Originally from Toronto, Canada, Zirka moved to this area three years ago to be with her Akronite husband. She immediately fell in love with the area due to its friendly people and its many natural areas, the latter becoming the subjects of many of her paintings. She feels lucky that her lofty home studio is bathed in natural light and is surrounded by giant oaks through which she catches glimpses of the Portage Lakes. Formerly a water colorist, Zirka now works in acrylics, painting in bright, vibrant colors with the occasional use of fluorescent undertones. Her work has been shown in many local galleries and she received the People’s Choice Award at the Cuyahoga Valley Art Center Winter Exhibition in 2020.
How has joining an arts group helped you as an artist?
I feel that artists can benefit immensely from sharing their experiences and work with other artists. I’ve been in several art groups through the years and feel that it has provided me a broader view of the art world. I feel that joining a group also provides artists with a “safe home” with other like-minded individuals. I am currently subscribed with an online art group and am involved with the Cuyahoga Valley Art Center, which was one of the first places I visited when moving to this area. I’m very appreciative of the warm welcome and encouragement CVAC has extended to me since arriving here.
What was the most challenging artwork you have ever attempted and why?
I feel that every painting I do is a challenge. Like other artists, I put a little bit of myself on every canvas and that can be a bit scary as I open myself to the judgement and critique of others. While scary, it’s somehow freeing as well, and ultimately leads to improvement. I kept the first painting I ever did. Now and then I look at it to remind myself of how much I have evolved as an artist.
So, I would say that my most challenging artwork was my very first piece where I dared to express myself through art. It changed my life.
Image 1. Zirka Hayes, Red Fields In The Fog, acrylic, 24″ x 36″, SOLD
Image 2. Zirka Hayes, Red Poppy, limited edition print, available any size, starting at $30
Image 3. Zirka Hayes, Wine Glass, Mixed Media, 8″ x 10″ SOLD
Image 4. Zirka Hayes, Pink Peony, Watercolor, 16″ x 22″ SOLD
Image 5. Zirka Hayes, Once Upon A Forest, Acrylic, 18″ x 40″ SOLD