Irene Belknap was born in Munich, Germany. She studied painting at the Silvermine Academy in New Canaan, Connecticut and the Kokoshka School in Salzburg, Austria. She received a BA in History of Art from Sweet Briar College and, later, an MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute.
Since 1968 she has shown her work nationally and internationally in both group and solo exhibitions. Her work has appeared in many publications. Working primarily in oil on linen, her work is also published in limited edition giclée prints. Working in series enables deeper exploration of a theme. Past titles of series have been Restoration, Procession, String Theory, Dressed In Words and Physics and Other Possibilities.