About the Artist

An ongoing theme in my work is rewilding the heart, to inspire deeper connections to wild animals and wild lands. Many of my paintings are about love, obsessions; parts of life which are often subterranean.

After growing up in south Texas, living in Latin America, travelling down the Amazon River, I lived and studied art in central Mexico. I  moved to Austin Texas, painting and singing in an all girl punk band, eventually moving to New York for graduate school, working in the medieval gardens of The Cloisters and drawing neotropical palms for a botanist at The New York Botanical Garden. Growing insects in my apartments, painting forests on the walls, I began feeling  an intense longing to live closer to nature. I ended up in northwestern Connecticut where I grew moss gardens, created ponds of waterlilies and lotus hanging cages of caterpillars and moths.  My husband and I moved to central Oregon and lived in a solar powered off grid home, closer to nature in a more ancient, vulnerable way. While living in Oregon I became active in efforts to help wildlife, speaking out for protection of mountain lions and wolves. I was one of the founders of an organization dedicated to stopping animal trapping.  In 2016, we moved to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona where I spent a year exploring and learning about the wildlife of the desert. While there I connected with the Northern Jaguar Project and began donating artwork to help the Sonoran jaguar population.  In 2017, we moved to a lighthouse keepers cottage in Maine, kayaked with seals and lion’s mane jellyfish and in 2019 moved to Mount Desert Island, where I worked at Acadia Wildlife Center helping rehabilitate injured wild animals.

I grew up at the mouth of the Rio Grande River in south Texas and after taking some tributaries over the years I’ve moved upstream from my childhood home. I now live near the Rio Grande River in beautiful New Mexico.


irene hardwicke olivieri in artist studio 2022