I was born in Deming, NM during WWII while my father was a cadet in the Army Air Corps. After the war we moved to the Minneapolis area where I lived until I graduated from college.

In the 1970s I joined a collective farm in Western Wisconsin and married one of the members. We raised beef cattle and horses, had a large organic garden, orchards, chickens, the whole traditional farm experience.  We had two great children, Luke and Katey Bellville. 

Meanwhile I freelanced in Minneapolis as a commercial photographer specializing in agriculture as a niche, doing corporate and photo journalism.

In 1980 I was invited by a Minneapolis publishing house to submit ideas for non-fiction books for young readers that turned into a long association and fourteen children’s books. Initially these books were about farming and ranching, but later covered a range of subjects. Two books documented Ojibwe and Lakota families, and were written with members of those tribes. 

Powwow Summer, a Family Celebrates the Circle of Life, co-authored with writer Marcie Rendon, was republished recently by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. The final book, Farmer’s Market, Families Working Together, also co-authored with Marcie Rendon, described a year in the life of a German family that came to Minnesota at the turn of the 20th Century, and a Hmong family that immigrated to Minnesota from Laos almost a hundred years later.  

My lifelong interest in photography began as a student in Fine Arts at the University of Minnesota studying under the late Jerome Liebling. I continued working in both fine art photography and free-lance assignments, a pattern that continued for over forty years.

Today I divide my time between rural Wisconsin and the mountains of Western New Mexico with Don, my husband of 30 some years, not far from the town I was born in.

Don and Blue riding fence.

Don and Blue riding fence.