She's truly an artist whose work springs from her heart, and Bonnie Shield's delightful guest blog illustrates how success comes to those who follow their dreams. From her home near Sandpoint, Idaho The Tennesee Mule Artist writes,
"My name is Bonnie Shields and I am known as the Tennessee Mule Artist. Never mind that I live in north Idaho, ha.
"My parents were professional photographers and we lived right in the town of Corydon, but I was your typical horse-crazy little girl. To endure this state, I drew horses constantly and dreamed my dreams.
"While in my early 20's, fate moved me to middle Tennessee, and that is where me and the mule formally met. They were part of the woof and weave of the culture of the South and as a horseman and an artist, they fascinated me. Getting to know the mule--and the mule people--started a love story that continues to this day. It has rewarded me beyond my wildest dreams.
"We are Back Country Horsemen Of America, and do a lot with that organization and, when we are able, do our favourite thing - pack up some mules and head for the high country.
"Perhaps the most wonderful thing to happen to me while still in Tennessee was to have my mule buddies recommend me to a most wonderful writer who had come to Columbia, Tennesee to research a story she wanted to write about a mule. It was Marguerite Henry herself!!
"Since then and coming to Idaho, Jody Foss and I found each other, and I have been fortunate to have illustrated both of her books along with several other books by cowboy poets and buddies.
Learn more about Bonnie at Behind The Scenes, and in "Author and Artist Share a Love of Mules with Jasper: The Story of a Mule", by Helen T. Hertz ( Bonnie ... ) Sheild's work is available at Books by Bonnie Shields and Wild Horse Books and Art . Also, Bonnie Shields Originals offers her art online.