Tree of Transformation ~ The Evolution of my Body of Work through Intentional Creativity®

Tree of Transformation Painting and Story

Dear Ones,

I wanted to share this writing with you today in honor of my Mama’s birthday. She loves trees so it seems just right. It arose as a response to one of the Intentional Creativity Teachers asking me to share the ‘structure’ of our work. I tried to say it in normal words, but it just failed. I feel I could keep editing and refining this for hours…but here it is in draft form. A story told. A body of work.

Blessings on your day. Get a cuppa’ tea and enjoy. If you have been curious about our work this will shed some light…

Tree of Transformation

The Evolution of my Body of Work through Intentional Creativity®

By Shiloh Sophia

I dreamed a seed of hope…

The seed of hope growing within my 23 year old self was encoded with a prayer to end violence against women and girls. To change the face of the feminine image in popular culture in my lifetime. To gather community in an act of revolution that would last beyond my generation. To awaken the sleeping to rise into consciousness through a culture of creativity. Living these prayers is my sacred assignment, my devotion, and my ministry.

The original seed arose out of a context of creative content that came from the wild wisdom shared with me through my mother, Caron McCloud. She is the Poet Mother, my birth mother, and the most beautiful person I have ever encountered. She taught me context, content, curriculum, and container as my vocabulary. The Painter Mother, Sue Hoya Sellars, came into our lives before I was born, adding her unique cosmic framework and imagery to the context of my family. She is the mother of my heart. Sue also brought the gifts shared by her teacher, Lenore Thomas Straus. Their work, their love, their art and writing informed who I became, as did all the women in my family. (1970-1993)

I was created to create, so my own art making and writing grew as I grew. A glowing warmth nurtured the seed as I shared what I was learning. With time, the seed that arose from my desire was planted in good compost in good ground with great love. When the seed sprouted and broke ground we named her Color of Woman. I felt the power rising from the sprout. A potential was making itself known. I followed the call from the city to the mountain to dream freely. There I found language and image for what was growing. I studied the medicine from the two mothers as a form of healing for myself and others through painting and poetry, pottery and prophecy. (1993-1995)

The sprout grew towards the sky and the story roots hung out in rich soil keeping company with creatures often hidden from light and sight. The sprout reached up tall and focused, tender leaves mingled with the dew and the stars. A connection between heaven and earth lives in all trees. Through books, circles and classes I shared what I knew about the the emergent tree and the the information that was coming through. The women who gathered affirmed what they saw, felt, and created in the presence of the shared tree wisdom.

The little tree came to be tended by many gardeners. Especially my family, Eden McCloud, Shannon McCloud, Janet Seaforth and Bridget McBride. And the musician who sang the love for the me and the tree for 16 years. The women who gathered declared themselves Cosmic Cowgirls. Then along came the Muses who would stay with us from the beginning until now, Elizabeth Gibbons, Mary MacDonald and Jenafer Owen. There were many others who came and went, too many to name in this telling. Some stayed and played and told stories. We held fast to the red thread of connection between all us. We enjoyed such good company and lots of dancing! Spirit Warrior, Carmen Baraka chanted for us and we are certain the grandmothers heard our call. (1995-2004)

We came to know the soil through working it. We asked questions of the ground and spoke into it, and wove poetry between the sparkling particles. We called that ground Intentional Creativity and knew that the tree sprout we originally called Color of Woman grew in a good place. Awareness of “where” something grows creates context. This kind of soil is located all over the world; yet many do not know how to find it. This is part of our work, to let the others know about the context of the ground beneath their feet.The Cosmic Cowgirls are fond of saying we have our head in the stars and our feet on the earth. We began to tell the legend of the tree and the ground far and near. Many came to learn and discover their own ground. Claiming the language for what we experienced would become one of our primary creations. Developing paintings that told our story would be at the heart of our evolution. As time went on, those roots spread throughout the earth and the young sturdy tree became stronger and taller and lovelier. We were all so grateful to see the trunk so strong. (2005-2009)

With our attention the tree grew many branches. We began to understand that the tree held the information for the collective, not just a few of us. Self expression would become the way we understood and intuited the content that was arising. We curated conscious community and celebration!

