Biography

Alexandra Wallner

My parents and I immigrated to the United States after WWII. When I entered first grade, I only spoke German. But at home my father read comic books in English to me: Little Lulu, Donald Duck, Katy Keene. I loved the simple text and bright colors of the pictures. Soon, I was making up my own stories and pictures. Both elements influenced my present folk-art style.

I went to college at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N. Y. where I earned a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. and met my future husband, artist John Wallner. Together we created Greywood Studios, sometimes working together, as on the David Adler picture books, and sometimes on our own.

I have written and illustrated children's picture book biographies of famous writers, artists and historical figures focusing on their childhoods. What events made them who they became? -- like my own story.

In my folk-art style, I have painted children, adults, animals, plants and landscape scenes — everything I see around me — with watercolor, gouache, and pen and ink. Other work credits include: designing greeting cards, illustrating children's text books, illustrating and writing for children's magazines and for children's testing programs.

I have taught at library conferences, in international women's writing groups and done many school visits. Greywood Studios has relocated several times: Brooklyn Heights, Upstate New York, Philadelphia, Maine, Florida and now, Mexico. Thanks to FedEx, fax, phones and emails, I have always remained easily in touch with publishers.

John and I live in a 150 year old colonial casa. My studio is in a casita just beyond the garden.