My Teacher…this painting is astonishing…

“Paint like you have all the time in the world”

~ Sue Hoya Sellars

‘Centaur Becoming’ painted by Sue Hoya Sellars
for my sister, Shannon Cinnamon McCloud

This painting, to me, is astonishing. Just take a moment to pause and look at it. The expression on the horse’s face, the hills, the mist, the hands, the extension of the hair… the untold story of my sister and her red roan…

Dear Ones,

April 20 was the 83rd birthday of my teacher and the mother of my heart, Sue Hoya Sellars. She has been gone from this dimension since 2014, yet remains in my cosmic soul dimension as a constant presence.

I want to share her with you a bit today because Intentional Creativity, my sacred work in the world, is alive because of her and what she taught me. Sue and my mother were best friends, and shared the same week for their birthday. In the last Red Thread Letter I shared about my mom, and in this one I am sharing about Sue. I wish to honor them the best I can, as I honor the origin of their arrival on earth.

When I think about the gifts she gave me, it is beyond imagining. The grief appears unmovable, a part of who I am now. I used to want it to go away, but now I know this is what love really feels like. To love someone so profoundly, and to experience the loss of them from this known life, is the bittersweet gift. I feel she lives on in another place in the great mystery. If I believe she came to find me….then I can believe that one day I will go to find her again. Somehow.

What’s more, is that one person could have such a profound impact in the life of another, to the degree that without her I KNOW that I would not have chosen this life path. I KNOW I would not be teaching painting the way I do. I KNOW I would not have created Intentional Creativity. BECAUSE the information she gave me informed all of these choices so powerfully, that they are forged from her energy and intelligence. As if her ways of knowing built the matrix upon which I stretched my own awareness like a canvas ready for the brush. Sue built the frame, the container. My mother Caron wove the canvas, the context. I bring my own content, yet fully informed by the two of them. I am so grateful.

To try to speak to it, feels futile. Like trying to describe the magnificence of a forest. Impossible. I bow in great thanks to the Creator of all, for Sue coming into my family in the years before I was born…and staying so close to us for so long.

I give thanks to her teacher, Lenore Thomas Straus, who gave Sue what she gave to me, that I give to all of the women I serve with Intentional Creativity.

Happy Birthday my great teacher, American Master Painter, Sue Hoya Sellars 1936-2014.

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A few quotes from Sue that I love…

“We are all cooling sacks of stars”

“Paint like you have all the time in the world”

“Pay attention to what is happening at the end of your brush”

“We are standing in the cosmos”

“Who lives in here?”

~ Sue Hoya Sellars

An invitation to give thanks…And so one of my reasons for writing to you today is with an invitation. An invitation to reach out to someone who has taught you…someone who has guided you…shown you the path…and to thank them. Living or not…who comes to mind?

How about a letter, phone, text, speaking to the stars. There are so many more things I wish I had gotten to say to her. I feel I speak to her, apologizing for certain things over and over…and giving thanks for certain things as they arise…a continual dialogue that is part of the grief journey – an ongoing reconciliation. If your teacher, guide or mentor is living…why not give a shout out or do a social media post.


This weekend I got to deliver a message, on Jesus and the Women in His life at Woodside Village Church. It was wonderful to be serving with my friend Rev. Pastor Ama Zenya again. For many years we worked together at the First Congregational Church of Oakland. We also hung an art show there of my paintings of Mama Mary and Jesus and the Magdalene. I got to see new and old friends, and meet women who work with me online that I might never get to meet otherwise. #showingup

So dear one….if you read this far, thank you for your care, for your listening time, and your presence in my life. The red thread of connection continues to weave us.

With great heart,

p.s. My email is changing soon to [email protected], so if you can add that to your address book. We will also begin to communicate more as MUSEA : Intentional Creativity in the coming months. More on that soon – I just like to give myself a long lead time on important projects…

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.

Announcing Color of Woman 2018 Graduates – Mighty Women Doing Their Work

“There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”
~ Martha Graham

Color of Woman 2018: Dreamwalking Graduation & Guild Gathering, Maui HI

I am delighted to bring colorful news to the world! It is an honor to announce the Color of Woman Graduating Class of 2018 – the NEW Intentional Creativity Teachers! YAHOOOOO! These women have journeyed together on a 9 month Vision Quest. These creative souls have been diving into the depth of their being to discover, articulate and reveal what lay hidden in their deepest soul and bring it forth in living color!

I am here in Maui, with Graduates and Guild who were able to come in person, to gather and have our graduation celebration. The rest of our sisters have had a gathering online in the cosmos to celebrate.

Each woman created a body of work in the form of paintings and writings featuring the articulation of her own personal content and teachings. She taught classes when she was afraid, she became bold as she discovered what she already knew. Through sharing, she learned more of who she was as a teacher and a wild feminine soul. She now knows how the power of creativity can heal and transform! She has gathered others into her Red Thread Circle and will continue to do so as a Certified Intentional Creativity Teacher.

She explored 5 primary archetypes to prepare herself for guiding others in transformational intentional creating. She became her own oracle, realizing what she already knew, but in a new image informed way. She shed previous archetypes and stepped into a new one – a design of her own making!