The women who studied the tree and the ground became Intentional Creativity Teachers. The branches that move out from the center are the teachings and are tended by women once they graduate, and become the Intentional Creativity Guild. The branches together, with the leaves, are the canopy that create the keepers of the collective wisdom. We make shade and beauty and color and light for each other and our Beloveds. (2010-2012)

I remained a primary gardener, but tending the tree was a great work as the borders of the garden expanded. I entered into joyous union with another gardener who knew about permaculture and how to work the soil in new ways: Jonathan. He made it possible to share the harvest with many who could not come directly to the birthplace of the tree. We went quantum and the stars were happy with our leap into the cosmos. His sacred assignment is to “carry the medicine” on the Mothership.
(2012-Ongoing)

To you, those of you who are graduates, the Intentional Creativity Guild, I say,

“You are a bright bird, coming from your own land with your own information. You joined us for an initiation. You came to preen your brightly colored feathers and develop your wingspan and flight pattern. You had to test your winged eye in good company with those who see between the worlds. You came to find your voice and chirp or cluck or sing along with the other birds. You came to bask in the shade and to sit in the light. Your wingspan grows strong and you know you can fly wherever you want. In time, you will fly off to your own tree and plant your own garden. Some of you come back to sit in the shade and share our company for a while. For others, this tree is home. We all know it is big enough for everyone to gather around. In community is a humble belonging. Some of us who are bright birds, also become gardeners.”

With our songs and our company we bloom. When there is abundance, we share those flowers and fruits. We cannot pick everything. The harvest, should the tree choose to give one, is the offering of our gifts to our Beloveds. The philanthropy of the Intentional Creativity Foundation is an offering of our own abundance and this offering is a gentle gathering over time. This offering is measured with focus on the health of the tree, and the ground from which it grows. Not designed for speed or production – but the long term vision. (2017)

When have become a healthy enough tree, we can name our own garden. The garden is yet another context besides the ground or the tree, the larger framework in which it is all happening. Each awareness expands the context in which we understand ourselves. Naming is bestowing a power of knowledge upon a being. We named the garden, MUSEA, meaning many muses and many museums. This is a quantum garden that supports this tree and many other trees. The wind sends her seeds airborne to other gardens, where other life rises. (2018)

Many have asked for a map to the garden and discovered the magical Red Thread Cafe just past the garden gate. As our tree and our garden has flourished it has become known further and further afield. Many people come to see what is growing here and to sit in the garden a while. As we bask in the beauty of our magnificent tree, we see red thread tied to her branches with messages which flutter in the wind. They float intentions, placed by many souls and circles. Souls we know, and by others we haven’t met. When tragedies or blessings happen, we reach out and pull on those threads. Some of us become Red Thread Guides and call the circles.

As she has matured, our tree called Color of Woman has become known as a Tree of Transformation where the creatives in the land come to learn. We love our tree with an incredible might! The trees which are grown from our one tree will be so many different kinds of trees! Each bird and every gardener chooses her own garden space, and tends her own trees. Yet, we still gather here at the original Tree of Transformation. (Now)

Our Lineage of Intentional Creativity ancestors shines on us from the sun and the cosmos. Their prayer for us to thrive as creative beings resonates in our bones and our homes. Finally we know truly that we are stardust as we splash our canvas with the awareness and memory that this knowing brings. Flowing around us are the rivers of life that nourish us. The loving water from forever ago has been moving toward us for such a long time.

When you feel the call, you will find us, leaning up against a great tree of transformation, grown from intention and love in action. You may also find us dancing a jig in the garden, under the broad branches when the moon is full and yellow gold. Or at the salon by the sea, speaking the philosophy of muses. You will find our sketchbooks are in our hands, taking note of the universe and our easels are sprinkled throughout the world with our images and stories.

The Tree is magic and is wherever we are, the tree and garden is. The one contains the many and the many contain the one. Seeds are like that. The Tree is everywhere we are. We love the company of the others who know the story of the Tree of Transformation. We have our own stories, and then we also have our together stories. The Tree of Transformation is a together story. You are welcome here, we are glad you found us, and that we found you along the red thread.Me? Oh, I am just one of the gardeners. Come sit awhile…I will make us some tea harvested from tiny flowers that grow at roots of the Tree of Transformation sweetened with honey from the bees in our abundant garden.

