Intuitive Creative Process
“As artist… and transpersonal psychotherapist, my work is about TRANSFORMATION” – Jaimie Cahlil
You may notice there is a source of light within each one of my paintings. The presence of light is at the core of my work, just as it has been at the centre of my life – consciously, from age five. For me, the light of intuitive guidance and inspiration arrives in many ways: often as an image in my mind accompanied by a subtle sensation, or through an emotional experience, a word or a phrase. Feedback suggests my work has a profoundly therapeutic effect, has been described as ‘soulful’, and can be considered to be ‘down-to-earth spiritual’.
When I wish to paint a new picture, the process of preparation begins as I sit across the room gazing into the blank canvas. I spend a timeless moment in meditation… Then, somehow prompted to rub in a colour or make some line, gradually, in this way, lines and layers of colour and texture begin to build… Something begins to take form, something begins to appear, and perhaps part-disappear, often to re-emerge – though differently. This process I liken to the flowing and ebbing of the tide, breathing in, breathing out… Shapes, lines and colours come and go. With each working, some images deepen with vibrancy… and sing, while others recline or fade to a whisper… As the layers of the picture build, the images increase in clarity, and the picture’s presence expands… This effect grows and deepens as my picture evolves. As the picture evolves, I am less and less the ‘artist’ and increasingly the onlooker.
What does each picture ‘mean’? Both universal and personal symbols and/or meanings are contained within the imagery, shapes, colours and visual effect of every picture. However, when a particular painting ‘touches’ you, then it is meaningful for YOU – even if such sense of meaning defies your conscious comprehension. The process of viewing and responding to any form of creative expression is necessarily a subjective experience. You will only ‘receive’ those pictures which, right now, have particular meaning and value for you.
This also applies in respect of my mandalas… My mandala pictures are composed to fill a square, within which I draw a circle or other shapes, marking a circle of light – or invisible dot – at its centre… (which I sometimes do not actually place in the obvious centre as viewed). Inspired by an ancient traditional meditative design, I imagine the mandala itself was inspired by the universal mandala pattern in nature and the cosmos. The traditional mandala – created to still the unsettling waters of emotion and the continual distractions of the mind – is designed to be deeply relaxing, focusing, empowering and subtly transformative in effect. This may also be true of any picture, ancient or contemporary, which comprises this same essential/universal pattern and effect.