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Karl Spital was born in Herne, Germany, on December 14, 1945. He immigrated to Canada in 1951 with his parents. In 1957, Karl moved to Coates Mills, NB, where his parents bought a farm.

At the age of fifteen, Karl began studying at the Saint John Vocational School under Fred Ross and Ted Campbell. At approximately the same time, he began taking a correspondence course from the United States. After two years in Saint John, Karl returned to Coates Mills and painted on his own, while continuing with the correspondence course. During this time, he exhibited twice at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in group exhibitions.

In 1964, Karl Spital began studies at the School of the Montreal Museum of Fine Art in Montreal. His teachers included Arthur Lismer, Gentile Tondino, Patrick Landsley, Moe Reinblatt, Jim Jones, Marcel Braitstein, and Jean Goguen. Winning several scholarships, including one for post graduate studies, he graduated in 1966 and returned to New Brunswick.

Following his return to New Brunswick, six of Karl's etchings were purchased by the Montreal Museum for the Bronfman Collection of Canadian Art.

Karl Spital painted full time since graduating, dealing with galleries in Montreal, Ottawa, Moncton, Fredericton, and Halifax. His work is in numerous collections in Canada, the United States, England, India, Chile, and Poland and Germany.

Karl painted in Gladeside, NB, often having his five children sit as models for their father. Karl worked mainly in pastel and acrylic, due to an allergy to oil paints.

In addition to his activities as a painter Karl Spital taught art classes, including summer courses at Sunbury Shores Art and Nature Centre in St. Andrews.