Lori Portka

"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 beautiful Asheville, NC with my loving husband, gentle-hearted greyhounds, and all the birds, flowers, trees and mountains that surrounds us. We love to hike with our dogs, drink green juice, travel, read, 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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