Before you start panicking, consider these completely plausible explanations as to why your landlord is still asking you for rent, even after you painted a portrait of him and left it on his porch.
1. Your landlord thought the portrait was a mirror: Rather than jump to conclusions, just think this through. If your landlord knew that you painted a portrait of him and left it on his porch, there’s no way he’d still be charging you rent, so it’s possible he thought the painting you left him was actually a mirror. Maybe the portrait was such an accurate representation of him that when he saw it, he assumed someone had just left a mirror on his porch, which would in no way affect whether or not you would still be charged rent. Crazier things have happened!
2. He couldn’t tell the portrait was a painting of him because he’s lost a ton of weight since you last saw him: Another perfectly reasonable scenario is that your landlord went on the detox of a lifetime and shed something like 80 pounds, in which case he’s probably formed a healthy disassociation with images of his old, heavy self. He probably saw your portrait and thought, “Who is the giant landlord depicted here?” and then threw it in the garbage. Surely if he recognized it as being himself in the painting, he wouldn’t still be charging you rent, so it could be worth heading back to your landlord’s house to see if he’s become extraordinarily thin.
3. The portrait was stolen by art dealers: The explanation might be as simple as a gang of art dealers scooping up the portrait off the porch before your landlord even saw it. Give yourself some credit: You put a ton of work into that painting, and surely it would be worth a pretty penny on the market. So before you conclude that your landlord is ignoring your beautiful portrait, it’s worth checking online to see if it has surfaced in any art bidding wars.
4. Your landlord has become incredibly sick, so he hasn’t left his house: If your landlord has been holed up inside because he has a terrible disease, that would explain everything. Of course, if he knew you painted a portrait of him and left it on his porch, you’d be living rent-free by now, so consider circling back to his house and leaning the portrait up against his window. That way, if he’s quarantined in there, he’ll be able to get a good look at it, notice it’s a portrait of himself, and realize he’s made a mistake.
5. A storm swept up your portrait and carried it into a nearby sewer: This scenario would be a real gut punch, but it absolutely could have happened. If you didn’t remember to tape the portrait to the porch railing or put rocks on top of the canvas to weigh it down, a passing storm could have swept up the painting of your landlord and sent it right down a sewer drain. Think about calling the city and asking them to send someone out to check all the nearby sewers before assuming the worst.
6. He’s a two-portrait landlord: For some landlords, one portrait of themselves just isn’t enough to permanently square away rent with a tenant. If your landlord’s like that, it’s not the end of the world. All you have to do is whip up another portrait of him and leave it on his porch. Once he has the second painting, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be in the clear with rent from here on out.