Carol Bechtel was born in San Francisco, studied in New Orleans and has lived in Winter Park, Florida, for 30 years. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Newcomb College, where she studied with Ida Kohlmeyer and is still influenced by her work. After advanced studies at Rollins College in Winter Park, Bechtel was selected for a fellowship at The Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she studied with Robert Natkin. Other influences on her work include J.M.W. Turner and California artist Richard Diebenkorn.