As a young art student in Mendoza, Argentina, Carmen Gracia originally studied painting and sculpture at Mendoza College of Fine Art. At twenty-five she felt the lure of Europe as the centre of avant garde art and left for Paris, where she studied with the internationally renowned printmaker S.W. Hayter at the Atelier 17. She cultivated Hayter's technical methods of soft ground textures, contrasted by deep etching printed in one colour, then overlaid by relief printing in another. Moving to London, she joined the Slade School of Art in 1965.