Christine Emily Shaw (nee Cramond ) was born 9 June 1921 in Partick, Glasgow, Scotland. She attended Hyndland Secondary School before moving to Milngavie in the early 1930s, where she attended Bearsden Academy. There, her art teacher was William Armour, known to the students as 'Paddy'.
Christine started at the Glasgow School of Art in 1939 and kept a diary from January-December 1940. In it she interspersed records of her day to day activities in the School with descriptions of, and opinions on, fellow students and staff including Carlo Rossi, Joan Eardley, Margot Sandeman , T Willison, Leonard Clegg, Hugh Adam Crawford, W O Hutchinson, Henry Y Alison, Campbell Mackie, Harriet Henson, John Miller, Benno Schotz, Bill Crosbie and others. Visits to Mary and William Armour 's house are well documented as are social activities in Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, and the experience of living in Glasgow during the first year of the Second World War.