Jeanette Winter

Jeanette Winter Copyright Roger Winter

Jeanette Winter
My parents emigrated from Sweden to the United States and settled in Chicago, where I was born. The three of us (I was an only child) lived in an apartment building on the third floor. The view from my corner bedroom through the trees to the sidewalk below led me to daydreaming and imagining. I have always tried to have “something to look at” in the place where I work. Today, from my drawing table in New York, I see the city. In Texas I looked at hills and desert, and in Maine I saw tall pine trees and a meadow from my window. Looking out the window as I work leads my mind and imagination to the place I want to be.
My great-uncle was an enormous childhood influence on me. When he wasn’t painting houses, he was an artist -- and what an artist! He painted everything -- canvases, postcards, clothing, decorative walls, and floors. He carved wooden figures and painted them. He played a concertina and had a trunk full of disguises. And he had boxes full of old engravings he had collected that I spent hours and hours looking at.
Comic books and library books, in equal amounts, were the basis of my visual education. Little Lulu, Henry, and Walt Disney Comics were among my favorites. The illustrators whose work I loved were Lois Lenski, Elizabeth Orton Jones, Wanda Gág, Maud and Miska Petersham, and Robert Lawson, among others.
Except for a brief period when ballerina dreams floated in my head, I always wanted to be an artist.


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