Rae was born in Vancouver in 1948.

She received her B.A. English, from the University of British Columbia in 1970 and completed her teacher training in the Professional Development Program at Simon Fraser university in 1971.

Her working life has included teaching primary school in Vancouver in the early 1970's as well as preschool art at Arts Umbrella since 1993.

Rae has maintained a studio and painted professionally since her graduation from Emily Carr College of Art and Design in 1986, participating in numerous solo, group and juried shows in Vancouver, Richmond and on Hornby Island B.C.

Her commissioned paintings for the Coast Hotels hang in Victoria, Vancouver, Big White, Kamloops, Prince George, B.C. and Edmonton, Alberta. Details of her paintings appear as cover art on the Canadian editions of the best-selling books, Scattered Minds, 1999, and When the Body Says No, 2003, both by her husband Gabor Mate MD.

In 2000 Rae was invited by the art editor of Tradewind books, to show her crocodile paintings to children's poet, Robert Heidbreder. He was inspired to write a story for the Crocs, which Rae in turn, illustrated. The result of this collaboration is the popular picture book, Crocodiles Say…, by Robert Heidbreder, published in Canada and the UK by Tradewind books, and in the U.S. by Simply Read Books.

The sequel, Crocodiles Play! was nominated for two children's choice awards : The Chocolate Lily award in B.C. and the Blue Spruce Award in Ontario, where it was voted first runner up. It also appeared on the Toronto Public Library 's First & Best booklist 2009.

Her third illustrated book for children is Pussycat Pussycat, Where Have You Been? by Dan Bar-el. Published by Simply Read Books in Canada and the US, May 1st, 2011.