Born in Mexico to immigrant German and Catalan parents, Pecanins grew up in a family dedicated to the arts. Her mother owned an art gallery and saw to it that her daughter was immersed in the arts at a young age.
Pecanins began her professional work in the book arts in 1977, when she established the home-based publishing project Cocina Ediciones to edit, design, print, and produce artists’ books, visual books, and artists’ portfolios. In 1980, Pecanins began to create her own books, combining photographs, old letters, and found objects to consider themes of exile, isolation, and loss. With calligraphy, she explored sensations, intimacy, her inner world, and that of others.