Mann driven by art, animals

Published 12:39 am Thursday, October 6, 2011

With the support of his parents, Lee and Shelly Mann, Richard Mann IV (right) has a promising future as an artist. Mann has expressed interest in becoming a veterinarian for horses at Churchill Downs in Kentucky. (WDN Photo/Jurgen Boerema)

Richard Mann IV is driven. Richard Mann IV is 10.

A table covered with his wildlife paintings in his grandfather’s house stands as a testament to his hard work as an artist and student.

The paintings include colorful and detailed outlines of bears, chickens, waterfowl and other animals.

The boy has been actively participating in local art shows during the past year. He attended the Mattamuskeet Decoy and Waterfowl Festival in 2010, and he plans to attend again in November.

He displayed what he produced in his art class under the supervision of teacher Pat Boyd and with encouragement by his peers in a gallery at a Washington church in June.

Mann is learning how to make clay molds.

“With painting, you can add a lot more details and shades,” said Mann when asked to describe the essence of being an artist. “Molding, you just do the basic shapes and make it how you want it. My teacher usually gives advice about where shading should go in paintings.”

For Mann, a painting may be completed in two or three art lessons, or the equivalent of four hours.

Mann pointed to a painting of a boy milking a cow as his favorite among the paintings on the table in his grandfather’s home.

“My dad owns cows, and I like to go to them and feed them,” he said.

The paintings coincide with his interest in studying to become veterinarian and his current participation in 4-H competitions.

Mann said he would like to work with the horses as a veterinarian at the Kentucky Derby.

Photography and carving might come later for Mann.

These early interests could to a bright future for the Hyde County native.

“But he has got to keep it up. That is up to him,” said his grandfather, Richard Mann II.