.

If you love listening, consider making a donation to Creative Guts! Our budget is tiny, so donations of any size make a big difference. Learn more about us and make a tax deductible donation at

Episode Transcription


[00:00:00] LHL: I'm Laura Harper Lake. 

[00:00:01] SW: And I'm Sarah Wrightsman. You’re listening to Creative Guts. 

[00:00:02] LHL: You’re listening to Creative Guts. 


[00:00:17] LHL: Hey, friends. Thanks for tuning in to Creative Guts. 

[00:00:20] SW: On today's episode, we're talking with artist Brandy Patterson. Brandy participated in one of our early zines, so she's been on our radars for a while. In fact, we talked about Brandy on a creative catalog that was released toward the end of 2021, so a while ago. I met Brandy in real life probably like – no, it can't have been two years ago because it was at Mosaic. Probably like a year ago and the note I jotted down was, “Is super chic.” All of that to say we're super excited to finally be having this conversation with Brandy. 

[00:00:53] LHL: We haven't even yet shared one of the coolest parts yet about Brandy, so you'll have to stay tuned to get the scoop on that. Let's jump right into this episode of Creative Guts with Brandy Patterson. 


[00:01:10] LHL: Brandy, we're really excited to have you on the podcast. 

[00:01:13] BP: Oh, thank you so much for having me. 

[00:01:14] SW: We met at Mosaic - I don't know how long ago. I remember writing in my notes. You were already on our list, but I wrote in because you were in one of our zines. I wrote in my notes something along the lines of like, “Met her in real life, is cool.” 

[00:01:28] BP: Is cool. Oh, that's good. I got the cool cut. 

[00:01:31] LHL: The thumbs up. 

[00:01:31] BP: The thumbs up. Yes.

[00:01:32] SW: It's always nice to meet people in real life, even in passing before we invite them on the show, just in case they turn out to be weirdos. Or just not really conversationalists, which is — we may love their creative side, but maybe they're not as willing to share it verbally. 

[00:01:49] LHL: Yes. That takes a skill and practice. 

[00:01:49] BP: Yes, it does. It does with practice. Yes. I think we met at Mosaic. I mean, they've been open for a year and a bit now, so one of the shows. I know we've met a few times in passing and then probably liked you guys on Instagram or something first. That's how I found Liz at Mosaic. We were Instagram buddies, followers, creeping people. I don't know. I don't know what it's called. 

[00:02:12] BP: It's just a delight to be here and talk about art and creativity and just all of that together. 

[00:02:19] SW: So excited. For our listeners who don't know anything about you, will you introduce yourself and just tell them a little bit about you as a creative?

[00:02:27] BP: Okay. I reside in Manchester, New Hampshire with my husband and my son. I create right out of my home. I would classify myself more as an abstract artist. That's a very broad term. Basically speaking, I capture the essence of music and the soul of music and sound. I do my best to translate that onto canvas and surfaces. I really love to just play and explore new materials and, yes, really refining that. My son also joins me in the studio frequently. We have a lot of sort of childlike –

[00:03:05] SW: Oh. 

[00:03:06] BP: Yes. It sounds probably sweeter than it is, but it's a challenge sometimes. I'm learning. I'm learning. He's five, so I don't have the – I'm not worried about him putting paint in his mouth or –

[00:03:19] SW: Right, yes. 

[00:03:19] BP: But I love his creativity, and he really is inspiring on how I work as well. I'm going to just say it now, so the ladies don't have to worry about saying it, but I have a fun superpower. I know we're going to talk about it, but it's called synesthesia. It's a broad term, but it just means that I see colors when I hear music, sound music, that sort of thing. That has greatly influenced my art-making. Sometimes, I need a break from it, so I don't turn the music on. 

[00:03:49] SW: Oh, my gosh. 

[00:03:49] BP: I listen in silence, which is its own color, I guess. 

[00:03:54] LHL: I was going to ask that. Can we dive further in? 

[00:03:58] BP: Yes, go ahead. 

[00:03:59] LHL: How exactly does it manifest visually? As in is it colors overlaying on what you're seeing? 

[00:04:06] BP: When I hear a song – mostly, I work with songs. When I'm listening to a song, it is a very – I call it a very organic, almost ocean-like layering of colors. Different rhythms, tempos, and instruments, all have their own sort of color or pattern. I see that kind of in my mind's eye, and those will layer. It's almost live-action in my head, and that will happen through the song or the sound or whatever. Yes. That part of the challenge of capturing that is it is always in movement and in motion. How do you capture something that is moving onto a canvas, which is not moving?

[00:04:48] SW: Static. 

[00:04:48] BP: Static. Thank you. 

[00:04:50] SW: Oh, my gosh. That sounds like in a way it could be sort of exhausting. You're at the grocery store, and there's music playing. It's sort of like I think music is something that's around sort of lot. Does it get a little overwhelming or like –

[00:05:03] BP: Yes, yes. Which is — partly why I figured out after a while I just need silence because it's just way too much input, too stimulating. When I'm working, as I've figured this out when I was working, I have to just work on one song for a while because if I just have a playlist going, the paintings go in very interesting directions. I'm just like, “Whoa, all right.” If I'm really working on a song, it's just that song on repeat really until I get what I'm trying to –

[00:05:32] LHL: You really have to enjoy that song. 

