Cynthia always drew as a child and was given art materials to occupy her time while her father, a nature photographer traveled with his family throughout the Southwest, Canada, Mexico and Baja, California. She began her art studies at Glendale Community College and traveled to Austria to study with Wolfgang Männer and Ernst Fuchs. She earned her BFA at Northern AZ University in painting and graphic design and specialized in watercolor and studied old master techniques while earning A Master of Fine Arts at ASU.
Peterson is Adjunct Faculty in Painting and Drawing with Mesa Community College. She has also taught at Shemer Art Center, BRIO Fine Arts Center and Scottsdale Artists' School.