THE STORY BEHIND THE PAINTING / by Ken Karlic

The Ole Man Ain't So Bad Afterall, 6.5 x 21 in., watercolor, 2017

The Ole Man Ain't So Bad Afterall, 6.5 x 21 in., watercolor, 2017

This painting was done at Door County Plein Air Festival in Door County WI. What a great place!!! I stayed with a wonderful host family, and upon arrival, Ron (my host guy) drove me around showing me many of the locations that may be of interest to paint. He took me to this terrific barn property, and went on to say that the owner wasn't always nice because every other person he sent there was chased away. When I did choose to paint there, I saw the owner, and he looked at me suspiciously from his doorway. I waved, stepped toward him, and started up a conversation. I figured flattery would get me somewhere, so I went on to tell him about how I felt this barn was the coolest one I had ever come across. "You're goddam right it is," he said. And we chatted a bit. I got his approval to paint.

What interested me most about this scene was the abstract shapes of the structures and the shadows. And when looking to title it, I had to go with the obtuse reference to the owner, The Ole Man Ain't So Bad Afterall. The painting sold at the gala event, and the next day during the quick draw, the collectors came up to me and mentioned that they purchased the painting. They also questioned the title, so I told them the story. We all got a good laugh.