Blank Canvas CAPE-ers

This is day number 6 of the Blank Canvas Blog Hop.

If your visiting us for the first time Gratitude and I want to welcome you and invite you join us for a little frolic through our creative process and how we like to approach the sometimes intimidating blank canvas. We like to think of this as our blank canvas CAPE-er. Why? Cause it feels less serious, more playful and fun. And we are all about incorporating more fun into our life, especially our creative life.

And I will let you in on a little secret; give you a little peek into how my crazy creative brain works. I was out walking the other day…thinking about this upcoming blog hop…having a private conversation with my good friend and muse Gratitude, when we got the hair brained idea to make a creativity cape. In my imagination I saw this cape as kind of cross between a super heroine’s cape and a wizard-magician cape…colorful, fun, with inspirational messages liberally splattered all over it.  Stay tuned for this capes debut in a future video.

Then as I was contemplating what this wonderfully wild and creative cape might look like I started to see the word CAPE as an nifty little anachronym which could help me to talk about my own creative process in a simplified way.

Letter Cis for Consulting and Collaborating with my muse.

Sometimes we write long letters to each other. Other times we just go for a walk and have a little chat. I think it helps to actually get intimately acquainted with each other. What does your muse look like? What quirks does she have? What are her favorite pastimes? Your muse might not be a she. My first “muse” was Jewelietta. She and I never really fully synched up. That happens. Today Jewelietta mostly sits quietly on the shelf looking over my shoulder.  She’s cute as a button, but she doesn’t have much to say.  Then Gratitude came along. She quickly became an important ally in my creative process. She has lots to say.  Over time we’ve gotten to know each other inside and out.  So don’t get discouraged if you don’t click right away…keep your door open and your welcome mat out and your muse will find you.

Letter Ais for Appreciating and Allowing my process.

This includes knowing when to step away…when to give myself space. It means to stay open and not too attached and rigid about it having to look a certain way. It means being willing to shift in an entirely new direction. It means looking at a so-called “mistake” or miss step as simply an opportunity for something unexpected and precious to emerge. And its knowing that most of my creative endeavors will not make my A list. That’s not really the point..that’s just the cream and a steady diet of cream would be boring and isn’t good for anyone. The point is to find joy and love in the process. Ironically this is when some my best most creative work happens…when I’m not weighing myself down with heavy handed high expectations.  It’s about remaining mindful that it is more about the creative journey than it is about the end result.

Letter Pis for protecting my early efforts from unnecessary criticism

Giving my barely formed ideas a chance to take hold before they are squashed by the more pragmatic and less fanciful mind. It means surrounding myself with encouraging and supportive friends that understand that our creativity can all too easily be trampled on. This especially includes protecting my efforts from my own sometimes very vocal inner critic. Often times a job reassignment is in order for my inner critic.  P is also for play. Play with abandon, be adventurous, experiment, ….keep it fun and channel my inner kid. The sign on my creative clubhouse says kids welcome…no critics allowed.

Letter E is for engaging the heart and trusting myself.

Not over thinking my process. Not talking myself out of trying something off the wall or risky. But rather feeling into it and trusting my intuition. It’s saying YES when the spirit moves me.

Now one last thing…

Saving the best for last of course. Leave a comment below and/or sign up for Gratitude’s uplifting and inspiring eLetter to be entered for a chance to win your very own one of a kind custom-made, artist’s “CAPE-er” carryall tote containing a hand-bound art journal and other goodies to inspire your creative escapades.

Creating this was definitely a labor or love and joy. Going to have to make myself another one.  This is what it looked like when I started. A “plain jane” blank canvas carry-all tote.


And then I added some acrylic paint in simple happy splashes of color letting the colors blend into to each other.  No hard edges …just a vibrant “watercolor” effect as my first layer background.


Side one: Have you hugged your dream today with Gratitude giving herself a big selfy hug.  The two quirky birds singing their happy song came later. I wasn’t sure if this was finished at first…so I stepped away and came back to it with a fresh set of eyes the next morning.  Asked myself the question, “I wonder what it would be like to paint a bird with hiking boots?”….that thought kind of made me me giggle.  It felt inspired so I went with it.


quirky birds








I decided each side would have an inspiring message so I narrowed that down to What?  Rules?  Toss ’em out I say.  In the creative process rules are overrated and made for breaking. If you must have them make your own.

