Aeling received her B.A. degree in painting and printmaking from Colorado State University in Fort Collins in 1988 and her M.F.A. degree in painting from the University of Washington in Seattle. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Graduate Fellowship from the University of Washington, a National Fine Art Award, a Smithville Special Award, and an Art St. Louis Honor Award. Her work has been exhibited at the Laguna Gloria Art Museum in Austin, Texas; the Hoyt Institute of Art in New Castle, Pennsylvania; and the Boulder Center for the Visual Arts in Boulder, Colorado.