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Biography for Paula Wendland
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Selection of Clients
  • Harcourt School Publishing
  • J.S. Paluch Company, Inc.
  • Options Publishing
  • Pearson Scott Foresman
  • Sourcebooks MediaFusion
Selection of Awards

Listing of Awards - coming soon!



When I was about ten years old, my mother went back to school to finish her college degree in art education. One day I brought a classmate home to play after school, and my mom had her homework spread out all over the kitchen table. My friend caught a glimpse of my mother's work and fell suddenly silent, inching closer to the kitchen table, staring. "Your mom's drawing naked people," she whispered. I shrugged. "Yeah, it's for her life drawing class. C'mon, let's get our Barbies." The next day each and every member of my fifth grade class approached me at various times asking, "Is it true your Mom draws naked people?" "Sure," I replied nonchalantly. So, I suppose that when you grow up in a household where it's perfectly normal for your mom to draw naked people, becoming an artist yourself is totally natural.

Growing up in the middle of a hayfield in Lemont, Illinois with artistic parents, I spent my time poring over DaVinci and Michelangelo drawings in my parents' art history textbooks. I had unlimited access to art supplies of every imaginable kind, from leatherworking tools to basket-weaving reeds to Mom's scrap bag. I was a kid who loved to draw and make things, and by the time I was 8 years old, I'd decided to become an artist when I grew up. I think that's in part why I like illustrating for children, because the child artist in me likes to talk to children.

For professional training, I went on to achieve a BA in Art and English from Carthage College, earn a Diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and pursue special studies at Harvard University and Episcopal Divinity School. Most of my illustrations are for educational textbooks, done via woodcuts, which I've worked in for over 20 years. I use woodblocks made from Shina, a type of mulberry, which is imported from Japan through a supplier in Oregon. The most fun thing is watching the image appear for the first time as you rub the print. Time just flows then.

I've always enjoyed reading folktales and then illustrating them, especially when they involve animals of all kinds, imaginary and actual. I love looking at a wide variety of art, my favorites being medieval paintings and folk/ethnic art including Central American molas, Indonesian masks, Oaxacan carved animals, and Indian embroideries to name a few. Additionally, I get ideas from my garden, the trees growing in my neighborhood, and sometimes from the art magazines I read.

I suffer from what I understand is a typical Gemini complaint: too many irons in the fire. I'm a professional crafts designer with articles published in needlework and scrollsawing machines, and I work in a ceramics studio. I love to ice-skate, when I get the chance. As far as having a job outside of art, I'm a single mom -- need I say more? My high school-aged daughter is an accomplished actress, singer, and poet, while my son is becoming an expert in shark lore, on-line computer games, and he's a walking dinosaur encyclopedia.

View artist's personal website: not available at this time




Published Books

Kapuapua's Magic Shell
by Joe Adair (Author), Paula Zinngrabe Wendland (Illustrator) Pearson Scott Foresman
Myths of a Different Feather
by Jane Langford (Author), Paula Zinngrabe Wendland (Illustrator) Rigby-A Harcourt Achieve Imprint
  Poetry Speaks to Children
by Elise Paschen (Editor), Dominique Raccah (Editor), Wendy Rasmussen (Illustrator), Judy Love (Illustrator), Paula Zinngrabe Wendland (Illustrator) Sourcebooks MediaFusion
Purchase this book HERE

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