Jeanette Winter's parents emigrated from Sweden to the United States and settled in Chicago, where she was born. Her family first lived in an apartment building on the third floor. The view from her bedroom through the trees to the sidewalk below led her to daydream and imagine. Wherever she has been, she always tries to keep a view available, so as to stimulate her daydreaming.
Her great-uncle was an enormous childhood influence: when he wasn't painting houses, he was an artist. He painted everything—canvases, postcards, clothing, decorative walls, and floors. He carved wooden figures and painted them. He had a trunk full of disguises. Comic books and library books, in equal amounts, were the basis of her visual education. Little Lulu, Henry, and Walt Disney Comics were her favorites.
She pretty much always wanted to be an artist. She wanted to make pictures that told stories. But it wasn't until college that she decided to make books for children. The most important part of her formal art education was Saturday and summer high school classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. In college she studied painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. She learned on her own about illustration and making books. A number of her books have been about artists—both famous and unknown.
Jeanette Winter currently lives in New York City with her husband, painter Roger Winter. Her two sons, Jonah and Max, both poets, also live in New York City.
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