After graduating from Wellesley College in 1963 with a degree in Art History, Olivia Parker began her career as a painter. She became intrigued with photography in 1970. Mostly self-taught in photography, she usually constructs what she photographs in the studio. Her photographs are fundamentally still life inspired by those painted in the traditional Dutch, Flemish and Spanish 17th century style, with their torn petals, sumptuous but imperfect fruit and improbable insects. Parker feels that photographic still life is still an open arena precisely because of those intrinsic qualities of this contemporary medium that distinguish it from painting.