Carol Zirkle was born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota. After she graduated 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 the shows told her that she would soon need to make the decision whether to go full time as an artist or not. In March of 2000 she quit her corporate job,sold her house and drove a UHaul to Montana to “be an artist”. She now lives in a ranching community in southwestern Montana. The area is high plains desert full of prickly pear cactus, wildlife 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.