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Carol Zirkle

"Montana! Open, free and untamed!

A rough land where colors change with the seasons.

Wild and domestic, animals thrive under deep, blue skies offset by huge, billowing white clouds.

The sun rises and sets with pure majesty, dwarfing even the tallest mountains.

Oh, how I LOVE Montana!!" - Carol Zirkle

 

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Where she grew up: Carol Zirkle was born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota. After she graduating from college, she worked in a corporate job in Minneapolis for 19 years. During this time, she took a few evening art classes here and there.

 

In 1995, she pulled out a sketchpad and began drawing. Her friends liked her work and she began showing her drawings at a number of shows in Minneapolis. An artist at one of these shows told her that she would soon need to make the decision whether to go full time as an artist or not. That, along with an insightful trip to an astrologist set in motion a life changing plan. In March of 2000, she quit her corporate job one day, then sold her house and drove a UHaul to Montana the next day to "be an artist". Find more of this story here: "Pastel Artist, Carol Zirkle".

 

Where she lives now: She now lives in a ranching community in southwestern Montana. The area is high plains desert full of prickly pear cactus, wild life and rattlesnakes (in the summer). She met and married a cutting horse trainer named Donald Messling, and they live with their lovely Australian Shepherd pup, Waldo.

 

Inspiration: The Montana landscape is incredibly beautiful and the skies are spectacular! It's the everyday scenes she encounters that are the inspiration for her work.

 

Mediums:  At the beginning of her career, she focused on drawing with pencil. When it was time to learn to paint with colors, she started with soft pastels, then went to oil sticks. Today, she uses more traditional oil paints with brushes and painting knives to more fully capture the beauty around her.

 

Technique: Carol has a saying, "Everything has every color and every color has it's own composition". She applies the paint directly to the canvas, one color at a time. The colors mix during the process and after all the colors are applied, she taps in the edges and uses a palette knife and/or a brush to highlight areas. When you get close to the paintings, you see many different colors peeking out everywhere. Here is a short video that shows this technique: Painting "Warm Start".

 

Education: Carol studied art at two state colleges in Minnesota, graduating with a Fine Art Degree from St. Cloud State University. Her style of painting is mostly self taught. She likes to research online to see what other painters are doing, then experiments to improve her unique style.

 

Exhibitions and Shows:

 

2019

  • Helena Spring Art Walk @ Ghost Art Gallery, Helena, MT

2013

  • Helena Fall Art Walk @ Ghost Art Gallery, Helena, MT

2012

  • Artist Reception @ Depot Gallery, Ennis, MT

2011

  • Artist of the Month @ State Bank of Townsend, Townsend, MT
  • Helena Fall Art Walk @ Ghost Art Gallery, Helena, MT

2010

  • Art Walk @ Depot Gallery, Ennis, MT

2009

  • Helena Fall Art Walk @ Ghost Art Gallery, Helena, MT
  • Christmas Stroll @ Depot Gallery, Ennis, MT

2008

  • Quick Draw @ Townsend, MT
  • Helena Spring Art Walk @ Ghost Art Gallery, Helena, MT
  • Spring Art Walk @ Depot Gallery, Ennis, MT
  • Fall Art Walk @ Depot Gallery, Ennis, MT
  • Helena Fall Art Walk @ Ghost Art Gallery, Helena, MT
  • Christmas Stroll and Party @ Depot Gallery, Ennis, MT

2007

  • Quick Draw @ Townsend, MT
    Amber Waves: Montana Landscapes (Juried) @ Big Fork, MT
  • Artist of the Month @ State Bank of Townsend, Townsend, MT
  • Art Walk @ Depot Gallery, Ennis, MT
  • Art Auction@ St. Peter’s Hospital, Helena, MT
  • Christmas Stroll @ Depot Gallery, Ennis, MT

2006

  • Art Within Art – Al Swanson and Carol Zirkle @ AL Swanson Gallery, Helena, MT
  • Quick Draw @ Townsend, MT
  • MT Secretary of State Exhibit @ State Capital, Helena, MT
  • Grand Opening Show @ Depot Gallery, Ennis, MT
  • Art Walk @ Depot Gallery, Ennis, MT
  • Autumn Social @ Depot Gallery, Ennis, MT
  • Christmas Stoll @ Depot Gallery, Ennis, MT

2005

  • Form Not Function Show (juried) @ Bozeman, MT
  • Forest Service Elk Horn 100 Year Celebration @ Townsend, MT
  • Montana Wild West Fest @ Helena, MT
  • Fall Art Walk @ AL Swanson Art Gallery, Helena, MT

 

Publications:

- August 2019 - "Women in Art", Southwest Art (download link to see the article)

- February 2019 - "The Beautiful Land", Southwest Art (Landscape Issue)

- April 2014 - Daily Paintworks Spotlight Issue

- January 2007 - "Carol Zirkle, Pastel Artist", Montana Arts and Culture Magazine

- February 2006 - "Duet", Helena Independent Record

- August 2000 - "Volunteers Rally to Rescue Stray Livestock in Fire Zone", AP article in The Montana Standard

 

Awards:

- July 2019 - Painting "Peaceful Twilight" was selected as part of the FAV15% (jury's favorite 15% of the entries) in the BoldBrush competition.

- July 2019 - Painting "Evening Fiesta" was selected as part of the Judge's Favorites (one of 15, including top three) in the DPW (Daily Paintworks) competition.

- June 2019 - Painting "Evening Haze" was selected as part of the FAV15% (jury's favorite 15% of the entries) in the BoldBrush competition.

- June 2019 - Painting "Mellow Yellow" was selected as part of the Judge's Favorites (one of 15, including top three) in the DPW (Daily Paintworks) competition.

- May 2019 - Painting "Purple Haze" was selected as part of the FAV15% (jury's favorite 15% of the entries) in the BoldBrush competition.

- May 2019 - Painting "Mellow Yellow" was selected as part of the FAV15% (jury's favorite 15% of the entries) in the BoldBrush competition.

- Dec 2018 - Painting "Mellow Yellow" was selected as part of the FAV15% (jury's favorite 15% of the entries) in the BoldBrush competition.

 

Classes:

 

2008

  • "How to Paint a Powerful Painting" @ Townsend, MT
  • "Let's Paint" @ Townsend, MT

2007

  • "How to Paint a Powerful Painting" @ Townsend, MT

2006

  • "Broadwater County Art Camp" @ Townsend, MT
  • "Pastel Painting" - After School Program @ Townsend, MT
  • "Pastel Painting" - Community Class @ Townsend, MT

2005

  • "Learn to Draw What You See" @ Townsend, MT

 

Collectors:

- Her work has been collected in about 40 states across the US, with several going abroad.

 

Representation:

- Ghost Art Gallery, Helena, MT

- DailyPaintWorks.com

 

Affiliations:

- Oil Painters of America (OPA)

- National Oil & Acrylic Painters' Society (NOAPS)