Alastair Michie was born in St Omer, France to Scottish parents: his mother, Anne Redpath, was one of the greatest Scottish painters of the 20th Century, his father, James Michie, was an architect. His younger brother, David Michie, became a celebrated painter. Alastair Michie began architecture studies in Edinburgh but this was interrupted by war service with the RAF, and afterwards he began to work as an illustrator and designer.
After seeing the work of the American abstract expressionists at the Venice Biennale in 1962, Michie was inspired to paint, and he also went on to sculpt, displaying his work in numerous exhibitions and galleries at home and abroad. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1994.