Magical Thinking – daily painting & story collecting

Magical Thinking, mixed-media painting by Lisa Sonora

Magical Thinking, mixed-media painting by Lisa Sonora

My heart races with excitement whenever I come across the beginning of a new letter of the alphabet in the human behavior encyclopedia, whose pages form the basis of this daily painting project.

These are my favorite pieces in the series, and it’s hard to part with them. I am tempted to keep each one, forming a collection of twenty-six paintings to hang together on a gallery wall.

The singular letterform delights me.

It was like this for me when I was learning the alphabet. Each letter unlocking mystery code to some new world I would someday discover through books, writing, painting.

You see, I first learned the alphabet by painting it in vivid colors. The love of letters and typography, the marriage of content and design, the architecture of worlds being made out of ideas.

I’m still as awed as I ever was how these tiny little letters line up and make words into ideas that transmit across ages via invisible thoughts. Painting mind pictures as we read.

Pure magic.


Call for Entries – Share a story for the 1008 paintings project

Why: When I began this daily painting project, whose working title is: 1008 Meditations on the Human Condition, I knew it would always become a collection of shared stories. Yours, mine, everyone’s.

What form will these stories take? Maybe a book, a film, an exhibit. Maybe just great reading right here on my blog. It’s something we can’t yet until we take inspired action.

What I’ve learned about creativity is that you just have to follow the next hot idea, and see where it takes you. You can never plan it all out ahead of time.

As this project unfolds, ideas on to give form to these stories, beyond this blog post, will emerge. It will take your participation to make this part of the project real.

Because art heals.

I dream of painting a picture about the human condition, made up of all the things we are all dealing with with that no one else knows or can see. The things that move us, shape us, challenge us. It’s what’s happening in our rich inner world, not just what we see on the surface.

As a writing and creativity teacher, I’ve witnessed how being vulnerable and sharing our stories, especially the ways we feel exceptionally alone in our experience, bring us closer together—rather than isolated or outcast, what we fear.

As an artist who paints, writes and publishes on stuff I’ve had a hard time talking about, I directly experience the healing balm of connecting through sharing my creative process.

Our shared stories and our creations locate us at the center of a all things, held close by a collective of others who don’t judge us, and get our experience.

Your Turn

How to share a story: Simply add your own story inspired by today’s painting title in the comments. The title of the post, before the hyphen (— daily painting) is the same as the title of the painting. You can stay anonymous or include your byline and a link to your website. For the purposes of  our project, we’ll treat all work as fiction.

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flash sale!

* * * FLASH SALE! * * *

Through June 30 only, you can own any original painting in my shop for just $100.

These are one-of-a-kind, original paintings, not prints, and they are already framed! Shop now to get your favorite piece and forever be a valued patron of this project. Doesn’t that sound fine and fancy?

I’m in the USA the last part of June, and will be shipping these from Portland, OR via USPS priority mail starting June 24. Go get one…or some!

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