[00:05:34] SW: Yes, I would imagine. 

[00:05:35] BP: I curate my own playlist. I've done a few commissions, and that is a little bit more of a challenge because you're taking somebody else's song. But I don't mind a challenge. 

[00:05:43] LHL: You listen to it over and over again. Do different parts of the song bring about different colors or variation of hues? Or is it sort of – I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. I think it's such an interesting topic. 

[00:05:57] BP: Yes. I would say kind of brighter-sounding notes. Even if it's on the drum kit and you've got the high hat [inaudible 00:06:04 drum sounds], that sound, depending on where that is in the song, for me it's a little – I call it a brighter color. You're on that kind of lighter brighter spectrum of a color and then some other ones. We like to joke that the blues are not really blue for me. They're more of a burnt orange kind of color that I see with those tones and sounds and the instruments that they use. 

[00:06:28] SW: That personally makes way more sense to me. 

[00:06:30] BP: Yes, yes, yes. There you go. What I've noticed is this is where using a sketchbook and a studio journal has really influenced my work in that when I'm listening to the music, I'm trying to take notes of this part of the song maybe has this sort of repetitive color or pattern to it and try to take notes of that, just to help me sort of capture it. The hardest part I find is actually editing the painting later, what actually stays because you can't – I mean, you could put everything in there. That's a hot mess. But you have to have some sort of editing at the end. What then are you trying to capture? That's why I say capturing that kind of essence. 

Music, I find, is so powerful with humans. It doesn't matter if you speak English or anything else. The music will get you and give you that message. Most of us have songs that are associated with our weddings or our dads or our kids or that bad breakup in the nineties, whatever. You're like, “Oh, I don't want to hear that song. It brings back memories.” I love that dichotomy where those memories are being brought up. It can be good or bad. Then you have an image that goes with them. I just love that kind of –

[00:07:47] LHL: It's so fascinating. 

[00:07:47] SW: How old were you when you recognized this in you?

[00:07:54] BP: Just recently. In the last couple of years. Actually, since I was married. My husband is a musician, so we talk a lot about the tie-overs between making art and making music and how does that play. I was speaking to him one day, and I just said, “Oh, well. When you play X, Y, and Z, I see this. Does that happen to you?” He's like, “No. That has a name. Let me show you on Google.” I was like, “Oh, okay. That really is a thing.” 

I probably had it there for a long time. It's just normal for me. When it's normal, you don't really ask anyone else like, “Do see blue when you hear drums or something?” 

[00:08:37] LHL: Oh, my gosh. 

[00:08:38] BP: Honestly, it can be tiring, but it can also be so exciting because when I go to a concert, I just close my eyes, and I get to have two experiences. My husband's a little jealous because he doesn't get that. He'll get the music, and I get both. 

[00:08:52] LHL: What a cool relationship that you two have come together and sort of collaborated in this way to have the two creative art forms that you both have it just merged in this way. That kind of seems like fate or destiny or something, match made in heaven, something very cliché and ridiculous like that, some bad Hallmark movie. 

[00:09:13] BP: Yes. Oh, my God. Yes, yes. We did do, what was it, I think a couple years ago now, a kind of collaborated show in a library in Peterborough. He wrote three original songs, and I took those, and I made paintings off of those of what I saw when I heard his songs. Then we hung them up for everyone to enjoy, but we also put QR codes next to the artwork. So they could then scan it and hear the original song that went with it. We kind of tried to help explain what's going on in the song and then also what's going on in the painting. That was a lot of fun. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun to try to do that with him, so yes. 

[00:09:57] LHL: Do you have a sense of how rare this is?

[00:09:59] BP: Gosh, I knew the number. It's not as – I think it's like 25% of the population has some form of it. There are multiple forms. The most common one is color to sound or sound to color. But you can also have taste as a color. I don't have that. There are other like numbers or letters that have a color. I met some children who said, “Yes, when I – I want to be the number seven because it's the most prettiest colored number or something.” Really, what it is is just when you're developing, in your brain, the senses of your brain, the nerves and stuff just get crossed, and it just has a nice little extra. 

[00:10:38] LHL: You have a superpower. 

[00:10:39] BP: I have. That's why I call it a superpower. 

[00:10:41] LHL: I love that. So magical. How long have you been making art? I mean, I imagine your whole life. But as far as –

[00:10:48] BP: I probably came out of the womb making art like, “Give me a paintbrush, Mom.” I mean, it's very cliché, but I don't have a memory of not making art in some way. I was that kid that drew on the wall and then hid with a picture, so my mom wouldn't find it, under the couch, under the bed, just constantly all the time drawing. I did go to art school. I would say I came not really back to it. But once I got married, that was about five, six years ago, I didn't have the pressure of having to work a full-time job and also try to pursue art. I was very blessed in that way. My husband just said, “If you want to pursue making art, let's do it and go for it.” We took one of the small rooms in the house in the basement and just turned that into my art studio. 

I've been pursuing it more probably professionally in the last five years and showing it and selling it and talking about it and that sort of thing. But that's all from years of study, years of practice, years of being like, “What am I even doing?” Sort of going even in schooling to, well, graphic design because I can get paid to do that, all of that layering in there. So, yes, as long as I can remember. 

[00:12:02] SW: That's amazing. I love that you've brought your son into it now, too. Yes. He must love that. 

[00:12:08] BP: He loves it. He asks to go downstairs and paint and create. I give him paints and things upstairs, and he has his own little art station. I allowed him because I also paint on the walls. I can't tell him no, so I gave – his bedroom is the place that he can paint on his walls. There's been time we've just painted in there together on the walls and painted whatever he wanted. 

[00:12:33] LHL: Oh, that's so magical. 

[00:12:35] SW: I love that. 

[00:12:37] BP: He'll come down in the studio with me. Sometimes, he's in there painting. Sometimes, he's just driving his cars around and just wants to be in the space with me. I have started in the last few years trying to make sure my materials are not in a way toxic for him. So if he did get into them or he had it on his hands and he went and ate a snack, those things. I also wanted to just freely be able to have him come in and play and not have that worry of like, “Oh, that's the $70 paint bottle. Don't use all of it,” like that, which I think prohibits creativity because you're like, “Oh, I don't want to –” It's that preciousness. 

Children have no idea of preciousness. They will dump the whole bottle. So get the supplies that are a little bit more I don't want to say cheaper but a little bit more affordable for you to go through a lot of them. Then I've given him kind of like, “These are the things you can use,” but still kind of make sure he can get into it. 

[00:13:34] LHL: What mediums do you work with?

[00:13:36] BP: I work mostly with acrylic. I do love a good charcoal and an oil pastel pencil but mainly acrylic. Then he's got his little tempera paints. I've noticed I've been using a little bit more of that as well because it's a lot – one, I can wash it out of the brushes two weeks later, and I haven't damaged the brush. 

[00:13:59] LHL: I'm like, “Oh, my poor brush graveyard.” I tell you. 

[00:14:01] BP: It’s bad. It’s bad. It’s so bad. I've taught my brushes just how to not swim, and I've kept them permanently submerged. So, I normally work on canvas. I was exploring recently unstretched, so raw canvas stapled to the wall, and playing back and forth with that. Do I want it stretched, or unstretched? What do you do with that? I tried some wood panel. I don't like how the paint just kind of sits on top of the panel. That feels so odd to me. But I've also painted on a paper bag and felt that just as enjoyable. I also like that like, “What else could I paint on,” and just kind of play. 

[00:14:41] SW: It feels like you get a lot of play and joy out of your art, which I love. You're enjoying the process as much as you are like, “Oh, here's a painting I made.” 

[00:14:49] BP: Oh, definitely, definitely. I haven't used it yet, and my son keeps asking, too. But I bought a fly swatter because you can put it in paint and then whack it on the canvas. I'm like, “Oh, I just got to get down there.” Of course, I do want to film it, so I'm like, you know. But he really wants to use it. I'm like, “Not before I use it.” 

I do love just the element of play, and that's something that he, my son, teaches me all the time because they just love to play and paint and create. It also just opens up you're not precious about something. You're not overthinking a painting. It's fun. It's enjoyable. The minute it stops being fun and enjoyable like, “What am I doing?” Go upstairs and make bread or something. 

[00:15:29] LHL: It’s stressing you out. 

[00:15:30] BP: It’s stressing me out. 

[00:15:33] SW: How do you choose the song? 

[00:15:36] BP: I'm looking for a song that I also emotionally connect to and that I can also just listen to on repeat for a long time. I also then – once I hear it, I put it in a playlist on Spotify, and I will just go through it. It's kind of how it feels that day, and how do I want to explore what I see because it is exhausting. It is work. Sometimes, I just don't want to access that part of me, right? Just like, “Let's shut it down.” It's kind of also by mood. 

[00:16:07] SW: Do you paint without music ever?

[00:16:09] BP: I do. Yes, in silence. That I enjoy as well, but I find that I call it the lizard brain kicks in. You think too much like, “Oh, no. What should I do?” Then you make bad lizard choices. 

[00:16:28] SW: Yes. That's kind of funny actually. Do you like your art more if it's inspired by music versus if it's a silent painting? 

[00:16:36] BP: I think when it's inspired by music, it has more passion in it and a lot more emotion. There's a lot of response to what's going on very quickly, so I'm not thinking. Lizard brain hasn't kicked in. It's taken a break, and I'm just fully – sometimes, we call that flow, but I'm just fully into creative making. Then when I look at it, most of the time, those are the ones that I love the most. I don't want to go back and edit anything. But it's the ones where I'm like, “Oh, I'm going to explore this concept.” Then I'm like, “This is not going so good.” 

[00:17:11] SW: Oh, my gosh. That's so fascinating. 

[00:17:14] LHL: Would someone singing acapella bring that about?

[00:17:18] BP: Yes, yes. 

[00:17:19] LHL: Does talking, though?

[00:17:21] BP: I'm not focused enough to see if talking does. I have done bird song when I'm outside and just kind of listened for that. Some of those things I don't quite – we're talking now and I don't see tons of different colors. That would be kind of cool but also very overwhelming and very distracting. 

[00:17:39] LHL: I mean, that would be just a lot. 

[00:17:41] BP: Yes, a lot of processing. 

[00:17:43] SW: Well, and then plus anybody who ever found out would be like, “Ooh, what color am I?” 

