It was the summer of 1978. Michael Schlicting and his then-wife were artists fresh out of college and in Neskowin spending time with family. His grandparents had turned an old, one-room school house into a home, and it just happened to be empty that summer.
“My parents said, ‘Why don’t you stay there?’” Schlicting recalled.
That Memorial Day weekend, the young couple had an inspiration.
“We hung some artwork in the living room and put a little sandwich board on the highway that said ‘Art’ with an arrow pointing the way,” Schlicting said. “People stopped and started buying things. That was the genesis of the Hawk Creek Gallery. It’s worked since day one.”
Thirty-nine years later, from mid-June to September, Schlicting is still on hand seven days a week to greet guests.
“I very much enjoy meeting the people that come in,” said Schlicting, who works in watercolor, acrylic and mixed water media. “As an artist, you are putting in your personal vision and emotional response to what you are painting and it is so fun and enlightening, and sometimes very humbling, to see how other people react.”
A world traveler, Schlicting visits Italy and South America often. Eight years ago, he was the featured cultural speaker for weeks in West Africa.
“These opportunities add a richness and depth to my work,” he said. “People are not just buying the image, they are buying my experience, my travels. There is an investment in me, my career, my longevity. That is part of the experience.”
The Hawk Creek Gallery is located at 4800 Schoolhouse Rd., Neskowin; and is open seven days a week in the summer months from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The gallery is also open weekends in the spring and fall, or by appointment.