Born in Falkirk, Scotland 1943. Nationality: British.
Rae tudied painting at the Edinburgh College of Art from 1961 to 1965. A post-graduate travel scholarship enabled her to spend time painting in France and Spain which together with subsequent trips to the United States came to permanently influence her painting. The principal inspiration for this has been the landscape which she renders in abstracted form using intense colour and dramatic gestural mark making. The history and culture of a place is of more interest to Rae than the topography and she aims to reflect the essence of these elements in her paintings.
Rae also attended Moray House College of Education and taught art in schools in Edinburgh for several years before going on to lecture in Drawing, Painting and Printmaking at Aberdeen College of Education from 1972 to 1974 and at Glasgow School of Art from 1975 to 1996.
Her first solo show had been held in 1967 in Edinburgh and she went on to exhibit regularly thereafter at national and international group and solo exhibitions. Among her many awards are those of the Scottish Arts Council Awards (1975, 1981), the Guthrie Medal, Royal Scottish Academy (1977), Royal Scottish Academy Sir William Gillies Travel Award (1983) Calouste Gulbenkian Printmaking Award (1983) and Hunting Group Prizewinner (1990). Rae was elected Member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1992 (ARSA 1980) and a Royal Academician in 1996; she was awarded the CBE in 1999.