Melissa Little is one of the local artists and crafts persons being featured at Created and Company.
“We are a unique home décor and gift shop featuring local artisans,” said Vanessa Newman, proprietor of Created and Company at 3272 Main Street in Manchester.
Little grew up in Carroll County and began to do art at a young age — as soon as she could pick up a pencil she began with drawing, sketching and coloring. Later, it became her outlet. Instead of journaling she drew. Little would wake up in the middle of the night and sketch.
She also enjoyed redecorating her room as she grew up. Little rearranged her room and repainted her room many different colors throughout her childhood. “I always wanted it to look new and fresh. I also sorted through my stuff and reorganized it,” Little said.
After high school she attended the York Institute of Art which was called Bradley Academy when she attended. Little studied interior design. Classes included art history, perspective, Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), lighting and color theory. Little also took sketching classes, where she learned drawing and how to shade objects. Another aspect of her design education was to study marketing. Little graduated with an associate’s degree in interior design in 2006.
After she graduated, Little got a job in a furniture store for six months. Then she got a great job as a CAD drafter working for the CMW Group, an architectural firm in Frederick.
In 2008, Little got married and moved to North Carolina for six months because her husband was in the military. When he was honorably discharged from the Marines, the family moved back to this area.
Within a year of being married she began to have children. When someone gave Little an acrylic art kit for Christmas she experimented with the paints. She became frustrated with acrylics so she bought a set of oil paints.
Little was hooked. She loved the way the oils blend.
“They just glide across the canvas. I can do more with them than acrylic. I also love the they do not dry so fast,” Little said.
At first, she painted a horse: “I love horses. I love to paint them and ride them. I painted an Arabian horse for my mother titled, ‘Flight Without Wings.’”
It was her first completed oil painting and it came out great.
“Once I realized I had the talent, I bought canvases and painted as often as I could while being a mom,” she said. Little found it challenging to paint and be a stay-at-home mom. She often did paintings for friends.
Little got a job teaching art for a Splash of Art in New Freedom, Pennsylvania (now in Bel Air). She learned to use acrylics as part of her job.
“It was quite a transition for me since I had only been painting in oils until then. I had to learn to use them,” she explained.
After she left that job she started painting at home. Then Little learned Off Track Art Co-Operative in Westminster was displaying local art and became a partner for a short time.
Currently, Little is painting both on canvas and furniture. She painted a hutch with a crackle finish about the same time she began to use oil paints. Now she is selling her painted furniture and painted canvases at Creative and Company in Hampstead. Little will also be selling giclée prints of her work.
“Art is good for meditation. I like that I get to express who I am and what is in my mind onto a canvas or a surface. It is mine and my idea,” Little said. “I don’t mind doing things for other people but I like it better when it is something I am passionate about.”