Introducing another artist with work featured here at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, Leslie Mansmann.
Another fabulous skilled artist here in Maine, accomplished illustrator and fine art painter Leslie Mansmann. Leslie Ann Windstein Mansmann, as is her full name, has always had a love for watercolor paints. As a child though, her first artistic endeavors were in the back of her father’s new car on his white upholstered seats! She quickly was transitioned to paper and pencil; suggested by her mother. Growing up in Chester County, Pennsylvania, she fell in love with her surrounding nature. Her early inspirations came from the Wyeth family artists, particularly N.C. the illustrator and Andrew the painter. Leslie was trained at the Philadelphia College of Art with a focus in illustration. Soon after, she began freelancing throughout the city in various areas of advertising and illustrative work. She created work for the U.S. Equestrian Team, Fisher Price Toys and Dome Pharmaceuticals; just to name a few.
After a brief stint in North Carolina, Leslie and her family moved to a 22 acre farm in West Virginia. Here, she continued to embrace nature and wildlife in her work. She also started a new venture of helping to rehabilitate injured birds and raptors (more on this below). In 2000, they moved to North Yarmouth, ME, where interestingly she had spent her honeymoon 30 years earlier. Their new farm on Renaissance Springs, provided the motivation to illustrate three children’s books; including the popular title At One. On all of Leslie’s farms she has found a home for her horses and beloved Jack Russells. Over the years she has been commissioned for a range of educational publications, posters, printed publications, public television and other commercial work.
Pictured here to the left is Leslie’s Crow on Branch Print, featuring a realistic depiction of a black crow. A similar print carried here at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop is our Crow on Stump Print. Both prints were inspired by the love Leslie gained for these birds, while helping many of them during her time in West Virginia. Leslie originally created these paintings with the use of watercolor and one of her favorite mediums, egg tempura. Egg tempura consists of egg yolk, dry pigments and the addition of oils and water as needed. Egg tempura or egg tempera, works well because over time as the water evaporates, it creates a long lasting, quick drying, intense color and depth. The use of this type of paint dates back to the Ancient Egyptians. Both of these Sturbridge prints featured above are framed by black hard wood, under glass and made in the USA. Pair together for a charming tribute to this intelligent bird and as Leslie says, to capture “the essence and magnificence of birds.”
Leslie’s admiration for nature, wildlife and all animals in general is captured beautifully in our Fox Print, displayed here to the right. We see an accurate portrayal of a fox pausing to take an icy drink, while catching a glimpse of his reflection in the pond. Leslie uses her detailed watercolor techniques to illustrate this incredible species, creating a snapshot of a peaceful moment in the woods. Shown with a matted border and also framed by black hard wood, under glass; made in the USA. Leslie loves as she says, “the dramatic change in seasons,” which Maine serves as the perfect backdrop for. She also enjoys a good challenge and has even attempted a beautiful self portrait, of herself wearing a fun feathered hat. With the inspiring environment we live in, we are sure to see more of Leslie Mansmann’s fine art and illustrations in the near future.
“Nature provides the colors and beauty we all take for granted, and hopefully I will continue to capture its beauty and grandeur from all angles for many, many years to come.” - Leslie A. W. Mansmann