[00:17:49] LHL: Yes. I mean, you're so passionate about it, and you're being very, “It's my superpower.” Does it – these questions don't seem to be annoying you. When someone finds out, is there ever that, “Okay, enough.” Do people almost get to –

[00:18:03] SW: “Brandy, what song is this one? What song is this one?” 

[00:18:05] BP: No. No one’s done that one. No, no. I don't walk into a group and be like, “Hi, I have a superpower.” I don't introduce myself that way maybe because I'm mostly at home. So it's just me and the five-year-old. I don't know. Mostly also when I introduce that I'm an artist, and as artists do, if we're with other artists, we'll expound. If we're with the sort of people who are like, “Oh, what art do you do,” you kind of truncate it and, “I'm an abstract artist. I interpret music into colors.” They’re like, “Oh, okay.” Then if they want more, we'll dive in. If not, we'll just kind of leave it and let them experience it but not normally. 

My husband knows when we're together listening at a concert because I'll just close my eyes. He'll be like, “So what color did you see?” I was like, “It's hard to describe but it was like gold and like green and glittery and like raining.” It was all together. It’s just happening. 

[00:18:57] LHL: Ooh, glittery. So is there almost texture? 

[00:18:59] BP: Yes. 

[00:19:00] LHL: Oh, wow. 

[00:19:01] BP: Yes, yes. 

[00:19:02] LHL: Thank you for sharing and answering. These questions may be tedious or I don't know. It is very interesting, and I think it's a very beautiful thing. 

[00:19:12] SW: I have decided that I am now going to have this, but I'm just going to make it up. 

[00:19:17] LHL: Well, try that. 

[00:19:21] BP: Yes. This is really – that's why I say it's very organic and moving. It's very 3D almost as if I'm immersed in it in my mind, and it sort of passes quickly or ebbs and flows with colors as the music does as well, which is why it is so hard to paint it or create anything that interprets them, so yes. 

[00:19:43] LHL: Well, could we next talk about Old Blood Noise Endeavors? 

[00:19:47] BP: Yes. 

[00:19:48] LHL: What a cool collaboration. How did that come about in –

[00:19:51] SW: Oh, my gosh. Yes, yes. 

[00:19:53] LHL: When I read about that, I was like, “Oh, my gosh. That is so cool.” 

[00:19:55] BP: Yes. Oh, that was such a delight, and I love them. I think they're out at Oklahoma. Actually, that came about because my husband because he's a musician, he knows that they actually work with artists to put artwork on their effects pedals. He just sent over my website to somebody over there, and they got back with me almost immediately and said, “Let's have a chat. We have a project coming up — releasing in two months. You might be the excellent artist for that.” We had a nice little chat and I said, “Yes, let's do this commission.”

In two months, they needed the painting. I loved it because they gave me full free rein. All they did was they created I would say music but really an accumulation of sounds that these effects pedals can make and sent that over to me and then just said, “Surprise us and get it to us by this time.” That's what I did. I worked on that commission, and I sent it to them. What they have done since then, because effects pedals are not three by four feet, the painting was really big, and I'm like, “I don't but okay,” they photographed sections of it. That's what they have put on the pedals. They will have it printed onto the pedal. 

[00:21:09] LHL: They look beautiful. They're quite lovely. 

[00:21:11] SW: They do. They're so cool. I wish I had a need to buy a pedal. 

[00:21:13] LHL: They sound good. I already have pedals that I don't use enough, so I can't justify getting more. But if I did, I would definitely go with this company. Besides your art, they have tons of great artwork. I was just floored when I saw them through your website.

[00:21:27] BP: Yes, yes. It's so good what they do, and it was so much fun. I also got some free pedals, so my husband gets – you see, I got them and I just handed them over to him. That was my payment. But he uses them. Actually, I had a few extras, so my son uses them on his little pedal board. Yes, he does also play music. 

[00:21:46] SW: Of course, he does. 

[00:21:45] LHL: That is maybe the cutest thing I've ever heard that your five-year-old has a pedal board. 

[00:21:51] BP: Yes, and his own little electric guitars and some ukuleles. 

[00:21:54] LHL: I got to say your kid has it made; the artist parent, the musician parent, the collaboration between them, studio space, pedal board. Listen, kid, you're going to listen to this someday, and you have it made. 

[00:22:12] SW: Your husband, is he playing solo, in a band? Do you want to give a shout-out for –

[00:22:16] BP: Yes. I'll definitely shout out for him. Hi, honey. Hi, Chad. He can play solo. If someone is looking for a solo event, he can do that. But his main band that he is the lead singer and guitar player on is Down By Ten, and they are a cover band of rock and roll. They play all in the Southern New Hampshire area. They're going to be out in Hampton Beach in July. Check them out on Facebook if you're looking for some amazing cover music rock and roll of multiple decades. You will always –

[00:22:46] LHL: Sweet. 

[00:22:46] BP: If you're like, “Man, I haven't heard that song since I was in high school,” they’re probably playing it. 

[00:22:53] LHL: We'll have to check them out. That's awesome. 

[00:22:54] BP: Yes, definitely. Check them out. No, my son is not in a band. He wishes. 

[00:23:02] SW: Someday maybe. Oh, my gosh. I feel like we're jumping all over the place, but that's okay. I can live with it. 

[00:23:12] BP: It’s okay. 

[00:23:13] LHL: What kind of music do you gravitate towards?

[00:23:16] BP: I like something a little bit slower, and I think that's more because of the input that comes into my brain. I can kind of process that more. I did do some heavy metal, and that was pretty intense. But I do prefer a little bit more like jazz, a little bit more classical. I’ve done Irish sort of folk sort of music or like Norwegian sort of music. I don't understand what they're saying, but I like what it does. It’s a little bit more primitive almost. Or that's kind of where I am right now and wanting to capture that. Sort of what happens when you just have a drum beat and that acapella voice and that's all you have? What colors and sounds come from there?

[00:24:02] SW: It's not usually like whatever is sort of in the top 40 right now. 

[00:24:07] BP: I don't even know what's in the top 40 right now. 

[00:24:10] LHL: It’s probably Taylor Swift. 

[00:24:11] BP: I could probably. 

[00:24:12] SW: You can make big bucks. You can have a whole like Taylor Swift collection. 

[00:24:14] BP: I know. I know. I know. 

[00:24:18] LHL: But that doesn't sound necessarily fulfilling to you if that's not what you're being pulled towards. 

[00:24:23] BP: I think if I was really wanting to make it very commercial like that, that is a possibility. I have thought of some things like that, but it does also have to be fulfilling. I want to go in there and want to paint in. If I don't want to paint the top 40 songs, then they're just going to come out really bad paintings anyways. I did do our wedding song, so I have that painting, and I've offered that as prints on my website. If you had the same wedding song, then that was that. A little bit of that, again that memories connected with music, and then you get an image with it. 

[00:24:58] LHL: Absolutely. May I ask, do you remember your dreams? If so, do they have music in them? 

[00:25:06] BP: I have never been asked that question. That's a fabulous question. 

[00:25:09] LHL: I just think it's such a lore question. Well, I remember my – I have very vivid dreams, and I just imagine. I'm just interested if that's ever –

[00:25:18] BP: I don't remember the good dreams. 

[00:25:21] LHL: Well, I'm sorry I brought it up then. I don't mean to bring up that bad dreams do not have music in them. Oh, movies, soundtracks. When you're watching a film, are you able to kind of close it off a bit so that you –

[00:25:37] BP: Yes. I can close it off there. I know there is some people that have synesthesia that they can't, and it is all the time, and it is very overwhelming. It would be like a color has a smell, and you're constantly like, “Oh, that orange chair over there has a smell,” and just all the time. I can sort of shut it off or not really like turn it on but be a little bit more aware, more present in it. Focus in on that and not everything else that’s going on. 

[00:26:04] LHL: It’s like adjusting volume in a way. 

[00:26:06] BP: Yes, that's a – I'm going to write that down. 

[00:26:10] LHL: We're talking about music, and it's like you're being able – it's still going to be there, but it's just a little bit lower in the background. 

[00:26:18] SW: That’s very interesting. Yes. Is there other music that you just totally stay away from?

[00:26:22] BP: Probably country music. But if someone wanted a commission, I’d do it. 

[00:26:32] LHL: I do wonder what a Johnny Cash song would – the twang of the seventies guitar like that would be interesting. 

[00:26:38] BP: Yes. That could be interesting. Yes. 

[00:26:41] SW: How do you name your paintings?

[00:26:43] BP: Some of them if they're with the music, mostly that same song title or lyrics or something that's pulled from that song. Some of my older work before I really was focusing on the music was because we live in New Hampshire, I'm out in the woods a lot in nature, so just kind of nature-related themes. Sometimes, it's just whatever pops in my head. I was making some small paintings last year and I named it Why Are There Grapes On My Plate, which the story behind that is like I never ate grapes, and now I do. So I made a painting about it. You just got to have some fun ones. 

[00:27:16] SW: I love that. 

[00:27:19] LHL: Shifting gears a little bit, beyond your art being so vibrant and compelling, your branding is fantastic. 

[00:27:26] BP: Thank you. 

[00:27:27] LHL: You mentioned graphic design I think. That was one of my questions was do you design your own brand and your website. Do you enjoy that part of the business side of being an artist as far as the branding and marketing? 

[00:27:40] BP: No. No artist really does. We do it, so we can get the art out there, and so people can see it. I do have a background in graphic design, and so that does probably play a little bit of a role in that. I am connected in with some art groups, which as a collective and just – I don't know. There are lots of us. We get kind of coaching on marketing, on branding, on how do you create that, what’s your messaging, about page, all of that. I joined that probably three or four years ago. That's helped me feel more confident in presenting and applying for shows, applying for things because before I was like I just don't feel – on the marketing side, I didn't feel like that was up to where the art was. 

I do try to keep the branding across all platforms the same, but I would actually rather not do it. I want a template, and that's what I'm working on like, “Here's templates. Use this. Do it.” I don't want to be hours at the marketing part. I want to be making the art in the margins of time that we get. If it's a half hour a couple of days a week, I just want to do that and move on. Yes. All artists are like, “Yes, I would love that. Tell me more.” 

[00:28:59] LHL: Give me a team of folks who can just do it. 

[00:29:01] BP: Oh, my gosh. 

[00:29:02] LHL: You mentioned filming your work or your process. I believe you have a YouTube and everything like that. 

