Annie Tolliver, Self-taught Outsider Artist, remembers drawing in the dirt of Sternfield Alley outside the home where she was born in Montgomery, Alabama. She went to high school until the tenth grade, then dropped out to take care of her son, Leonard. She has been married and divorced twice, and has three children. She worked for for a long time cleaning hospitals, hotels and restaurants. She says her father, Mose Tolliver, was the first to influence her art. When the family gathered to share a meal with father Mose and mother Willie Mae, they all watched Mose work.
Annie started out wanting to paint like her daddy, she says, but later developed a style more her own. Her work shows some definite differences from that of Mose Tolliver's. Her work is more colorful, with brighter and more varied colors. Her shapes are her own, with more muscular bodies and many more details such as tiny white teeth, trim on the clothing, and polished finger nails. Her paint has a flat, hard-edged look, and she seldom mixes her colors.