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Happiness through art

About & Contact

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Lori Portka - Spreading happiness through art
I believe that artwork carries energy.

I believe it is my job to spread happiness through the art I create.

I believe art made with the intention to spread love and healing, does exactly that.

This is the true story of how I became a full-time, self-taught artist:

Finding Happiness Through Art

My story

Graduated from college, married, worked as a teacher.
Got my masters in mental health counseling.
Thought I would work in a school forever and earn a safe, reliable income.
Read The Artist’s Way.
Began making art again at age 30-something for the first time since tenth grade.
Heard my husband say he didn’t love me anymore.
He actually meant it.

And my heart broke.

And we divorced.
And I felt abandoned and angry and afraid and shamed.
And somehow, I kept making art.

I turned a blank book into a visual journal where I sat in meditation, wrote my intention, prayed and let the art pour out of me and onto the paper.  It gave me a place to hold my grief and fear about the past and my hope and excitement about the future.

Everything changed.

My heart opened.

And sometimes I rode the waves of pain on a boat of pastels, paints, chalk and inks.
It was such a bumpy ride.

I grew deeper, more spiritual, more compassionate.

Sometimes happiness can be elusive.  It comes in, graces us with its presence and light and then disappears, leaving us with only shadows.  That’s ok.  Happiness always returns again.

And I am still finding happiness through art.

These days I am remarried and happily living in a cute cape-cod home in upstate New York with my loving husband, gentle-hearted greyhounds, and calico cat.  We love to read spiritual books, drink green juice, travel, go on hikes, and snuggle in to watch movies and eat dark chocolate. I am so grateful for this life here; doing work I love and watching my creative dreams open up and become real.

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 10 Authentic Things About Me:

  1. I have degrees in education and counseling and I am so grateful that I am not working in those fields.  Art feels like home to me.
  2. I love animals an insane amount and care about their well being so much that it hurts me sometimes.
  3. I can get totally bogged down by numbers.  They swim in my head like little fish and I cannot remember them.
  4. I usually think things that are totally inappropriate are so funny.   I love funny, raunchy movies- The Hangover, American Pie, The Wedding Crashers, and Old School.  I also love movies that are set back in time.
  5. I’m mostly kind, compassionate and peace-loving but I also swear quite a bit.
  6. Three books that have had a tremendous life-changing impact on me are The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, and Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth.
  7. I cry really easily from the sweetness and beauty of things- happy, grateful crying.  I also cry easily when things are sad and when I am so mad that I don’t know what to do.
  8. Farmer’s markets make me so happy I want to clap my hands and jump up and down.  Organic produce!  Gorgeous colors!
  9. I love massive snow storms and pouring rain days.
  10. Every part of my being loves to travel.  I am so grateful for all of the places I’ve been, and all of the trips yet to come.

Contact Details

I love to hear from you!

Licensing

If you are a licensee interested in my Happiness Through Art designs and illustrations,
email art@loriportka.com or call (315) 491-6488.

Studio Tour

Photo Credit:  The photographs on my site (with me in the red dress and the barn) are from my gorgeous friend, Hailey Bartholomew.  Her work is brilliant and I feel so blessed to have been part of a photo shoot with her.  When I saw the photos she took of me, it was the first time I ever saw photos of myself that I liked.  I cried.  I feel like she captured the essence of me. Her photography and films go straight to the heart and take my breath away.  

Amy Gill, me and Hailey Bartholomew when they visited from Australia!  Photo by Andrew Bartholomew

Amy Gill, me and Hailey Bartholomew when they visited from Australia!  Photo by Andrew Bartholomew