Carmen was born in London and studied at the Slade. For most of the 1940s, she lived in Hampstead and exhibited with fellow Surrealists, including Ithell Colquhoun. Subsequently she made several long trips to India that made a lasting impact on her work. She also worked on the literary magazine Grubb Street and published several novels.
Carmen’s paintings are mixture of surrealism & romanticism with the addition of abstract, and/or anarchic imagery with which, she stated, she intended to blend biomorphs, fauna and human beings.