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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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.

Saturday May 28, 2016

Tip Ten: Floral Arrangement

From my Ten Tips for Building Self-Confidence

Copyright © 2011 by Eden Maxwell


While self-confidence takes time to blossom, you can still demonstrate laudable qualities on your journey, even if you’re harboring insecurity; no special training is required for respectfulness, compassion, loyalty, and integrity. Knowing that character answers all questions has great liberating power.

No one, including yourself, will deter you from your mission. Dedication to your dharma will eventually flower into fulfillment and self-confidence.

Thursday Apr 14, 2016

mystery of synchronicity


Swiss Army Knife

The mystery of synchronicity …

Psychiatrist Carl Jung coined the word synchronicity to describe events of meaningful coincidence with no apparent causal relationship.

When I was traveling through Europe in 1981, I lost my Swiss Army Knife.

Fast forward to 2015: One morning, I opened the door to my studio, and there on the ground, I find the same model Swiss Army Knife that I had lost all those years ago. The knife had seen much bad road.

I asked around, including the UPS and FedEx drivers if they lost such a knife. No lost knife from them.

I can’t explain how or why this knife ‘returned’ to me any better than Jung’s concept of synchronicity.

Wednesday Mar 30, 2016

Tip Nine: Independence Day Redux

From my Ten Tips for Building Self-Confidence

Copyright © 2011 by Eden Maxwell


You think and feel for your own self. Committed to firsthand experience, you establish the merit of things. You don’t relinquish your perception or power to experts. You don’t rely on reviews, critics, and other secondhand sources to decide for you.

Despite the unrelenting gravity that society exerts in controlling the rigid flow of the mainstream, you choose autonomy—not mindless dogma.

Independence without considered discernment is a flaw.