I share this story today as a record of where the philosophy, ethos and practice of Intentional Creativity came from. I share it on my mother’s 82nd birthday. This writing also reflects the organic nature of our emergent business structure. April 25, 2019


Happy Birthday Mama Cloud! Our community loves you SOOOOOOOOO MUCH and we are so very grateful that YOU were born!

My mama is so brilliant, so beautiful and so encouraging. Her love for me made it possible for me to grow as a woman and an artist. I am so grateful to be her daughter.

Celebrating the Members of Our Intentional Creativity Team

WIP from Red Madonna: Wisdom’s Table

I want to celebrate a few members of our 2018 Intentional Creativity team!

Thank you especially to Tania Magennis for her incredible tending of this environment, truly a blessing! And gratitude for Sarah Mardell, Hobby Parent, Jonathan McCloud from the Intentional Creativity Guild and Foundation (501c3) and Annette Wagner, Tina Greene, Mary MacDonald and Jenafer Owen of Cosmic Cowgirls, LLC. This is the team working with us to curate both this space, our communities and the Red Thread Connect calls.

These projects take considerable investment in time, resources, finances and focus. That we are able to offer these services for no cost to our beloved guests of the Red Thread is an honor and a pleasure. The above list are the people who made it happen this year and who were on staff. 💓 www.redthreadconnect.us

Thank you to every single Intentional Creativity Guild teacher, who once a week volunteered and womaned the Red Thread Cafe classroom to provide encouragement, art doctoring, guidance and support. Their presence is what continues to make this space what it is, and how it feels – even when we aren’t on the page here, we FEEL the reality of the red thread and the connection. And thank you to those of you who volunteered and taught on the Red Thread Connect calls, our 2019 calls are shaping up!

As a community, we offered tens of thousands of scholarships in 2018 in our Intentional Creativity trainings, as well as free offerings to many thousands, many times. We also put close to 100K back into the community through independent work for women entrepreneurs who are part of our IC Guild community.

When you join us for our paid offerings, which many of you have, you contribute to providing work for others, as well as making our free offerings possible. Thank you and yahooooooo to our Intentional Creativity student participants in 2018! At whatever level you played, we are so grateful you ‘love’ this work as much as we do. That you share your time and resources here. We know you have many choices and we are very blessed to share this space with such an incredible circle of women worldwide.

You can find all of your upcoming curriculum for Winter 2019 here www.cosmiccowgirls.com – the next courses starting in January if you want to hop on board are LEGEND: The Cosmic Cowgirls Course and HEART of GOLD : Medicine Wheel of the Madonna and the Quantum Christ. In February we have an in person Apothecary and online Dance of the Critic and the Muse.

A special shout out to Jassy Watson Earthist and Louis Reed with Gisela Pineiro, Jo Laurie and Tania McGinnis for their work with Red Thread and IC in Australia! We were able to visit many of our students there and host incredible programming. I love that they are continuing the work with hosting Color of Women events!

Our other community, Red Madonna, we are so grateful for Havi Brysk Mandell, Kayleen Asbo, Emily Grieves, Susan Daniel, Mary Ann Matthys, Wil Gafney and my mom Caron McCloud – they are blessing the sacred container for our virtual ‘church’ temple.

Big heart shout out to Mary McCrystal who taught the first Red Thread Guide with me – so that other women can learn to curate red thread space as well both online and in person.

And to so many others, of the Intentional Creativity Guild including Jeri, Jennifer Bowers, Nadya King, Sepha Nisbet, Leslie Nolan, Caryn McLaine, Phyllis Anne Taylor, Simone Oliver, Lavender Grace Cinnamon, Elizabeth Gibbons, Trish O’Malley, Jo Laurie, Semerit Strachan, Kerry Lee, Terre Cerridwyn Busse, Tammra Harrison, Sandy Green, and Mandisa Amber for their work on our teams this year.

