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The Baltimore Sun

Rising Star: Ken Karlic, Local Painter Captures Beauty in Harford County

Committed. Passionate. Talented. Three words that accurately describe one of our honored men of Harford this year, local painter, Ken Karlic. We chose Ken because he transformed a life-long passion for watercolor painting into a medium that has captured so many beautiful, scenic venues in Harford County. His water color paintings represent the best of rural living and we are happy to tell his story.
Originally from Chicago, Karlic has spent the last 25 years in the Baltimore area and in 2003 moved to Harford County with his wife, Eve Morra, a photographer and their now 9-year-old son Julian who attends Harford Day School. “We moved to Harford County because it is a great place to raise a family. We wanted our son to experience as much as he could by having access to the city, yet enjoy the simplicity of the country life of Fallston. It is a slice of life that echoes back to a simpler time,” he says.
Ken graduated from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts but didn’t become a painter until later in life. “I have always had a passion for drawing and painting. When I was in college, I focused on a more lucrative career, first in architecture and then graphic design.” And in 1992 he opened his very own graphic design studio, Karlic Design.
Just last year, Karlic expanded his graphic design firm now called Splice Design Group and focuses on brand identity, print and web design for prestigious organizations that include the Smithsonian Institution and the Guggenheim Foundation. “Like a lot of creative people, I love my graphic design career as much as I love my painting. The graphic design work puts food on the table.”
Ken has experimented with various media over the last 25 years and has traveled all over the world, painting all the way. “I have developed a portable kit of watercolor paints, and it all fits in a backpack. We pull off on the side of the road wherever we might travel, and I find inspiration in natural beauty,” he says. He currently lives in Fallston where he has just a sliver of Gunpowder State Park right in his own backyard. “My wife sometimes jokes with me and says, ‘you still only paint rocks and trees.’”
Over the years Ken has had local gallery shows and has sold paintings to benefactors such as Johns Hopkins Hospital as well as other commissioned paintings. He has participated in plein-air painting competitions, last year in “Paint Annapolis,” and this year he won second place in “Paint the Town” competition in Cranford, New Jersey. “I like meeting other artists and challenging myself.”
Ken paints in all the seasons and captures the true essence of Harford County. “I love to paint in winter. The big blizzards of 2009 stopped everything, and it turned all into a pedestrian experience. The color palette was reduced, but the contrasts with the white snow were dramatic.”
Simply stated this Harford County treasure, paints because he has to.

For more information about Ken Karlic paintings, check out or his graphic design business,

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