Dianne Shoenfelt has been creating in visual art mediums all of her life. She has experience in oil painting and drawing, but recently took up watercolors. The watercolor portraits of pets and livestock were part of the inspiration to create the first children’s book in a growing series entitled: Gideon & Asher’s Farmyard Tales. Mrs. Shoenfelt had always considered writing as a creative outlet, and has been writing as a form of recreation and relaxation. She had never considered children’s books before, but found the challenge very fulfilling and enjoyable. Dianne comes from a rural community, and a farming heritage. Her parents weren’t farmers, but her grandparents, and great-grandparents were. She has always had a passion and a heart for all things agricultural and strives to show respect for the artistry that is farming through her own agrarian inspired artwork.
I’ll admit that my imagination is not that great when coming up with fantastic scenes for the characters in my books. I was a rather serious child, preferring realism over fantasy. I always chose Breyer horses over My Little Ponies. You won’t find any flying pigs, or animals walking upright, or wearing clothes or superhero capes. No one has magical powers in my books. My characters are very real, and behave in my books as they do in real-life. My artwork is realistic, not cartoon-ish. However, my characters do talk in my stories, because they really do talk all the time, just not everyone can hear them. It is my job to be their voice.
I grew up in the country, but moved to a small city when I was 20 years old. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that I wasn’t cut out for city living. When I met my husband Chris, we both expressed a desire to move to a rural community and have a small farm. After 6 years in school, Chris got his Doctorate and we were finally able to make that dream come true. We’ve been on our farm 8 years now and couldn’t imagine any place we would rather be!
We took in two piglets last summer, and what can I say, pigs will change your life. Not only are they like having twin infants in the house, but they are incredibly sensitive creatures. It’s common to find that most people are aware that pigs are “smart”, but I feel something deeper than just intelligence. Wisdom, is the best way to describe it. Sensitive and intuitive would be other words. I don’t know what it is about pigs, but they make you THINK. They make you FEEL things on a level you’ve never felt before. For that I am grateful. – Dianne Shoenfelt