Abandoned as a baby, meet Tjili, the girl with cerebral palsy whose paintings sell for thousands

Watch Tjili's remarkable painting technique, as she creates a colourful hare.

Her paintings sell for thousands, and she lights up every room she enters, but when Tjili was born, a bright future was far from certain.

She was abandoned on a hospital doorstep in Cambodia, the only survivor of three triplets.

She had cerebral palsy, was deaf, and could not speak.

Tjili was abandoned on a hospital doorstep in Cambodia Credit: @Tjili

Now aged 21, her disabilities remain, but she has defied the doctors' prognoses that she'd be unlikely to walk or feed herself, let alone have fine control over her movements.

Her young life was transformed when a British couple James and Vik Grant Wetherill, found her in an orphanage and decided to adopt her.

Years of intensive occupational therapy strengthened her body, and as she grew, she started to show an interest in art and painting.

Tjili with her adoptive parents, Vik and James Grant Wetherill Credit: @Tjili

Growing up in Singapore, Malaysia and eventually Hampshire, Tjili loved watching animals and drawing them.

Despite the challenges of holding pens and a paint brush, she worked hard to develop her skills and her own unique style.

"She really has put in the hours," says her father, James. "She watches other artists on You Tube and learns from them.

"Lots of pieces of paper have ended up in the bin, but she will keep going until she gets it right."

Tjili grips her watercolour pencils backwards, using her whole body to control the paper.

Tjili controls her pencils by holding them backwards

The marks might appear random at first, but each is intentional, which becomes clear as the picture emerges.

Despite her challenges she's able to create beautiful works of art.

Two of her paintings were chosen for a major exhibition by the Watercolour Society- the judges had no idea of her unique circumstances, and she has two paintings on display at the Limewood Hotel in Lyndhurst, perfectly at home next to a Tracy Emin original.

Tjili with her painting of London at the Limewood Hotel

This week she was invited to paint a picture of a hare, to be auctioned for the Murray Parish Trust, a charity run by the acting couple Sarah Parish and James Murray.

They've already raised £5 million for Southampton Children's Hospital, and this year's project, The Hares of Hampshire, is an artistic trail through Winchester and Southampton, featuring 30 uniquely decorated giant hares, painted by local artists.

Sarah Parish tries not to get in shot as she films Tjili painting!
Tjili, delighted to have completed her painting

Living in Romsey, Tjili and her family were keen to help, so she offered to paint a hare of her own.

The results were charming, and a joy to watch as the outline, then the vibrant colours appeared on the page.

"Her eye for animals is incredible," says Sarah. "It's amazing to watch, and overcoming all her physical difficulties to create such magical colourful pieces in the way she does is really inspirational."

Watch timelapse of Tjili painting her hare.

In less than an hour, Tjili completes her painting with her own unique heart signature.

She may not be able to speak, but her happiness at creating art is clear to see.

"Well done Tjili- it's a 10 out of 10!" says her father, and sister Poppi loves it too.

"Look at the eyes," she says, "I love the gleam in the eyes. It brings the whole painting to life."

"It's fabulous," says James. "Every day we wake up. She's got her new pad of paper out and we wait to see what will emerge. It's a miracle to see it unfold.

"We're lucky- we get to see it every day. Definitely a good hare day!"

The Hares of Hampshire Trail continues until the 29th August, and the Grand auction of Hares takes place in Winchester on September 13th.