Portrait of a Local Artist: Melissa Treichler
If you live in Rehoboth, you’ve probably seen Melissa Treichler’s art. One of her paintings is used as the logo for “Keep Rehoboth Beautiful” and the same art, depicting a colorful agricultural scene, adorned t-shirts and promotional flyers for the 375th celebration.
Treichler, who was born in Hillsborough, New Jersey, has lived in Rehoboth for 18 years. Her art, her family and her business have a close connection to the town. Her business, Painted Ladies, offers Traveling Painting Parties for fundraisers, girls’ nights out, birthday parties, business events and more. She also paints custom works and one of her specialties is pet portraits. “I love painting for people who appreciate art,” Treichler said.
Treichler started Painted Ladies in 2013 with her friend Patti Russler. They had a shop together in Seekonk for three years. Russler paints furniture and creates crafts which she sells from her home and at Four Echoes (formerly Vinnie’s Antiques) in Seekonk. Treichler is very enthusiastic about sharing her love of art. She has put on hundreds of traveling painting parties for local groups such as the D-R Regional High School Marching Band, Rehoboth PTSA, area businesses, community organizations (including the Girl Scouts and Anawan Lions Club) and many more. “I just love teaching painting. I’ve been doing this for six years now servicing Rehoboth and towns throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It’s awesome,” Treichler said.
Treichler says that painting is relaxing and therapeutic and can be a lot of fun. “Art is a therapy for people. It’s important to me to get people away from technology and have them take a break - using hand-eye coordination and being creative. It’s very therapeutic,” Treichler said.
When she is not teaching panting, Treichler works on custom pieces for clients. Her pet portraits are commissioned from pet lovers across the country and overseas. She creates them simply by eye, working from a photograph of the animal sent to her phone. One person commented on the Painted Ladies Facebook page that one pet portrait was so realistic, it looked like a photograph. “I try to capture their souls,” Treichler said of the pets. “I’ve been doing pet portraits for 30 years because I love animals. It’s my job to make them (the clients) cry in a happy way and they do.”
Treichler has been painting since she was a child. She has an Associates of Applied Science and a Bachelors of Fine Art from the Maryland Institute of Fine Art. She met her husband Marc, a graphic designer, at college and they have two children, 18 and 12 years old. Both of her children attended Rehoboth schools. Treichler worked in advertising and freelance illustration in Baltimore for 12 years before moving to New England. She moved here because she was drawn to the farming community. Her great-grandparents and grandparents also lived here and owned a business in Providence.
“I fell in love with this New England town. It was a beautiful place to raise children,” Treichler said.
Her popular painting for “Keep Rehoboth Beautiful” and the 375th came about because a young woman, Abby Abrahamson, asked her to create a painting for Keep Rehoboth Beautiful and the young woman went before the Board of Selectman to discuss the group’s clean-up efforts and she showed them the painting. Shortly thereafter, selectmen asked Treichler if they could use the image for the 375th Celebration t-shirts. “I felt so honored when they asked me!” Treichler said.
In 2013 Treichler was honored for her work with an award of excellence at the Attleboro Arts Museum’s juried Flower and Garden Show for a watercolor of an owl in flight. She creates magnets that say “I Love Rehoboth” which she sells for $5 and donates $1 from each sale to charity. She also works at Tranquil Lake Nursery five days a week for 3 and a half hours “just to be outside in a beautiful place.” “It’s very zen. You can be in your own head. It’s wonderful,” Treichler said about Tranquil Lake.
Treichler plans to continue painting at her home studio and conducting the Traveling Painting Parties. She doesn’t know what her next big project will be. “Life is just leading me,” Treichler said.
If you would like to book a Traveling Painting Party, call or text Melissa Treichler at 508-685-5681. Visit her Facebook page for more information: “Painted Ladies, Seekonk, MA.”