There are more too! For Amy Ahlers for helping to steward my IC business teachings in Radiance. Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici of Woman Unleashed, and Heidi S. Moondancer of Come to the Fire and Catt Geller of Cosmic Smashbooking for their incredible work with culture and inspiration of Intentional Creativity to tens of thousands of women! This is good work, aren’t we so luck to have found one another on the red thread?

I also want to say a big YAHOO to Jessica Enevold Duncan, Kate Langlois, Grace Steenberg, Ilona Lantos, Asia Morgenthaler, Gisela Pineiro, Evelyne Verret, Uma Mulnick and Emily Grieves for launching their first online courses with the guidance of Jenafer Owen and Giddy Up, her class for Color of Woman Grads to bring their work into the world!

And always to Carmen Baraka, our Native teacher and elder who leads our community in ceremony with Buffalo Woman, Denise. We are so blessed to be in your company.

To my incredible husband and best friend, Jonathan McCloud – who rocks my world in all ways, always, who surprises me all the time with his intelligence, playfulness, bravery, love, innovation and feeds me so well!!!

There are many many more hands that go into the work of Intentional Creativity. I just wanted to honor these ones this year, for their love, devotion, patience, presence and especially their teachings.

And finally. To the women who made this possible.

Caron McCloud, my mother who taught me that creativity was essential and that I mattered, Eden McCloud, my grandmother who taught me creative writing and sewing and inspired us all with her art and innovation, Lenore Thomas Straus, Sue’s teacher, sculptor, poet, wood carver, illustrator, and Sue Hoya Sellars, Painter, this is our lineage of Intentional Creativity.

This is a beautiful and powerful culture of creativity. 

I wish to personally thank the Great Lady, who guides me in all that I do.

Thank you for reading and in so doing, taking the time to acknowledge the team with me. Sending you gratitude and blessings at the turning of the seasons and the year…

Signed with the light of the full moon, red paint and a red thread,

Your in creative soul,

A Virtual Art Opening for You!

I am an artist. Everything I see, do, create, think and love is connected with beauty and transformation through creativity. The Alchemist’s Brush will be my first one woman show since 2010. My first show since my teacher, Sue Hoya Sellars walked on into the cosmos. My first show focusing on and featuring my teaching paintings. My first show since being with my husband, Jonathan who I met in late early 2012. My first show to include this many paintings!

You are invited to join us in person on Friday June 1 for my Art Opening in Sonoma, or by special request you can join us for the Virtual Art Opening behind the scenes look before everyone arrives.

Virtual Art Opening – Join Us!

 

We are here getting ready for the show this weekend. There are helpers everywhere busy with paintbrushes and hammer and nails. I am saying to myself:

Let yourself arrive. This is what success looks like. It doesn’t look like what you thought. It is way better than you could have imagined. Claim this. Share this.

When the economy started changing in 2007 I could feel it and see it before it landed. Times were changing. I had owned my own gallery since the age of 28 (that’s twenty years ago now), so I could sense the threads of our world stretching. Paintings for many years before that flew off the wall and I felt so blessed to be a working artist.

Paintings flew….My Co-Curator Mary MacDonald and I would put a painting up, light a candle, say a prayer and wait and sure enough – here came the person who that painting belonged to. It was magical and good work and connections were made. But there was something else. There was a need. Now I had felt this need for many years…more on that to come…

Girls on film begins….Then in 2008 with our move to Healdsburg from Mendocino we started my video career (insert Girls on Film song as background for reading). I had never imagined being on film. I had made other movies before but nothing like this. Mary suggested we just turn on the camera and see what happens. And so we did. And the rest is history. Our first class, LEGEND was a total success and these many years later we are still running it with hundreds of graduates a year. And LEGEND is a pre-requisite for our Teacher Training, which I launched in 2010 to really bring this work to life in the hands of many. I could only reach so many…but they can reach thousands who really need this work.

Complicated beginnings….Thousands of hours of videos later and we are still at it. Something else was happening much more important than a star being born 🙂 There was a need, a request, for women to connect with their own stories and image. To heal. To grow. To transform. I had what would meet that need, and I knew it. They actually told me themselves! There was a need beyond having a healing image that celebrated women – they had to remake their image for themselves. The re-imagining came right in my front door, sat down, had a cup of tea and wouldn’t leave until I said yes, I will show you. But it was more complicated than that.

