Through a diverse body of work spanning different mediums, themes, and styles, Kerstin Glaess is an artist exploring color, the physical world, and creatures. Her paintings demonstrate a captivation with flora, fauna, and scenery. Glaess utilizes striking expressive color schemes, while her impasto sculpted-and-carved oil paintings offer the illusion of depth. She applies just-mixed color with a palette knife, often leaving it untouched for the remainder of the painting process. Her recent work explores blue and green spaces, and refractions of light.
Kerstin Glaess was born on Whiteman AFB in Missouri during an early October snowstorm. As a military child, she had a mobile upbringing with the only constants being her paternal grandparent's ranch outside of Dallas Texas, her maternal grandparent's home in Rancho Palos Verdes CA, and her parent's love for Old Florida in the Panhandle. These formative third culture kid experiences helped shape her life, as well as her artistic inspirations and thought-processes.
Kerstin's childhood centered around creativity; her earliest memories of creating surround living in Guam and drawing 'tea-party stuffed animal portraits' in composition notebooks. Her mother taught her to draw, sew, and paint, her father taught her photography, and together they encouraged her to ferociously explore the arts in all its forms. Kerstin dabbled with different mediums in the visual arts, including ceramics, wire sculpture, embroidery, and claymation videography. Kerstin's introduction to oil painting was in the mid-2000s under Sue Carol Knight using the Flemish Method in Destin, Florida.
Kerstin revisited painting during her undergraduate years using it as self-care creative outlet and side hustle. On the weekends using acrylics and oil, she painted animals, florals, still lifes, monograms, as well as university-and-fraternity-themed works. Her initial sales were to her sorority sisters and fellow resident assistants prior to her opening her own Etsy store online. By her junior year, she started teaching art in after-school and summer workshops to elementary-aged children, and later while teaching English in the Mississippi Delta, ran an after-school art club. During her time in New York City pursuing her Master's degree, Kerstin furthered her oil painting practice by experimenting with wet-on-wet techniques, palette knives, and impasto. After leaving the city life for Western Massachusetts, Kerstin reconnected with nature through hiking, camping, and rustic exposure opportunities (shout out to Boy Scouts of America and Venture Crew), and discovered a love for photographing and painting the environment surrounding her.
Kestin's paintings are based on her own and her father's photography from their world-wide adventures; flora, fauna, naturescapes from her various homes; and her personal natura collection. Her collages and drawings focus primarily on the shared human experience . She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mississippi and a Master of Fine Arts from City University of New York - Brooklyn College.
She lives a semi-nomadic lifestyle between Florida and New England with her partner and cat.