Born in Bombay, Winifred McKenzie was raised in Scotland from 1913. She studied at Glasgow School of Art, where she became particularly interested in colour woodcuts. The McKenzie family moved to London in 1930, where Winifred studied at Grosvenor School of Modern Art with her sister Alison. During their ten years in the city, both sisters exhibited regularly. The family moved to St. Andrews in 1940, and after the war, Winifred was appointed as a lecturer at Dundee College of Art. Sharing the job with her sister, Winifred established wood engraving classes at the college. After relinquishing her teaching post at the school in 1957, Winifred continued to paint until the age of ninety.