New Adventures in Painting and Learning


Stella Muse,  acrylic on canvas, Cat Charissage (c) 2015

Hello dear friends,

I’m immersed in a couple of new, big (BIG!!) projects that have taken so much of my attention.  For a couple of years now, I’ve been painting using the method of Intentional Creativity as taught by Shiloh Sophia McCloud.  The instruction has been through her demonstrating how to prepare for and then how to execute a painting based on a particular theme.  I’ve been so impressed by how the whole process has helped me to access my inner symbolism and then to get it out onto the canvas to reflect back to me whatever wisdom my inner life is interested in at the moment.  Also, and of no little importance, when I’m engaged in the whole process, my pain level decreases to the point of not even being there — and that’s a miracle in my books!

The painting has given me another language in which to express some of what I’ve pondered throughout my life.  I’ve always read voraciously, most of it in the wisdom traditions of the world.  I’ve had the opportunity to both teach and to work individually with my beloveds (as I call the people I work with), but have wanted to write more about these things.  Lots of times words don’t come easily, oftentimes because I don’t want to unnecessarily challenge or offend some of my friends who may articulate their beliefs differently.  (I know, the coward’s way of “not” writing —– but also a woman’s way of wanting to include rather than to define prematurely and thereby exclude.)

And then I found this kind of painting, and I’m off!  So this year I enrolled in Shiloh’s in-depth training called Color of Woman, which is a 9 month vision quest wherein she teaches about 40 women how to teach in her style of Intentional Creativity.  This style or method includes coming to the canvas with an intention, it includes visioning and meditation, and it demands that we be willing to be surprised by what we end up wanting to express onto the canvas. The training can be done all online (which is the option I’ve chosen), though there are several 4-day weekend gatherings that the participants can attend in-person or online through Livestreaming.  There are at least 5 major paintings to create (Stella Muse, above, is the one expressing our Muse archetype), accompanied by extensive writings, some business coaching, and mentoring in conducting both short and weekend-long workshops.

The training started on April 1st, and it’s been a roller-coaster ride already — but a ride I’m excited to be on!  No motion sickness, just the wildness!

I’ll save telling you about my other adventures for another day.

I’m drowning in assignments that in total ask for about 20 hours per week.  Well, I could get by with less time devoted to it, but I’m determined to mine these treasures for all that they have to offer.  I’m also remembering just how blessed I am to be able to do this, and I’m loving every minute of it.  I’ll be sure to share!

With love,


7 thoughts on “New Adventures in Painting and Learning

  1. Nadya

    What a journey we are on, Cat!
    Like you, once introduced to intentional creativity (via an In-person class a local teacher) I was off and running as well!
    I am so glad the painting eases your pain, as well as feeding your Spïrit!

  2. Carol

    this is wonderful, Cat…each one of your paintings speak louder than words, and I feel blessed to know you!

  3. Karina Witbeck

    I’m so happy that you are enjoying yourself and have found a way to ease your pain. No wonder you dedicate 20 hours a week. I love the paintings that come out of you. Keep sharing!!


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