Welcome to my blog series "Room to Bloom"! Some amazing women from around the world will be sharing their personal creative spaces with us. No matter if our space is desk in a corner of our kitchen or a spacious loft studio, we all need room to bloom, don't you think? I know you'll find these sanctuaries as inspiring as I do.
Today's guest is Shiloh Sophia McCloud. Shiloh is very special to me. It was through her six month online painting and writing mentorship, called "Leading a Legendary Life", that I first put a paint loaded brush to canvas. I will never forget that class....I will never forget her. I know you will enjoy these glimpses into her home studio....from it come iconic images of beauty, reverence and symbolism that inspire women all over the world to claim their own "room to bloom".
Let's settle in for some tea with Shiloh...
It’s Teatime in the "Red Thread Cafe Studio" with Shiloh Sophia
Teatime at the "Red Thread Cafe Studio" happens first thing in the morning, when I am still in my nightgown and slippers. I am inviting you to join me right now. Even if you are still in your pajamas, come on over. I have the butter and jam and the yummiest tea this side of China.
I know it is early and there are so many other things to do --- but art is so much more important than we even know. We deserve to create. Come now, when the paintbrushes are ready to sing their morning jig. “Pick me, pick me" calls the paint. I am sorry, I won’t be cleaning up first. Hope you don’t mind.
The studio is still recovering from painting my last show and there is one thing you need to know about having a studio…don’t clean it up before you begin creating. That is a no-no. Unless it is part of your creative process of course.
When you get here the candles will be lit and lively music will be playing, though the mood is sweet and quiet at the same time. My studio is in my dining room. I had a whole room to myself, which I loved. But somehow I wasn’t creating in there…so I moved to the dining room and it stays set up all the time.
I paint in a tiny corner off the kitchen and don’t take up much room. Not much is needed, you just have to claim it. And while making chicken and mashed potatoes, I have been known to stop and add a few strokes here and there since it is right there. The hardest part is to get back to the dinner. If you add wine to the occasion you might find yourself telling your family to
serve themselves, dinner is in the oven.
Do you have a space set up? Maybe the humbleness of mine will inspire you! It is rich with color and icon and light, but humble in that everyone walks through it and that we eat dinner amongst the paint tubes. Rather romantic don’t you think?
You will see there are little altars everywhere to inspire me and hold the energy. I love to paint Madonnas and weave red thread, sequins, glitter and love together onto my creations. Yes when I paint, I often listen to chanting like on the Hildegard or Wailin’ Jenny’s or Buena Vista Social club stations (on Pandora) – it just depends on my mood. Most of all I make an effort not to think about anything else when I first approach my studio each morning.
Are you ready for some of that tea now? I have the brushes and glitter. Bring your ideas…oh yes, and you will meet Santiago the black gato who rides on my shoulders while I paint…
One day I should like to have a grand studio – not very different than so many other artists I have heard. Yes, on the beach with white sand at my doorstep. A whole side of the building opens up to the sea…light everywhere and lots of plants. Many easels with projects going. A bead station, glitter station, writing desk, sewing table, and collage table as well --- so I can just go where I am drawn. A warm breeze blows through, and then after my morning tea, I take a dip in the ocean and let the silky fish who nibble my toes inspire my next work of art. And if you decided to come for tea on that day…can you bring the pina colada mix in case we paint late into the afternoon…
Shiloh Sophia is a visionary artist and teacher living in the vineyard lined hills of Northern California. Her work is dedicated to providing images of beauty and inspiration that invite us to see what is possible for our lives. Her paintings and drawings present a moment of peace, of power, of possibility and encourage us towards our own dreams.
Owning galleries and painting has been her full time gig for over fifteen years. She founded a school for women and girls called Cosmic Cowgirls University, which is also a woman owned company, and creative community. Shiloh coaches artists and visionaries and has a certification program teaching artists and practitioners to teach the Color of Woman - Intentional Creativity Method.
She and the CCU staff teach courses on topics including painting as a path of transformation, Red Thread circle leadership courses and visionary business from a feminine perspective. Shiloh is ongoingly creating journals and books - at least three at a time – and you can find her creativity journals at many independent bookstores in the US. You will find her almost every morning painting in her nightgown while she sips tea in her red thread café studio with her rascaly black kitty Santiago.
Cosmic Cowgirls University
“Each painting is a prayer. An icon of Love. An altar of hope.”
– Shiloh Sophia