[00:29:07] BP: I do. I do. I have a YouTube channel. She'll give you a link. It's down below. That's right. I do a little bit of kind of everything on that art YouTube channel. I sometimes just film myself painting, and you get to watch me paint something. Sometimes, I will talk through what I'm doing, so like why am I choosing this color, why am I using this tool, what's going on in my brain, so you can kind of understand what I'm doing here on the paper or the canvas. I think that's really valuable for other creatives to just know what's going on in somebody else's head and like, “Oh, that's why they did that. Okay, I understand now.” 

Then sometimes, it's just tips or tricks or something I came across, and I just want to share it. Or if I was taking an art course and I just want to share the work that I was doing in there. So really just freely sharing art-making. Everyone is creative. I truly believe that. You just haven't practiced your creative muscles. That's where play comes in. Learning to play and just make ugly messy paintings and not saying – well, not associating your value as a person on if the painting looks good or if the painting looks bad. You just played, and you had a great time. 

I want to share that through some of those YouTube videos. That's why I have a fly swatter or just random things that I find in my house or painting on a paper bag because you don't also have to have the gallery-wrapped canvas and the highest quality of paints. I mean, you can use mud and a stick, and you've created something. 

[00:30:41] LHL: Art can be temporal. 

[00:30:42] BP: That's right. 

[00:30:43] LHL: The art can be the product, or it could be the experience. That gets lost in the margins when you talk to folks who are non-practicing artists and, “Oh, I'm not good. I'm not good at that.” What is good? 

[00:30:55] BP: Exactly, exactly. I wasn't good either when I was 10. But the funny thing is I look at my five-year-old. He does not say it's good or bad. He just makes it, and he goes, “I'm done. Next piece.” I'm like, “That is so good. I want to draw like that.” 

[00:31:12] SW: My two-year-old’s art sucks. I was going to ask you. At what age do they get better? 

[00:31:20] BP: With experience. A lot at that time is just scribbles, and I never gave my son, I still don't give it to him, coloring books, so he doesn't color inside the lines. Number one, their hands aren't actually muscle-wise developed, right? Not even for writing letters. So trying to teach them to hold things properly or whatever is just – that's a whole another subject. Look it up on your own.

For my son, I just said, “Here.” I also noted, and I watched him, and I still watch him. What is it that he really is drawn to? I might want him to have crayons because they don't go everywhere, and they're not smooshed into the carpet. You have to find what is you're okay with and what do they really love. He does not like crayons. He likes an oil pastel because it is so smooth and luscious, and it just gets right into the paper. Kid’s got elevated taste. 

[00:32:21] SW: Right. What a sophisticated boy. 

[00:32:26] LHL: None of this riff-raff crayon, Crayola business. 

[00:32:29] BP: I don’t want a crayon. But I always have some crayons in my purse because you never know but when he needs some. When he’s in the studio with me, I had oil pastels and crayons, and he always consistently overlooks the crayons and will grab an oil pastel. I was like, okay, so the boy likes – why? Because of how it feels. Okay. So how do I then put in his environment something I'm okay with that he also loves? He really loves white paper, and he'll just go through white paper like crazy. It doesn't matter the quality, the thickness, whatever. 

I'm using the – you know when you get bills in the mail, if you ever get any of those or receipts. I just slip it over. I'm like, “Got some white paper.” He just is so excited, but he doesn't want it colored. He doesn't want construction paper. It doesn't feel the same. I mean, it's the same thing as I am. I just present that in his environment. I found if paint is something that you want to give them to explore, I find the watercolor palettes, the simplest in the beginning because it's just water, and it will wash out. Like I said, in our house pretty, much anything is allowed in any room of the house. I just say like, “Maybe don't smash it into the carpet.” 

[00:33:42] SW: Yes, please. 

[00:33:45] BP: But even that I'm like, “There is carpet designers, so I don't know.” I've painted murals all over our house. For me to tell him, no, don't paint on the wall doesn't make sense to him. So I have to give him the where is it okay in your room. These are tools that are okay. There’s teaching and training in that. Limit the supplies. Oh, I love limiting supplies for myself and for my child. Don't worry if their artwork looks like scribbles. It's amazing. It's so good. 

[00:34:16] LHL: Do you give him art prompts? 

[00:34:19] BP: No, no. He's encountered some from some classes we've gone to. I would just say, “Well, paint what you feel.” Especially if they're having a hard time, I was like, “Show me what angry looks like.” I would do that with him. Let's get some paper. I think it would be red. Then what would happen? Is there black in there? Until you get to a grain stage or something. We do watch – I think it's on Amazon Video. It's called Portrait or Landscape Artist of the Year from the BBC or Sky News. Anyways, it's a British show. He loves it because we're just watching artists compete with each other to paint people or a landscape. He has replicated them while we're watching it. He'll get his table out, and he'll get his markers and his paints out. He'll be like, “Oh, I only got a half an hour left.” I’m like, “Okay, let me do it with you.” 

[00:35:15] LHL: Oh, that's so cute. Yes. 

[00:35:18] BP: Then I make sure I display his artwork because I want him to know that what he's made is valuable. I think that goes a long way for establishing confidence in our children. Then if there's a lot of artwork and it's taken over the fridge or whatever, snap some pictures and save it. Then you can put some in a box and again recycle those that they've scribbled on one. Then you're like, “Well, why don't we flip it over and scribble on the other side?” Or integrate it into your own art or something. It will get better. 

