When people began quarantining because of the pandemic this past spring, artist Lori Portka received a very specific request from her mother-in-law. “She called to tell me that she really wanted to make a ‘Lori Portka Puzzle,’” the artist remembers. “My husband and I looked at each other and immediately knew it was a fabulous idea.” They found a partner to make her fine art into puzzles, and Portka started learning about how to adapt her style to this new, playful product.
“When I work on puzzle art, I keep in mind how someone might put this puzzle together,” she says. “Using lots of colors and shapes, I create a piece that is bright and busy, but not too much. I love a puzzle that is challenging but not frustrating to put together.”
Portka’s puzzles are each 504 pieces and her bold, colorful style lends itself to puzzle design. “My favorite thing about making a puzzle is the sweet distraction from the world,” she says. “They make the best quarantine gifts for people you love and miss who could use a little cheering up.”
Find Lori Portka’s studio at Riverview Station, Studio #230, at 191 Lyman Street in Asheville. For more information, call 315.491.6488, visit LoriPortka.com or find @LoriPortkaArt on Facebook and Instagram.