Finding Her Pot of Gold

Palm Springs' Shaktima Brien found art has opened her life to possibilities and a new sense of freedom.

Nicole Borgenicht Arts & Entertainment

Shaktima Brien is creating a series of paintings paying tribute to women who make a major impact on the Greater Palm Springs art scene.

Shaktima Brien is on a treasure hunt.

Not the tangible kind, but one that has guided her career as an artist.

“I want to know more about what’s inside us,” she says. “It motivates me and makes me get up in the morning and play with the colors. I’ve always been a philosopher and writer, so to probe the psyche and especially the feminine psyche has always been very important to me.”

Currently painting a large series entitled, Goddess Journey, Shaktima honors women from the major Palm Springs arts donor and collector community. She shares more information about that and her artistic outlook.

Tell us more about The Goddess Journey.

Shaktima: The Goddess Journey is a series of 33 paintings ranging from 3 to 12 feet, developed in Santa Monica and Palm Springs, from the 1980’s to today. It is a visionary body-of-work, an art book, and a multi-media experience soon to be featured in the feature film, Road Yin, a screenplay that won first place at the Palm Springs Writer’s Guild at the turn of the millennium.

What is the essence of your life as an artist?

Shaktima: It’s all about healing and knowing ourselves better. I let energy move me, letting the ego out of the way to explore the unknown. Having no preconceived idea (of what I paint), I let images take shape on the canvas without control. What comes out is a revelation. Like Jung in Men and His Symbols, I wanted to explore a woman and her symbols, when the state of no-mind is reached, when intuition takes over consciousness or any pre-conceived notions, – often sprouting from programmed prejudices.

VIDEO: Shaktima Brien speaks about finding herself through art, and her latest project, Goddess Journey.

How do you see the relation between your books and films with your art?

Shaktima: Road Yin, the screenplay I wrote, is an adaptation of my autobiographical novel, Angelina and Men, a road story, as well as a woman’s journey across America to find her soul, and renew her faith in humanity. It’s a path of self-discovery and realization, featuring the Goddess Journey paintings.

What prompted you to devote more of your time to your art?

I was a corporate executive on the East Coast and one day I thought, ‘If I have to repeat this the rest of my life, I will not have lived my life. I have to know who I am when I’m not working 9 to 5’. I trekked across America and came to California. I met the visionaries and the creatives and people who are dreaming the future, so I started to collaborate with them. That was so freeing for me.

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