Jae Carmichael was born in Hollywood, California in 1925. She began her education at Mills College from 1942-44. Carmichael received her BFA from the University of Southern California in 1951, as well as her PhD in art history and cinematography in 1972. Between these years she studied at Claremont Graduate School, receiving her MFA in 1955. Carmichael studied art with Francis de Erdely, Millard Sheets, Phil Dike, Dong Kingman, and William Gaw. In addition to her watercolors, she has produced sculpture, murals, oil paintings and independent films. Carmichael taught as an instructor of drawing and painting at the Palos Verdes Arts Asn, art history and cinematography at the Otis Art Institute and the University of Southern California.