The Soul of Fine Art: Delve into: art, passion, writing, dharma, zen, character, consciousness, culture, intuition, evolution, and the spirit we call soul.

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Thursday May 31, 2018

Now you know, too

Sous Chef

From my book, An Artist Empowered:

“In 1969, Steps, a novel, by Jerzy Kosinski, won the National Book Award. Six years later a freelance writer named Chuck Ross, to test the old theory that a novel by an unknown writer doesn’t have a chance, typed the first twenty-one pages of Steps and sent them out to four publishers as the work of ‘Erik Demos’. All four rejected the manuscript. Two years after that he typed out the whole book and sent it, again credited to Erik Demos, to more publishers, including the original publisher of the Kosinski book, Random House. Again, all rejected it with unhelpful comments—Random House used a form letter. Altogether, fourteen publishers (and thirteen literary agents) failed to recognize a book that had already been published and had won an important prize.”

—from Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews & Rejections

Sunday Mar 25, 2018

Man with Dog Novella Redux

man with dog book cover
The Man with the Dog

My new novella The Man with the Dog is available on Amazon as an ebook for your Kindle or iPad. For yourself, and makes a great gift.

“Our escapades take us from the East Coast, California, Hollywood, San Francisco, and a trip to Europe, including Dublin, and to that other magical isle of Mykonos. Throughout the novella, we meet a lively cast of characters, including many who are well-known. What did Axel and Marlon Brando discuss regarding their movie deal? What unforgettable lesson did the great Zen master painter teach Axel?

“Will our hero persevere in his quest for meaning or be trapped by powerful seductions—from sexy women to untold riches, and the high life in the Hollywood Hills? You will want to know how Axel and his story comes to a finis. Have fun while learning a thing or two—especially about art, artists, and mentors. I did.”

Friday May 05, 2017

Heed your Intuition

artist empowered book cover
An Artist Empowered

From my groundbreaking book: An Artist Empowered:

If you went to the art mecca of New York City to make your mark as an artist, you would find, in time, that many would offer you advice on how to proceed, or that it was impossible to succeed in this market.

Do not take anyone’s word as gospel—because, in truth, the path toward recognition is always unique and unknown. otherwise, everyone would already know the route, and that wouldn’t be so bad.

Tuesday Aug 30, 2016

Why I Write


Why I Write

When my novella, The Man with the Dog, was chosen as a finalist in a writing contest, I was asked ‘Why I Write.”

Why do I write? That depends on the subject and intention at hand.

When I was in kindergarten, I never even played with crayons, yet I became a painter after a great Zen master unleashed the artist within. When it came to grammar, I somehow coasted through high school. As a college freshman, a professor had given the class a short story assignment. I dreaded getting the grade. But, to my surprise, I got an A for content and F for grammar. I had never seen beyond a C+ on an English paper. This insightful encouragement for what I had to say opened my eyes. In an instant grammar for the first time began to make sense. Years later, I became a writer. There seems to be a pattern here.

In my thirties, when I was in the public relations and magazine business, I wrote to influence and entertain. The writing could be challenging, but I was a gun for hire; such work for me was not from passion.

Later in my forties, when I wrote my bestselling The Magnificent Book of Kites (inspired by Bucky Fuller), I had an audience in mind, as the book was instructional with essays for the hobbyist. (Note: Literary agents and kiting experts informed me with sincerity that no mainstream publisher would be interested; my book was on a NYC publisher’s backlist for over twenty years.)

Then in my fifties, An Artist Empowered, a ten-year long writing project tested me in ways that I could not have predicted, especially about being clear. My motivation was to remember my dharma road experiences and the hard-earned lessons from my mentor, a great Zen master artist. I also wrote this book to help other artists (of any persuasion and form) assess their value now and how to persevere. The art life is not for the meek. (Note: I had an agent and a publisher for this title, but they were intent on editing out the theme. I had to let them go, which turned out to be the best route for keeping true to my vision and words.)

My novella, The Man with the Dog, grew into a companion piece to An Artist Empowered. The novella written in my sixties is a roman à clef backdrop on how I came to learn those invaluable lessons on my thirty-year odyssey to the wellspring of art. The form of these books amazed me with structures that dovetailed beautifully, as in the art of Japanese wood joinery.

I’m now working on a novel (inspired from An Artist Empowered) that has been percolating for nearly a decade. The setting takes place in an alternate universe. I’m writing to: surprise myself, challenge myself, create an organic reality inhabited with memorable characters, and to explore topics that interest me—from quantum physics, ecology, to politics. Although I’m writing to satisfy myself, not thinking of an audience, fellow travelers are welcome.






Saturday Jul 09, 2016

The Man with the Dog Novella

man with dog book cover

My novella The Man with the Dog was chosen as one of twenty five finalists in the 1888 Summer writing project.

Here is a brief interview of myself speaking about the book, writing, and art. Please click here.

You can also read the novella here.