My career was determined by the age of six when my father, Arthur B. Carles, bought me a small paintbox and took me out into the French landscape to paint by his side.
At the age of 12, I returned to Europe and lived in Italy for two and a half years. During a summer in Venice, I fell in love with Giovanni Bellini, drawing innumerable Madonnas when not painting Venetian cityscapes. A time in Assisi, the discovery of Giotto and Cimabue was also important, as were Rome and Florence. Those years were my primary education in art history.
At Bennett Junior College in Millbrook, I studied sculpture with Lu Duble and during vacation I joined the first art class in New York under Maurice Sterne. In the summer of 1932 I studied with Alexander Archipenko.