As the founder of Color of Woman Intentional Creativity Teacher Training, I am beyond amazed at the gift of serving through this work for over 25 years. The rigor in the training connects directly with calling forth what each woman is here to cause and create. The commitment to forge one’s self into being a teacher is a great and mighty work. KAPOW! Each woman has initiated herself into the lineage of Intentional Creativity and her own lineage.

May these women be a ‘danger’ to the establishments they wish to transform. May they be mighty in the creation of the curriculum of the future. May they be audacious in the creation of their work in the world of form. May they deepen into their primary relationships with loved ones, family and their Beloveds. May they, with all of us in our circles, bring images of wholeness, beauty, transformation and revelation to the places that need it the most.

WE TOGETHER ARE TRANSFORMING the IMAGE and EXPERIENCE of the feminine on the earth. Starting with our own image – and calling other women to create their own images. A restoration of much sacred information that has been lost, has been brought current and forges the path to the future.

Intentional Creativity is one of the mighty tools in the medicine basket that they have agreed to carry. Most of these women were already solidly on their path – but knew that their own creativity was needed to bring their work to the next place – and in that – desired to bring that creativity to the world. When women enter COLOR of WOMAN it is a weaving of bringing all the parts that once seemed separate into wholeness. This is healing. This is action. This is now. We give thanks to our teachers and the Intentional Creativity lineage who made this possible – went before us and forged a path where we understand what it means to ‘bow to the stone’.

Past Intentional Creativity Teachers join our ongoing conversation and community called the GUILD. These women teach in homes, hospitals, schools, shelters, clinics, corporate, social work settings as well as in cruise ships, at retreats, art centers, colleges and museums.

I am so proud to announce these Intentional Creativity teachers to you and to the world! Together let us cheer them on and support their work! WOMEN’S leadership is so needed, especially as it can be guided by women who are awakened and dedicated to loving service.

How does reading this, seeing this, knowing this, make you feel? Tune into THAT. Let’s be that joy together. Here we come world!!!

With great love and gratitude, tears, and BLISS within my heart at the pleasure of your company,

I want to acknowledge and extend so much gratitude to my husband, Jonathan McCloud, the Color of Woman Team and the Intentional Creativity Guild for your commitment and service to our students and the work of Intentional Creativity.

COME CELEBRATE OUR COLOR OF WOMAN 2018 GRADUATES!

 

Ally Markotich

Amanda Abreu

Barbara Daughter (2017)

Becki DeBont

Cheryl Gallagher (aka Madhavi Devi)

Christina Mercy

Clare Cassity (2017)

Cynthia Iris Hymowitz Stephens

Danie May (2017)

Deanna Marie Gibson

Desiree Julie Margaret Green

Erin E. King

Ellison James (2017)

Francesca Dell’Acqua (2017)

Jamie Mahoney

Jan Sara Jorgensen

Jane Celeste Sanguinetti

Janet Lynn Higley

Jeannine Luke

Jillian Marie McGill

Joan Jakel

Julie Durrett

Julie O’Glee

Julie E Steelman

Karen A. Schweitzer

Kimberly Millstone

Laurie Morse

Lezli Shawbones Palmer

Lisa Adriana

Maggie Oman Shannon

Maree Anne Pilling

Margaret Trost

Margie O’Connor

Margo Helene van Strien – Sonneveld

Maria Perry

Marisela Rodriguez

Dr. Neesa Ginger Mills

Petra Rosenthal

Rosamaría Polidura Cárdenas

Sandy Green

Sara J Morgan

Sarah Sutton

Sherry Rueger Banaka

Sue Bayley

Dr. Sue Boardman

Shelli L Duarte (2016)

Susan Marie Mason, MBA

Tara E Browne, DTM

Tricia Ballad

Virginia Masson

Yvonne Werkmann


LEARN MORE ABOUT COLOR OF WOMAN 2019


A share from 2018 Graduate Dr. Neesa Ginger Mills:

Another educational journey has come to a close and a new beginning opened yesterday with this beautiful graduation ceremony in the Maui sunshine rich with Aloha spirit. What an incredible honor it has been to be immersed in learning with this amazing group of waking women.

I am now an official teacher of Intentional Creativity, a lineage of women artists who are committed to using the tools of creativity to support gentle and real transformation, connection to self and nature, and community building that returns us to our original nature as creative beings woven into a fabric that honors the unique piece of the life thread we each carry.

These tools are deeply self-nourishing with an eye for cultivating the radiance and wholeness in all beings. With the “shit” getting real out there in the world, I see these ways of creative expression as critical for me to stay afloat and to hold others along the rocky path of modern living.

I’ve spent the last few years mostly inward. I am now ready to reemerge as the magical practitioner and teacher that I am, holding a strong space of joy inside to inspire and support with my overflowing medicine basket of witchy goodies.

A deep bow and gratitude to the entire Color of Woman team and our recent graduates.


 

Graduation Ceremony at Palace of the Palms.

Thank you to Guild member Elizabeth Gibbons for opening your home to us!

Thank you to Jonathan for filming the video.

We also want to thank these Guild members for their onsite support: Amber Bonnici, Dominique Peters, Shelley Duarte, Semerit Strachan, Mary MacDonald, Jassy Watson, Tina Greene, Ellison James and Trish O’Malley.

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