Caryn Friedlander was born in New York City in 1955. She lived on the east coast until, on a whim, she travelled to the Pacific Northwest in her early twenties. She lived in Seattle, the Aleutian Islands, and in Japan as a Monbusho Fellow while working on her Master's thesis, before settling in Bellingham, Washington, where she lives with her husband, two cats, a (big) dog, and a dozen chickens. She travels extensively, particularly in Asia and Europe. Friedlander has an MA in Japanese art history (University of Washington, 1987), and an MFA in painting and drawing (University of Washington, 1991). She exhibited at Francine Seders Gallery from 1996 until the gallery closed in 2014, when gallery owner Seders retired. Along with showing at ArtXchange Gallery, she shows regularly at Smith & Vallee Gallery in Edison, Washington. Along with her studio work, Friedlander taught drawing and painting at Whatcom Community College from 1992 - 2015 (Bellingham, WA), when she retired from teaching to focus solely on her studio work.