“As transpersonal psychotherapist and artist, my work is about TRANSFORMATION” – Jaimie Cahlil
Born here in Oxford, my childhood home was in a village 20 miles to the south east of the city. I grew up drawing and painting. My creative capacity and passion were recognised, encouraged and supported by my father – a published writer, who wished to illustrate his books, so trained in fine art at The Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, then affliliated with Oxford University (and now a full member). Having benefited from my father’s artistic guidance, I followed in his footsteps:
At age 15, on the strength of my drawings, I was offered a place at The Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art myself, then still housed in the Ashmolean Museum. In 1972, at age seventeen, I began the three year training in fine art. This included drawing from classical sculptures of the human figure from the Ashmolean’s own collection, drawing and painting from life models, and studying art history and human anatomy. During this time, Oxford itself became my home – and has remained so to this day.
Throughout my childhood, a time of powerful dreams, philosophical ideas and self-expression through art, I found our shared experience of being – and our personal or spiritual journeys – profoundly moving. During the many years since graduating, though my paintings were initially mostly landscapes and portraits, my focus shifted within. My creative process became increasingly intuitive, my work emotionally expressive and symbolic in content. Receiving an enthusiastic response to the pictures I was painting, I gave illustrated talks about my creative process, and I also composed various explorative workshops (including ‘Intuitive Art & Awareness’). Accepting several invitations to share my work in these ways, among the places I travelled to – beyond Oxfordshire – were Northern Ireland, Manchester, Hertfordshire, Cheltenham and Gloucester.
Eventually I trained as a therapist: first as counsellor and then psychotherapist. Then, the therapeutic qualities of my paintings began to be noticed by those who were drawn to them. My work as artist and my work as therapist have gradually evolved in a parallel, the one nourishing the other. Long established on the outskirts of Oxford city, this is where I run my therapy practice – and where I continue to paint and show professionally.