An Artist’s Invocation – Skinny Artist

An Artist’s Invocation

New Zealand Coast 2010

I have always loved invocations like this because they remind us of the mysterious and quite possibly magical creative process that inspires all artists regardless of their craft.  I forget how many times I have read this particular piece by the late great Irish poet John O’Donohue, but I do know that each time I revisit it, I discover something new hiding beneath its words.  It is my hope that these words will inspire and help guide you along the path of your own creative journey….

For the Artist at the Start of the Day

May morning be astir with the harvest of night;
Your mind quickening to the eros of a new question,
Your eyes seduced by some unintended glimpse
That cut right through the surface to a source.

May this be a morning of innocent beginning,
When the gift within you slips clear
Of the sticky web of the personal
With its hurt and its hauntings,
And fixed fortress corners,

A Morning when you become a pure vessel
For what wants to ascend from silence,

May your imagination know
The grace of perfect danger,

To reach beyond imitation,
And the wheel of repetition,

Deep into the call of all
The unfinished and unsolved

Until the veil of the unknown yields
And something original begins
To stir toward your senses
And grow stronger in your heart

In order to come to birth
In a clean line of form,
That claims from time
A rhythm not yet heard,
That calls space to
A different shape.

May it be its own force field
And dwell uniquely
Between the heart and the light

To surprise the hungry eye
By how deftly it fits
About its secret loss.

~ John O’Donohue


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About the Author

Drew is a writer, teacher, and head custodian of the Skinny Artist creative community. You can also find him online at where he writes about fitness, nutrition, and his continuing battle with father time.

How perfectly beautiful…printing this off as my new studio mantra. Thank you :-)


    Thanks Jo-Ann! It really does have a bit of magic to it doesn’t it :D

You are very welcome Drew!


I came across this page looking for dialogue around the last line and it’s possible interpretations
To surprise the hungry eye
By how deftly it fits
About its secret loss.
I too read this piece often.
Thanks for putting these words further forward

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