Landscape of an Artistic Journey
By Cristine Shade
Published: 09/24/2011  Updated: 06/20/2019

Painter Michael Schlicting was raised surrounded by art, but had to discover his own path to creativity.

Few artists, no matter how passionate or talented, can make their living solely as an artist from the start. Michael Schlicting is one of those few whose passion and talent for painting has afforded him that success. Schlicting comes from a family of artists and grew up surrounded by creativity and inspiration, but he was more interested in basketball than art. It wasn't until one required art class in college that he discovered his own talent and creativity, from which he has built a career.

Inspired by American landscape painter Winslow Homer, post-impressionist painter Paul Gauguin and still-life painter Henri Matisse, Schlicting creates landscapes using a combination of abstract and realistic interpretations. He describes his style as one of creative realism, offering real points of reference from an abstract view. "I'm not interested in just replication," he says, "I'm more interested in the emotional response to my environment." Schlicting's subjects are often derived from his travels to Italy and South America, but he also paints images of coastal Oregon near his Neskowin-based Hawk Creek Gallery.

Working in watercolor, acrylics and mixed media, Schlicting chooses the medium of a project based on how the subject speaks to him. Each medium has its own strengths and weaknesses, according to the artist. He employs a variety of tools in his work but often uses his hands to move paint around the canvas. "There is a physicality to painting," Schlicting says, "The act of discovering the physical process is an inward journey, a dialog with your conscious and subconscious."

Michael Schlicting has won numerous national and international awards and his paintings hang in over 2500 public, corporate and private collections around the world. His work is available at several Pacific Northwest galleries including Haystack Gallery in Cannon Beach, Freed Gallery in Lincoln City, Patricia Rovzar Gallery in Seattle, and Row Boat Gallery in Pacific City, which is owned by Ted and Judith Schlicting. In fact, work from several family members who are active artists can be found at Row Boat Gallery, including daughter Alexandra, son Tyler and mother Margaret, who is still painting every day at age 92.
Landscape of an Artistic Journey