Gertrud Lulise Sembdner was born on March 10, 1880 in Berlin, Germany (her full name was Gertrud Luise Anna Maria Emilie). She studied painting with the Berlin landscape painter Karl Wendel (1878-1932). She was a member of the "Juryfreie Kunstschau Berlin", organized in 1911 by a group of artists that exhibited without a jury and was open to all painters and sculptors in of all art “schools”, including Modernism.
She also exhibited a color woodcut in the Great Berlin Art Exhibition in 1916 and her entry, "Aus dem Charlottenburger Schlosspark" was listed on page 85 of the catalog, number 1488. The Great Berlin Exhibition was the exhibition that the German Secessionists rebelled against when it rejected a work by Leistikow.
Sembdner lived in Berlin until 1943. Between 1943 and 1965 she lived Buesum/Holstein, Tiebensee/Holstein and Heide/Hostein, all in Germany. She never married and lived with her younger sister, Martha Sembdner who managed the household.
Gertrud Sembdner died on July 30, 1966 in Goslar/Harz, Germany.