Inside Musette Atelier in Sonoma

The following article was written by Kerry Lee, The Alchemical Artist. Kerry Lee is a 2013 Color of Woman Certification graduate who has been working as an Intentional Creativity Coach for several years. Recently, she participated in Musea’s Artist in Residence program where she supported students and staff at both of Musea’s physical sites in Sonoma, Musea Museum and Musette Atleir, while also making time to work on her personal art. The following is the story of her experience as Musea’s first Artist in Residence.

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Sometimes life and the universe allow us to be in good fortune for a long time until everything aligns. In my case I have the good fortune of living close to Shiloh Sophia and Jonathan McCloud, Founders of Musea, a community of creatives based in Intentional Creativity® who working together to make this world what we hope it can be. I live so close that I can hop in the car and be with them in less than an hour. 

I’ve been physically close since 2013, when I completed Shiloh’s nine month Color of Woman Intentional Creativity Teacher Training. After the training I needed to be on my own a purpose driven mission of self discovery to find out what kind of this art that makes a difference is mine to create. My “piece of the red thread”. I chose to forge my own path, leaving my corporate career in 2015 and going on to create corporate team building events focused on creating innovation through introspection, professional development sessions with school teachers and administrators who then took the resilience building Intentional Creativity projects to the classrooms. The journey led me to private coaching and public workshops often focused on breaking through creative blocks while gaining clarity and confidence and even officiating weddings with an Intentional Creativity approach. My medicine basket on Intentional Creativity antidotes continues to expand. 

The journey of my red thread even led me to creating a series of interactive experiential murals over several years. The murals were inspired by Shiloh and her mural The Intention Tree at the Wisdom 2.0 Conference which asked “What are you here to cause and create?”  With that one question and witnessing the attendees as they often hesitated, sometimes paused, to teary and then proudly claimed their truths before our eyes. With one question I witnessed significant transformations again and again. I was so inspired I ran with the concept and expanded on it and painted from California, USA to New Zealand. 

Today my focus is with “Create with Kerry Lee” weekly online open studio sessions which is a gift to my Patreon community (join us!), managing my online Art Gallery & Gift Shop and creating “Love is Eternal” personalized tribute paintings to honor life’s passages and milestones such as wedding love stories and memorial keepsake paintings to honor loved ones who have passed. 

Recently the path has led me back to Shiloh and Jonathan with the opening of Musette Atelier, the beautiful new storefront gallery located in the heart of the wine country in Sonoma, CA. After having to evacuate from California wildfires thirteen times in two years they recently made the difficult decision to move from their forest setting home back to safer Sonoma. They needed time to unpack and get caught up with other projects. The opportunity lined up perfectly for me to come spend five days gallery tending and being a guest resident artist at Musette to give them that precious gift of time. 

To add to the fun adventure and avoid a heavily trafficked commute,  I was able to stay in the guest room at Musea, the Intentional Creativity School and Museum. The experience was fun, inspiring, grounding, healing and expansive. I’d like to share the highlights with you. 

Sonoma County is the birthplace of California’s wine industry, located 45 minutes north of San Francisco, nestled in between two mountains with a rolling patchwork of vineyards, quaint farms and scenic views at every turn. Musette Atelier is located in the town of Sonoma at a historic national landmark mission and town plaza, where Shiloh remembers a view from her childhood home.

Gallery tending at Musette was like magic. The beauty, color and energy of the paintings invited curious locals and visitors from across the globe to walk over the threshold to enter with that look of “Where am I?” 

As I explained that we are a global community of artists and artist educators from over 70 countries, that our paintings are about weaving love, storytelling, symbolism and often healing into image, mouths often dropped open. Those who got it, got it. And beautiful, thoughtful, connected conversations ensued. After mostly sheltering at home the past two years the face to face connection felt great!

On the sidewalk was an invitation for those walking past to come in and add a wish or a prayer to our collective community painting. This gesture opened the door for moments of contemplation, connection and conversation while visitors relaxed on the sofa, being witnessed and feeling they were a part of something bigger. I was surprised, and not surprised, when eyes welled with tears from those who were so grateful to have found this moment in place and time. 

In moments of quiet times I wrote “red thread” art cards that get sent as a welcome to those taking Musea’s online classes. I loved that I was sitting at a history laden rock solid table of beauty created by Intentional Creativity matriarch Sue Hoya Sellers  and Shiloh Sophia, as explained in Shiloh’s book “The Feast Table of Love”. Sue used to say we are all made of  stardust and I felt like some of Sue and Shiloh’s stardust was going on each red thread ready to be mailed to the Intentional Creativity community. 

My five days went fast. One morning I got to be a metaphoric fly on the wall in Musette as Shiloh and Jonathan filmed one of their insightful and fun conversations for their year long Prisma class. 

I had leisurely mornings at Musea, the school where Intentional Creativity is taught and practiced in person and home to a very special museum filled with artwork and history of the lineage of the ancestors and lineage of Intentional Creativity. One of the things I enjoyed the most at Musea was taking my time to savor a collection of Shiloh’s works on paper, some dating back to her 20s when she was taught by Sue, and seeing her style and thought develop over the years. 

Jonathan worked in his kitchen setting up his apothecary of herbs and spices for the teas, potpourri and edible delights he will be creating and stocking on Musette’s shelves. 

Out and about in Sonoma I went to the local famer’s market and soaked in the farm fresh produce, flowers, and hand crafted delicacies. 

Synchronicity came into play when I recognized local and sister Intentional Creativity Teacher Jeannine Luke on the street. We had met years earlier and always wanted some hang out time so she invited me over for a sweet dinner as we kept finding so many things in common. Great fun! 

I invite you to come for a class at the Museum or Musette Atelier where you could also enjoy visiting the beautiful Sonoma Valley where undoubtedly you too will discover all kinds of magic!