I've noticed that his — is he's starting to draw people now and houses. Then he'll also incorporate letters that he just now knows how to write — just in it. Then sometimes, he – I’m like, “Man, that's a really good composition. He's got some darks down here, and he’s got some darks up here. Ooh, I'm going to keep that. I want to paint like that. I love that.” 

[00:36:12] SW: We went through a phase where we had markers to start, and he would grab a marker and then hand it to you and scream draw banana over and over and over and over again until you drew him a banana. We have a sketchbook that's just full of bananas, but he didn't draw any of them. It was all like Dada and I. 

[00:36:33] LHL: Oh, I need to see pictures. We need to post these on the stories, please. 

[00:36:41] SW: My brother was at our house once when this was happening, and he went through and counted all the bananas. He's like, “This is ridiculous. There's like 30-something bananas in here.” It’s fantastic. Yes, art with kids is really fun. 

[00:36:52] BP: Oh, it’s so much fun. It's really fun. It teaches you so much about just playing and letting go and not worrying about it. As long as it looks sort of like a banana and is yellow, you don't mind. I do remember probably around that age kind of he wanted me to draw trains, and I was like okay. He would let me know if it doesn't look like a train. Doing my best here. 

[00:37:16] LHL: Brutal. 

[00:37:17] BP: Yes. Critics, man. Little bit. Just do that and then encouraging them, “You can draw here.” If they're drawing on your walls and you don't want them to draw on your walls, then give them something to draw on. If it's the markers, you're like, “Oh, we're running out of markers because you never put the caps on,” maybe don't use markers at that point. You get something else. But my son loves an oil pastel. He loves charcoal. Again, that will go everywhere. It will be black. Their fingers will be black. If you don't want black foot and hand prints all over the house, don't do that. Or do it outside. Then you can hose them off in the summer. 

[00:37:55] LHL: Think creatively on how to make it all fit. Yes. 

[00:38:00] BP: I think at two, you just start really small, just like one or two. Don't give them a lot. Then when the marker runs out, you're like, “Oh, I have all these in back stock.” Do that. It's kind of what I do and then expanding that as needed. 

[00:38:14] SW: In your artistic journey, what does success look like for you? Where do you want to go?

[00:38:18] BP: Where do I want to go. I want to take a nap. What does napping look like on the canvas? I just want to take a nap. That's really hard because I think in this current motherhood stage that I'm in, I don't want it to go anywhere. I just want to be present with it and just make the art and get in there in the margins of time to create. I have no idea where I would be in 5 or 10 years or what it would look like. I love talking on podcasts. I love doing videos. I just had someone in my studio filming me for a film as well. Hopefully, going to submit it to your guys' filmmaker thing, hopefully, hopefully. 

[00:38:58] LHL: I was going to ask. 

[00:39:01] BP: I'm not in charge of it after it leaves my studio but – collaborations, I love collaborations. I'm growing a YouTube channel, so I can just share from my home, just playing and art in that. Wherever that kind of goes, I've learned and I'm learning that if I don't push for the opportunities and I don't push at anything, it will slowly happen in time. Probably at that point, I'll be ready for it instead of now. I don't know. If I landed a huge show in some massive gallery, I'd be like, “I don't know. I don't have enough art. I got to make something.” It’s not ready yet and don't have enough kind of mental bandwidth when you have a child. Honestly, that is my masterpiece that I've made is my son. 

[00:39:46] SW: Oh, my God. Totally relate. Yes.

[00:39:49] BP: That's kind of where I am at that success is such a – I think that's a fluid concept. There's no like, “We've made it.” If you reach a certain dollar amount, okay, well, then you've reached success. Now, what is it? I think it's in a sense of maybe just getting in the studio and putting some paint down. 

[00:40:05] LHL: Yes, success. Yes. 

[00:40:08] BP: I feel that. Yes. 

[00:40:11] LHL: Well, now it's time for our rapid-fire questions which are quick questions with hopefully quick answers. 

[00:40:17] SW: Are you extra excited for this one? These questions are not tailored to you. We ask them of everyone. But I think some of them are going to be extra fun. 

[00:40:26] BP: Okay. I'll try to answer quickly. 

[00:40:29] LHL: You want to go first?

[00:40:30] SW: What other artist has influenced you the most?

[00:40:32] BP: Oh, that would have been helpful to know ahead of time. Rose Wylie. Check her out. She's in her 80s and making art. It's awesome. 

[00:40:42] SW: I love that. Her art's awesome. 

[00:40:46] LHL: Very cool. Have you yourself made music? Do you play?

[00:40:50] BP: I used to play piano, but that was a long time ago, so no. I do sing and I dance along. That's it. 

[00:40:56] SW: Nice. Do you think it would be confusing to be playing piano and processing colors at the same time? 

[00:41:03] BP: Probably. 

[00:41:05] SW: Wait, focus on piano. No, I want to make a painting out of this. 

[00:41:08] BP: I know. I know. 

[00:41:09] LHL: What's your favorite instrument?

[00:41:11] BP: I'm partial because my husband is a guitar player, so. 

[00:41:13] LHL: Okay, there you go. 

[00:41:14] BP: And a really good singer, so vocalist and a guitar player. Yummy. 

[00:41:22] SW: What's your favorite color?

[00:41:24] BP: Pink. Love it. 

[00:41:25] SW: I actually feel like I could have guessed that for you. 