What Rules

Creatively Inspired- I just let my imagination take the lead here.  Had fun embellishing with fanciful doodles and dangles.

creatively inspired

And finally in honor of The Blank Canvas Blog Hop ….  Blank Canvas SuperStar! ‘Cause we all have an inner SuperStar who waiting and eager to make their unique mark in the world. Make a splash. Shine brightly.

Blank Canvas Superstar

And here’s a peak at the whole bundle of inspiration which includes the carry all tote, a coordinating hand bound art journal with 140lb watercolor pager, and a peak at one of three handy implement rolls…good for pen, markers, brushes.  So take a minute to leave a comment and/or sign up for Gratitude’s eLetter. You might be the lucky winner of this package and find out what other inspirational surprises are included.


inspiration caper bundle

Thank you for stopping by.  Here’s wishing you many happy blank canvas CAPE-ers.


And check out my artist friends fascinating and inspiring posts and learn how you could possibly win other fun stuff. Here’s the line up:

Sept 8 ….. Karen Friedland 
Sept 9 ….. Lezette Markham
Sept 10 ... Cynthia Patton
Sept 11Jennyann Carthern
Sept 12 … Friday Frenzy: Tori Deaux    Karen Friedland  Kiala Givehand  
Sept 13 … Jan Blount
Sept 14Effy Wild
Sept 15 Virginia Simpson-McGruder
Sept 16Dariana Cruz
Sept 17 Susan Miller
Sept 18Grace Howes
Sept 19Tori Deaux
Sept 20Kiala Givehand
Sept 21Martin Arkenstone
Sept 22Nicole Piar

If you missed any of these artist posts be sure and go back and check them out and enter their giveaway for a chance to win cool stuff.  The winners will be announced at the end of the hop. You could bookmark this page and remember to return each day for the new link ….or even better sign up here to easily participate in the blog hop and get a convenient reminder message with a link to the next artist’s article.  Then continue to stay in touch, receive uplifting and inspiring notes from Gratitude, timely updates, and eLetter only special treats.

43 thoughts on “Blank Canvas CAPE-ers

  1. Thank you so much for the shout out Cynthia. Gratitude and I both appreciate it.

  2. As always, I find your imagination so rich and fun, Jan. Gratitude is the best muse ever! (and I like the idea of her taking time out for scrabble along with all of her other CAPEers.) Thanks for sharing her with me…

  3. Jan I just adore this post. First of all, I’m an avid (and pretty good) Scrabble player — maybe we will play together one day. Secondly, I have 6 of those canvas totes in my closet waiting for me to paint them, so thank you for the inspiration (and the reminder that I have them). I will share a pic or two when I’m done painting one of them. Maybe I’ll make two and give one away. Your work is so inspiring and I’m delighted we are hopping along together this month. Great post!!! Thank you.

  4. Glad you enjoyed it Marilyn. Thanks for stopping by. We had a little “oops!”…Okay a rather big oops!” ….I forgot to add the list of the line of my other artists friends with the links to their posts at the end of this article. I had it in another post where I announced the Blog Hop, but probably most people wouldn’t notice that. Sheesh! Live and learn right? Anyway they are here now. I hope you have a chance to check them out ….it’s been really fascinating and inspiring.

  5. That tote is the cutest thing ever.

  6. Thanks Virginia …glad you like it. I’m going to have to make one for myself now or so it will be easier to part with this one. LOL

  7. Six Kiala? Too funny. Sounds like me. I have lots of projects like that waiting in the wings. Can’t wait to see your version…please do share a picture. I am so glad this article inspired you to pull them out of the closet. In fact, that is a great idea…I will make a page to display pics of everyone’s version of this tote who wants to share. Got the canvas tote from Harbor Freight in case anyone else wants to play along. We can have a blank canvas CAPE-er carry-all tote parade. And YES!!! One of these days we will get together…play scrabble and have some other creative fun times. Thanks for stopping by today.

  8. Jan,
    Love the post and I love the tote even more!! My daughter would just LOVE that. She’s the artist in the family. Maybe I can get Kiala to make one for her using one of those 6 blank totes! Lol

  9. Thank you for this insight into your creative process (so cool reading about how everyone approaches it). Love the use of the CAPE acronym and cannot wait for it’s reveal.

    Btw….. I. Love. That. Tote! How cool would that be to ‘tote’ supplies around. I am all about bright and vibrant and yummy colour and you nailed it!!!!

