Born in 1885 in Decatur, Illinois, Fern Isabel Kuns Coppedge grew up on the family farm where she first developed a love for natural settings with rolling hills, barns and streams. At the age of 13 Coppedge moved to California for a short time with her sister, and while there she was introduced to art for the first time via her sister's study of watercolor painting. Coppedge went on to study painting in very prestigious schools in the midwest where she grew up and then on to the east coast. She studied at places such as the Art Students League in New York under William Merritt Chase and the Art Students League Summer School with John F. Carlson in Woodstock. After moving to Phildadelphia, PA, she studied at PAFA, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, under Daniel Garber and at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women under American artist Henry B. Snell.
Coppedge was a plein air painter, known for trudging through the snow covered hillsides in her bearskin coat to find the best Bucks County landscape view she could. She is considered the most prominent female painter of the Pennsylvania Impressionism movement, alongside M. Elizabeth Price, and remains to this day a bright shining star among admirers for her use of bright, bold colors and a more naive composition style.