You see, I was married for 16 years to an amazing person, but for his own reasons, the full extent to which I will never know – he didn’t appear to want me to share my gifts of Intentional Creativity as a teaching. At first it was protective energy. And further, it was integral to our actual income! What might happen if I showed everyone my magic sauce of how to make a painting, even if you don’t know how to paint. Would our collectors become students? How to bring intentional heart and soul into your creation to alchemize the very particles into medicine. Later, he said he protected me until I was strong enough on my own. I feel that and trust that. And there came a time when I couldn’t contain it anymore for myself. I am so grateful for his careful stewarding and many many years of support. I could not have gotten to the place I was without his support and belief in my work.

The sales slowed way down….it was like a whole new career and need to create income. They did and I did stop showing/selling. My focus was elsewhere mostly. But after creating a million dollars in art sales by the age of 40 it was kind of a big deal to share it in this way. It was scary sharing everything I knew and the way I made a living. I was taught by my mama Caron McCloud and Sue Hoya Sellars and I felt I was holding so many gifts – and they didn’t feel like they belonged to me, but to everyone else. This wasn’t a feeling I made up – it came through me.I felt I was a messenger. In a vision with the Mother Mary, I was actually told I would give it all away. She didn’t mean for free, but give away all the teaching She gave me. At the time, I didn’t now what ‘it’ was. But soon enough I would know it was Intentional Creativity. We have had 229,000 viewers over 5 years for our classes! Thanks to Jonathan’s support we were able to bring the media to the world starting in 2013, 5 years ago. That is why you can join us on Friday: https://portal.shilohsophia.com/art-opening-stream/

I wasn’t proud enough to share them…until now. The reason for this story today is that I haven’t shown this work because they were teaching paintings. They didn’t feel like my own in a way because they were shaped to meet the need of the class or the student. It has my heart and soul in it as an offering – but not my ‘style and content’ in the way I would have done it if I was painting for myself. Over the past ten years there are a rare few I have done without it being in a class. At times my students have heard me whine about it – about not painting for myself. But honestly – this has been SO MUCH MORE INCREDIBLE than just selling paintings to individuals. Now thousands and thousands of incredible healing and gorgeous paintings are released in the world. Homes, offices, hospitals, studios are all holding the beauty of the feminine that never would have existed if I had kept my gifts for myself and a few select clients.

So in a way I wasn’t as proud of the paintings as actual PAINTINGS of my own. But now with about 100 of them here I guess it makes up a body of work worth sharing lol. MY mom, Caron believes they have such a special energy and presence because each one was an offering – some of which were the guide for over 1000 women to paint! I also believe they have magic in them. And I would love for my community to have them instead of store the body of work until I am long gone. Makes a nice story, but you having them makes a much better reality. At this point I tell all the Intentional Creativity Teachers (over 200 of them) that they need to reclaim their paintings for themselves RIGHT after the class! Don’t wait ten years!

The hand numbered 33….We have a special set of 33 that are all 13 step based, which is a teaching we offer in Intentional Creativity and all are hand numbered and coded with a gold circle with a red thread circle around it to connect them. And there are many more from other classes. I have donated them to the Intentional Creativity Foundation which will receive 30-50% of each sale to help fund our first program, Red Thread Connect, which provides 2 free calls monthly for women to connect, and hopefully will finance our Red Thread Connect App. After the show this weekend and our Cosmic Cowgirls 13 year gathering, we will make what remains available at www.shilohsophiagallery.com and let you know so you can come take a look. Many of the paintings were left as they were after the class, and others, I have brought to full completion.

I wonder what my life would have been like if… At times I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t gone this route of teaching. How my paintings would have evolved and how I would have evolved as a painter and writer. I know that my painting style and skill haven’t evolved like they would have and yes, sometimes that makes me sad. As in most of the classes I am teaching basics that others can work with to find their own image. As at my truest heart, painting and writing are what I love the most. Who knows what the future holds. I am a little painted out at this point ha! When I paint I am in bliss, teaching or otherwise.

