A self-taught furniture maker, learning through trial and error she worked in a furniture-making cooperative until she resolved to create one-of-a kind pieces. McKie derives inspiration from ancient Greek and Egyptian art, Pre-Columbian, African, Indian, Eskimo cultures, and folk art. McKie's has a mythology and personal metaphor where animal forms become abstracted yet recognisable, anthropomorphic yet strangely primeval.
MckKie graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is the recipient of the two fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, a Massachusetts Artist Foundation fellowship, and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. Her work is part of permanent collections at many museums including the Boston Museum of Fine Art and the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln.