Coloring Little

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Nat Little, Gravel Street, Mystic

Nataniel Stanton Little (1893-1971)

Nathaniel Stanton Little was born I Helena, Montana, February 18, 1893.  He enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, becoming a student in the illustration class, and won a traveling scholarship.  Other future Mystic, Connecticut, artists who also won traveling scholarships were Carl Lawless, Kenneth Bates, and Gladys Edgerly who would later marry Kenneth Bates.  They were all in Europe together on scholarships and later settled in Mystic. All were important members of the Mystic Art Colony and were instrumental with Charles Harold Davis in the development of the Mystic Art Association.  Nat Little also studied at the Art Students League in New York City.

Little moved to Mystic in the late 1920’s and built a house and studio on Rowland Street, where he lived and worked for many years.  His first house burned down soon after completion and was promptly rebuilt.  Nat Little sometimes worked in watercolor, but mainly in oil.  He was strongly influenced by the techniques developed by Eugene Savage, a fresco painter from Chicago.  The canvas was prepared with a gesso ground; the shapes of the composition were blocked in, and sand added to the gesso according to the desired shapes to obtain a rough effect. The canvas would then be painted.  The summer art enthusiasts eagerly awaited his florals and landscapes, painted during the winter months.

Little also worked as a magazine illustrator.  He was an active member of the Mystic Art Association and exhibited regularly at the MAA and in many eastern shows where he won awards.  Little moved back to Montana in his later years and died in Hamilton, Montana in 1971.

*Image of Nathaniel Stanton Little obtained from a 1921 US Passport Application courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration