In retrospect it seems obvious Michael Schlicting would grow up to be an artist. With an accomplished artist as a mother and older siblings all making art, the Schlicting home was filled with art projects, books and art magazines. But for Michael, outside of schoolwork, his interest was sports, especially basketball. His basketball career culminated in him being one of the top small college players in the country and a shot at the pros, going through the Portland Trailblazers rookie camp.
But during his college days, a required art class brought his latent abilities to light and gave rise to the passion and direction that would be his life’s work. Michael has made his living as an artist from graduation onward, a remarkable achievement. He was helped along by a number of early supporters and collectors, one of whom was the noted arts patron JW “Bill” Fisher. Mr. Fisher, who received the National Arts Medal from President Reagan in 1987, was one of Michael’s earliest supporters, encouraging, teaching and collecting Schlicting’s paintings. One of Michael’s most thrilling moments was walking into Fisher’s home in Palm Beach, Florida and seeing his painting hanging next to a Picasso.
Much of the stimulus for Michael’s art comes from his travels. An opportunity to teach a painting workshop in Tuscany led to his love of Italy, particularly the Tuscan landscape. A good portion of Michael’s paintings comes from imagery gleaned from his frequent trips there. In addition, he has been traveling to South America, with Chile another fertile source of inspiration.
Over the years Schlicting has won major awards in many painting competitions, both nationally and internationally, as well as being one of the finalists for the prestigious Grumbacher Artist of the Year award. His paintings hang in over 2500 public, corporate and private collections around the world. He makes his home in Portland, Oregon and spends his summers at his studio/gallery, the Hawk Creek Gallery, on the Oregon coast.