If there is a teaching in this Red Thread Letter it is this. Follow the thread of love where it leads you.

I was lead here by loving others, who crossed my path and called me forward. I am here to say this has been better than I could have imagined. I am in a community of thousands who are truly connected through creativity and love.

Let’s celebrate! Join us here.

And so here we are, and while we are here, let’s celebrate! Turns out there was a big need for this work and with my community the Cosmic Cowgirls and Mary and Jenafer Owen – we brought out our gifts to share.

Join us Friday in Sonoma (doors open at 2pm) or watch later – for a preview of my show. If you are local, come on by to 75 Fremont Drive. Cake is at 5. Because a gathering without a cake is just a meeting. Followed by dancing.

with a splash of paint,

 

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RSVP for Virtual Show Here.

Read the press release on Facebook or read it on Shiloh’s website.

See upcoming classes at www.cosmiccowgirls.com.

Mothership, Inc.

Cosmic Cowgirls® Intentional Creativity® Color of Woman®

Announcement: Intentional Creativity Foundation, a Charitable Non-Profit Organization

Intentional creativity is ancient and belongs to all beings.

Creating with intentional symbolism to communicate and tell story has happened all over the world by all peoples in every medium. From the Red Hand Cave paintings of Aboriginal peoples of Australia, to the Japanese Tea Ceremony, Egyptian glyph and myths, Russian icons coded with teachings, Shaman’s drums painted with personal medicine in Asia and Scandinavia, skin story tattoos of the Hawaiian Islands, Native American beadwork, baskets and garments, Hebrew temples and altars, marks on Mexican pottery, African symbols for death and rebirth in paintings. The references are truly everywhere, in both spiritual ritual contexts, as well as in food recipes, the design of gardens, books of poetry, and sacred architecture. All people make forms with specific intent. We get to be a part of the great unfolding of the story of earth through imagery and language with mindfulness.

Today, the legacy of art making with mindful intention, continues in conscious communities, including the Intentional Creativity movement, where tens of thousands of women creating alchemical images of the feminine and bringing their stories to the canvas for healing, transformation and liberation. This is a story worth telling, a legend to be a part of, and the weave of the future we together are creating. Women empowered to serve themselves, their families and communities.

What will future people say about who we are, when they see our creations in 1,000 years? What will they say we focused on, loved and cared for? What will they say we stood for or against? Who will our art show us to be, as a people? Artists have always told the story of humanity in matter based creations – what part of the story are you choosing to tell?

At the Intentional Creativity Foundation, our focus group has been working on the development, philosophy and access to the emergent discipline of creativity for the past twenty-five years. Yet our specific lineage of study goes back to the 1930ies during the Roosevelt administration’s call to artists during the New Deal. This work has been passed from hand to hand for over 80 years as each of us learns the power of putting intention to use, while being conscious of what we are creating, how it feels, and what we discover during and after the process.

By 2018 there will be close to 200 Intentional Creativity Guild Members who are graduates of our Intentional Creativity Training, around the world bringing this technology to the people they serve. We know that all beings are creative, and that the kind of creativity we are offering isn’t based in talent, but a desire to be awake to one’s self and one’s own path. From there, we can answer the call.

May we be of service to awakening consciousness through intentional creativity.

~ Shiloh Sophia
Co-Founder, Intentional Creativity Foundation

It is with a grateful heart that I officially announce that the Intentional Creativity Foundation, our not-for-profit is active, approved, online and ready to rock. Thank you Jonathan Lewis for believing in the vision and making it happen and being the Co-Founder of the foundation. Thank you to all Color of Woman staff and graduates for 8 years of training. Thank you to Cosmic Cowgirls for being the community we first explored this in with depth in circles. Thank you to those who made it possible through their teachings, Sue Sellars, Lenore Thomas Straus, Caron McCloud. Thank you to all of you along Red Thread.

Image by Sue Hoya Sellars

Quote on painting says –
“We must move into the future, creating it as we go.
We have been placed on the edge of history too long now.
We have always been here.”

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