[00:41:27] BP: Yes, in case there wasn't any clothes. 

[00:41:32] LHL: What's your favorite scent?

[00:41:34] BP: Probably this sort of pine-strawberry mix that I smelt once. So the pine tree but with a subtle hint of strawberry. 

[00:41:43] LHL: Oh, that's a good mixture. 

[00:41:44] SW: It is. What's your favorite sound?

[00:41:48] BP: Sound? That's not fair for this one. 

[00:41:51] LHL: We ask everybody these sensory questions. 

[00:41:55] BP: Okay. I do really love a really good bass tone that it rumbles your whole body. Tell what era I grew up in. But, yes, a good bass tone. Yes, love it. 

[00:42:08] LHL: What's your favorite texture to touch?

[00:42:08] BP: Ooh, something soft like linen. Really, really soft. Yes. 

[00:42:17] SW: Where's the most inspiring location you've been? 

[00:42:20] BP: I studied abroad in Scotland. When you go up to the highlands, the mountains here are kind of like that, but it's not quite the same. There's such a raw kind of wildness there. It’s also raining all the time, but there's just something really beautiful about that and really inspiring. Yes. 

[00:42:41] LHL: What's the last new thing you've learned?

[00:42:43] BP: Oh, my mom brain just kicked in. Oh, here it is. Okay, it's random, but here you go. Paper can be recycled up to six times before it's no longer good. 

[00:42:53] SW: Oh, neat. 

[00:42:54] BP: So if you don't know what to do with your paper, recycle it because it can still keep going. 

[00:42:58] SW: Huh, I did not know that. 

[00:42:59] LHL: No. Me either. That's why I love asking this question. We always learn new stuff. This is our clincher question. This is how we end every episode. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?

[00:43:11] BP: Breathe and there would be a lot of advice. I would say keep playing and don't keep pushing for a result. You'll get there in time. 

[00:43:22] SW: Yes, love it. 

[00:43:23] LHL: It's beautiful. 

[00:43:24] SW: It's really great. 

[00:43:26] LHL: Brandy, thank you so much for being on the podcast. 

[00:43:28] BP: Oh, thank you so much for having me. 

[00:43:30] LHL: I extra appreciate you letting us dive into your mind and learn about something that we're really not familiar with. It's been a really cool conversation. 

[00:43:40] SW: Quite literally trying to get into your brain. 

[00:43:42] BP: Yes, yes. You'll go home and look up other synesthesia things and ask me if I have them. Just do that in a private DM. 

[00:43:55] LHL: Thank you again, Brandy, for being on the Creative Guts podcast. With that, show us your creative guts. 

[00:44:00] SW: Show us your creative guts. 

[00:44:00] BP: Show us your creative guts. 


[00:44:07] LHL: Another huge thank you to Brandy for joining us on Creative Guts. It was so fantastic to hear about her love of art-making, the play involved, the incorporation with discussions with her husband, with making art and playing with her son. Just it feels so holistic and universal. 

[00:44:28] SW: I wasn't actually expecting. It wasn't on our question list at all to spend so much time talking about how she makes art with her son, but it's such a lovely, playful, wonderful part of her art-making process. 

[00:44:43] LHL: It's a symbiotic relationship because it's helping encourage and nurture the creative side within her son. But then it sounds like she gets even more out of it almost because it's a feedback loop. 

[00:44:55] SW: Yes. Well, after we wrapped, I asked her a question that I should have asked her when we were still recording, but I didn't, about if she became – because she's like – it's clear how much joy she gets out of playing that if that was unlocked or at least amped up because of watching her son explore art and the way that children approach art is just so different than the way that adults approach art. It’s so lovely and refreshing. 

[00:45:20] LHL: — and her superpower is just such an epic adventure is what it sounds like to me. It sounds like it can have its ups and downs. But for the most part, it seems like a very beautiful and positive thing that she's harnessed and transformed within her work. It's led to some really cool collaboration. I mean, the effects pedal. They're beautiful. It's amazing. It's so cool. 

[00:45:47] SW: Her husband just happens to be a musician, and they got to collaborate. That's awesome. 

[00:45:51] LHL: I know. It is a cheesy Hallmark movie but in such a cool way and such a unique awesome way. I'm just so happy that we got to meet her finally after so many interactions online and the zine and meeting at art openings. It was long overdue. Thank you so much, Brandy, for coming on here and just letting us dive into your creative mind. 

[00:46:14] SW: Yes. If you want to check out Brandy’s work, you can find her on the Web,, and on Instagram where her handle is @brandympatterson. You can find her on YouTube, too. 

[00:46:24] LHL: As always, you'll find those links and more in the episode description and on our website, You'll find us on Facebook and Instagram @creativegutspodcast. 

[00:46:35] SW: This episode is sponsored in part by the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts. Thank you to our friends in Rochester for their support of the show. 

[00:46:42] LHL: The biggest thank you ever to Art Up Front Street studios and gallery for providing a space where Creative Guts can record. 

[00:46:49] SW: If you love listening and want to support Creative Guts, you can make a donation, leave us a review, interact with our content on social media, or purchase some merch. Whatever you're able to do, we appreciate you. 

[00:46:58] LHL: Thank you for tuning in. We'll be back next Wednesday with another episode of Creative Guts.