Art and Love from Me to You

A Hundred Thank Yous

A Hundred People. A Hundred Paintings.

A Hundred Thank-Yous – The Inspiration

I have learned that gratitude creates more gratitude. This project was inspired by Hailey Bartholomew, an amazing photographer and filmmaker, and her beautiful vision in 365 Days of Grateful.

I worked for two years to make 100 paintings to 100 people who have had a positive impact on my life.  I consciously gave the gift of time, love and creativity.  My intention was to transfer thoughtful, heartfelt energy directly to those who receive my artwork.

The list of people I made paintings for includes some of my dearest, closest family and friends.  It also includes well-known authors, musicians, and spiritual teachers.  I’ve known some of these people for a lifetime and others much less.  Some I interact with on a daily basis, while others I haven’t spoken to in years.  Still others I only know through the messages they put out into the world and have never met them in person.

Regardless of how I came to know these people, they have all touched me in some positive way and influenced my life to create the person I am today.

I expressed my gratitude to each of them in my own way.


Gallery Exhibition

I held an exhibition of all 100 paintings on June 16, 2012 from at the Cazenovia College Art Gallery in Reisman hall.  Here are photos of the event!  

Photos by photographers Andrew Bartholomew and Tom Dwyer.

A Review of the Hundred Thank You Gallery show by Tom Dwyer

Under most circumstances it would only be realistic to think that “A Hundred Thank Yous” might be enough. Right? This past weekend friends, family, fellow artists and many admirers Lori Portka had never known before the 2 o’clock opening of her one-lady show at the Cazenovia College Art Gallery, couldn’t be blamed if they thought otherwise.

Entering the gallery was like walking into a rainbow, with the proverbial gold in plain sight. For many months Lori’s family, friends and fellow Cazenovia Artisans had been anticipating this day right along with her. All were familiar with her colorful, whimsical illustrations overflowing with happiness, gratitude, kindness and love.

Still, as each entered the gallery, all of a sudden a hundred pieces of art, each saying thank you to someone Lori deemed important in her life, was suddenly real and all but overwhelming. One person at a time, the immensity of her self-imposed task was realized.

The white walls of Reisman Hall served as the perfect backdrop for Lori’s selfless act of gratitude, allowing each colorful creation to stand on its own, yet somehow still connect those around it. Guest slowly circumnavigated the hall, enjoying each of the 100 paintings. Some were drawn by the collection on one wall or another, others to a single expression from Lori’s heart, most taking time to read Lori’s thoughts and feelings about her gratitude for a special person who has touched her life (neatly posted below each painting). It was difficult to pull away.

There were “thank yous” to some of those same friends and family who now enjoyed this amazing collection. Lori had displayed paintings that said thank you to fellow bloggers whose “advise and support” have “motivated and encouraged” her own art as well a nationally respected authors and even President and Mrs. Obama.

Each painting was destined to become special in a certain someone’s life, yet as you rounded the hall the specialness, the magnitude, the creativity and indeed the impact of Lori’s total effort slowly formed their own thank you.

It has been a project she dedicated to her father, who passed away in 1985 yet still occupies a special place in her life. He “would have been one of the first people on my list” of thank yous, she wrote on her blog. And, while it’s tempting to celebrate the completion of her “hundred thank yous” project, it’s doubtful many people left Reisman Hall thinking that anything had come to an end. There is much more to come from Lori Portka, we can be certain.

Thank you, Lori.

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Donna King October 2, 2016

    Just saw this story on Super Soul Sunday…awesome!

  • Delia October 2, 2016

    Is there anyway we can buy one I want to buy one or a few

  • Delia October 2, 2016

    I live in Wichita Kansas 6721 3 is there anywhere here where they sell you’re gratitude artwork

    • Lori October 2, 2016

      Hi again Delia- I don’t think my art is any place near where you live. But I do have an online shop and ship world wide. I linked my shop in your first comment. Thanks again 🙂

  • Teresa N October 2, 2016

    I saw the video on Super Soul this morning and loved your project and artwork! Thank you for giving me this wonderful inspiration! I can’t wait to get my package from your shop and hang up the flags. Your studio is lovely, too!

  • Celeste Smith October 3, 2016

    Dear Lori,
    I just saw you on Oprah’s SSS and wow, how lovely! Your story touched my heart. As soon as I saw one of the paintings of dogs, I somehow intuited that they (may) be Greyhounds. I went to your website and…sure enough! :o} My husband and I also have 2 Greyhounds, Lisette & Angel, whom we adore. Lisette, now 11, is a bone cancer survivor who had her leg amputated in Feb of this year. We are SOOO grateful that she is alive and doing so well. I quit my job to take care of her and it’s been the best experience ever! Also, in SSS, you mentioned Green Lakes. I am not sure if it’s the same one, but I used to live in Syracuse in the late 70’s & 80’s and went to “Green Lakes” all the time in the Summer. I noticed you have an upstate NY accent, so am wondering if it’s the same place I used to spend so much of my time as a young woman. I currently live in San Jose, CA, and I too am very grateful for so much in my life. You inspire me to find my own way to express that. Thank YOU for all of the beautiful and powerful work you have blessed the world with! Peace & Love to you & yours. Celeste Smith. :*>

    • Lori October 6, 2016

      Hi Celeste, Oh this is so sweet! It’s so funny that you noticed my upstate accent. Haha Yes, we lived in Syracuse at the time of the film and are now in Asheville, NC. And we lived near green lakes and went there nearly every nice weather day- out most favorite place! And we DO have greyhounds! Two retired racers. One died a few years ago, so we have had three total. We love them so much! I’m so happy to hear about Lisette doing well. Yay! Wow, it’s a small world. Thank you for this note. It really brightened up my day. Much love to you and your sweet hounds. xoxo

  • Linda October 22, 2016

    Saw the short on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday about your gratitude project and was touched and inspired by what you did.
    Is there a book with the 100 paintings?
    Would love to have one, and it would make a wonderful gift.

    • Lori August 30, 2017

      There isn’t but many people have asked me so I really should make one! xoxo

  • Kathy Peters March 5, 2017

    I was so touched by watching your gratitude short on Oprah’s super Soul Sunday! I was so touched. Thank you!

    • Lori August 30, 2017

      I’m so happy to hear this! Sending much love. xo

  • Cecilia December 3, 2017

    Just saw this story in super Souls Sunday. Love it!! Truly heartfelt and beautiful.

    — And thank you for the reminder to live I gratitude.

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