Born and schooled in Africa, Portia attended art college in London, and then moved to the U.S. Her work explores the relationship between cadence, tempo, rhythm, and balance inspired by the horses she trains, and the landscape, light, and weather she inhabits.  Portia has exhibited her work in Zimbabwe and the U.S. where it has been purchased by national and international collectors.


This series of paintings is inspired by three major influences: the canopy of color suspended through the change of season in her adopted home of Pennsylvania; her relationship to the horses she trains and learn from everyday; and the concept of visual pattern that is found in written language. These influences all converge to determine the feel, movement and content of each piece.

Moving from Zimbabwe, Africa, to the East Coast, has opened Portia up to the generosity of color offered by the seasons. Spring heralds in longed-for warmth and flowering trees, in summer the daylilies shimmer in heat and humidity, fall sees the leaves dazzle in death, and winter purges the canvas with whiteness and brilliant light. This ever-changing suspension of color influences my painting at its core level.

Portia Mortensen

2020- soar
2020 - laughing water

"A painting is a living thing, and, like a horse, must be listened to. I often consider a painting finished when I can hear it."

Portia Mortensen