  10. I love the way you talk about your muse, Jan! And all the other parts of CAPE- allowing, protecting engaging-lovely! Plus your giveaway is beautiful! The winner will be one lucky person! xo Karen

  11. Jan~
    Your work is delightful and I love how you went with your intuition to create your giveaway. Gratitude is looking better than ever and I enjoy hearing about all of your creative CAPErs!
    Blissings my friend. Congratulations on taking the blog-hop challenge.

  12. Love the CAPErs! What a great idea! The canvas totes are awesome! You and Jan make a great team, Gratitude!
    Cordially, Colleen

  13. Martin Arkenstone says:

    Woouhh this is powerful stuff what you are saying here: CAPE! Its so rich that I will come back and read it again. Thanks for sharing, My favorite so far.

  14. Lucy Schmidt says:

    What a great looking, very functional sounding bag. And it’s got Gratitude’s colors galore! I love the way the colors meld. I think I’d have to start out on plain canvas and THEN transform it into a bag. Very nicely done!

  15. Love the fun bag you created. Thanks for the chance to win such
    a great prize.

  16. Dawn King says:

    Birds in hiking boots! Cutest things ever…. I love having a bag to throw some “soul comfort” items in (learned to do that in a Brave Girls e-class I took). I think I need to find one I can play with and see what comes of it. If it’s half as cute as yours I’d be happy!

  17. I love the use of CAPE. My CAPE would be purple and turquoise. Thank you for sharing your process with me. My favorite part of your process is P. Your prize looks amazing…..someone’s going to be very lucky. =)

  18. Hi Jan,

    This post enlivened me. Thanks for sharing your captivating CAPE creative process. The colorful and whimsical carry-all tote you painted is fabulous!

    I look forward to receiving your next newsletter.

  19. Thanks Cynthia…glad you enjoyed it. I’m curious…would your daughter possibly enjoy making her own? I imagine it would be delightful. It’s not really hard to do and was lots of fun. How old is she? I am sure we could arrange to send you a unpainted one. Of course if Kiala does make one for her I’d love to see it.

  20. Oh I am so glad it spoke to you Grace. I’m looking forward to reading yours in a couple of days.

  21. Thanks Karen…Gratitude has been continuing to chat with me (a lot) about the possibility of a creativity caper program. We have actually been playing around with various ideas and looking at what this program might entail. We’d love to hear what people think of this idea..and any ideas they might have?

  22. NanLeah I’m so grateful you have been such an important part of our journey…including this leg of our journey.

  23. Thanks “Ageless, Crazy beautiful” Colleen, Jan and I have love capering with you as well. Hugs and love from, Gratitude

  24. Wow Martin…this really is a boost to my confidence. I really appreciate your feedback and feel quite humble by your sweet comments. I’m thrilled that it resonated so strongly for you.

  25. Lucy I’d love to see what you come up with. Thank you for your lovely comment.

  26. Good Luck Carol. Thanks for stopping by and for your lovely comment.

  27. Please share a pic Dawn if you do play with creating one. I am sure it will be every bit as adorable. If you have a Harbor Freight near you they may have them…that’s where I got mine. You could even use a more traditional tool carry-all bag, which are available at almost any home improvement…building cneter. Those may be darker colored and made of nylon or some other synthetic material. In which case, I would start by giving the bag a good coat of white gesso as the background base. Would be a little more involved but would still be doable. OH and since Gratitude loves her hiking boots she said the quirky birds needed to have hiking boots too. LOL

  28. Perfect Lezette…I can see your cape in my imagination. Seems like it would have quite a cosmic and expansive vibe. Thank you so much for your encouraging words.

  29. Brigitte, thanks for stopping by and for your lovely comments. So happy to have you join us in our journeys and creative capers.

  30. I have been wanting to get one of the totes, but was really intimidated about decorating it. Thanks so much for the inspiration!!

  31. What an adorable tote bag. It’s just what I need to carry my supplies around when I go off to paint and journal in the countryside where I live (Spain). I love that you talk to your muse, and that she listens and is good to you. I need to find myself a muse like that! Thanks so much for sharing.

  32. CLAUDIA NELSON says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Darlene Campbell says:

    Hi, happy to have found you through the Blank Canvas blog hop. The bag is beautiful and such a creative and generous giveaway…that I would be grateful to win. I’ve signed up for your e letter and will visit your blog again. Thanks so much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *