Many animals have light seeking eyes, enabling them to see in the dark.  The first eyes in the animal kingdom evolved for the purpose of seeking light.* I need some of those eyes!  I love going on walks in the wilderness at night.

I grew up in south Texas, lived in Mexico, Brazil and moved to NYC in my early twenties. After 15 years living on the east coast,  I found myself yearning to live in a wilder place, to be closer to nature in a more ancient and vulnerable way. I moved to the high desert of Oregon where I ‘ve lived off the grid for the past 9 years. When I’m not exploring the wilderness, I’m drawing, painting, making things from bones; lately I’ve been busy with the release of my new book Closer to Wildness and preparing for an exhibition A COLLECTION FOR ZOPILOTE  at Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago  April 10-May 16 2015. The opening is Friday May 10 , 6-8 pm and there will be a gallery talk on Saturday.  

LIGHT SEEKING EYES is going behind the scenes:  what sparks ideas , the process behind some of my work & I’m excited to be interviewing many different kinds of artists, writers, musicians and naturalists. I switch the posts around from time to time so the dates of posting are not correct. 




*Larvae of marine invertebrates worms, sponges, jellyfish – have the simplest eyes that exist. They consist of no more than two cells: a photoreceptor cell and a pigment cell. These minimal eyes, called eyespots, resemble the proto-eyes suggested by Charles Darwin as the first eyes to appear in animal evolution. They cannot form images but allow the animal to sense the direction of light.






  1. Sally Brace

    This is the most interesting blog. Always a treat! I can’t wait to see your book!

  2. Thanks Sally! I’m so excited about the upcoming interviews-! And I just got an advance copy of the book- it was overwhelming to see many paintings that I’ve not seen in a long time all together like that. I went outside laid down under the stars and cried. (Fortunately there were no cougars lurking in the sagebrush but we have seen tracks recently!)

  3. Kathy Laheen

    Hi Irene! I just placed my order for Closer To Wildness and I can’t wait to see it- I know it will be So Beautiful! Your work, your courage, your heart and your voice always inspire me- I love your paintings and all the things you make and it will be amazing to see a whole dang book full of your creations. Congratulations on the publication and Bravo on your terrific blog, as well-
    Love from Kathy

  4. Kathy, Thank you so much for what you said- it means a lot to me. xox

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