Exploration through intentional creativity is key to healing the self

Annette Wagner – WNN GlobalARTS

Artist Annette Wagner painting Chrysalis
The artist’s process can clearly be seen in this painting called “Chrysalis” by Annette Wagner

(WNN) Healdsburg, California, UNITED STATES, AMERICAS: I love the way the road wanders through the Anderson Valley in northern California which is often shrouded in mist and moss-draped oaks. Every time I make my way through the valley, my artist eye leaps at each glimmer of beauty and my hands itch to pull the car over  to the side of the road to draw and  savor those oaks. But I pass them by because I am on a pilgrimage to Terra Sophia.

A trip to Terra Sophia is a journey to a land where the soil is rife with intention. It is a place where the seeds of our heart’s desire find sanctuary and fertile ground and burst forth into being-ness. This is the birthplace of the Intentional Creativity movement.

Terra Sophia is the home of Sue Hoya Sellars, American Master painter and teacher. She is a wiry, robust 77 year old who lives out in what we call the ‘boonies’ on 20 acres of glorious land. She is not for the faint of heart.

I find the turnoff from the two lane highway onto the dirt road and navigate my way through the dust, ruts, and twists to her land. I drive up the overgrown road, past the trail to her studio and the well with its solar panels, and down the other side. I am usually required to park at the top of the hill and walk down. A fitting approach to a master teacher.

As I close my car door, the silence of bird calls and gentle wind through the trees grounds my feet into the soil. This is sacred land and it caresses my heart like a lover. The way down the road includes even deeper ruts, steep turns, and utter serenity as I prepare myself to meet my teacher.

I walk past the platform where the huge ravens come in to nibble on offerings, the tall bay laurels, and come up to the small building Sue lives in. All around me as I walk are little reminders that an artist lives here. Small ceramic faces peek out of the grass or hang on the side of a wall. A bone is placed just so on top a piece of wood.

This is where Shiloh Sophia McCloud, the founder of the Intentional Creativity movement came when as a young woman she lost her way and needed guidance. Shiloh went back to her roots searching and hoping for something to guide her. She discovered the red threads of her work in the red clay of the soil and paint moving on the canvas.

What is intentional creativity?

In the words of Shiloh Sophia, Intentional Creativity is, “a movement moving through our world right now with a vision of healing. A movement where the individual and their story can be transformed from the inside out – not from an outside source or external medicine/healer. This transformation happens by the choice of the one telling the story in the first place. The one who is at cause for changing it in a way that works for the creation of their lives. Through choosing to create with intention, we become empowered to be the author of our future.”

For those of us who teach in the movement, the work is about healing. We use the Color of Woman methods to engage women with their own stories. We create Red Thread circles to hold space, use the methods of visualization and active imagination, paint and write with image, symbol, word and poetry to engage both the cognitive and intuitive sides of our brains.

The intention is to shift women into a deeper connection with themselves – a place where they hear messages and receive gifts. Where they visit the Muse and make new connections to their heart’s desire. The resulting paintings arise from deep inside each woman’s story and are often not at all what the woman expected to paint – but exactly what she needed.

Why do we do this work?

Every painting we create begins with a statement of intention literally written directly onto our canvas. Putting our intention into the painting turns it into a portal of change; every intention is spoken aloud sending its vibrations out into the world. The content is filled layers of meanings and colors and almost always an image of the feminine, what we call the ‘Divine Feminine’.

We do this work to heal women and children, but it goes beyond that. Every woman who leaves a workshop, leaves with the tools she needs to bring healing to herself. Once the connections between right and left brain, heart, and intention are made, what comes through changes the person creating it. This is key.

Western culture abhors change and needlessly turns away from it which leaves most of us with no idea how to fundamentally change our lives when they are not working. If you had tools that led you through transformation in a way that brought you healing, joy, and wonder, would you use them? The answer we‘ve seen is YES! Handing a woman these tools enables her to own the kind of change she wants in her life in a healthy, loving way.


Annette Wagner is a visionary artist and intentional creativity teacher who has a background that includes over 25 years of hi-tech experience including 21 patents. As a certified instructor of the Color of Woman Method in art instruction Wagner is also a student of American Master painter Sue Hoya Sellars. “…paintings are images of metamorphosis that bring forward the symbology of change as a way for the viewer to participate and articulate this in their own life..” says Wagner. She paints in the Contemporary Symbolism style and works extensively with metaphor and color.