Kerstin Glaess was born on Whiteman AFB in Missouri during an early October snowstorm. As a military child, she had a mobile upbringing which included living in four states, one US territory, and two continents before the age of 10. Her only physical constants were 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 art; her earliest memories of creating surround living in Guam and drawing 'tea-party stuffed animal portraits' in composition notebooks. Her mother taught her to sew, draw, 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 throughout her younger years, including ceramics, wire sculpture, embroidery, and claymation videography. Her introduction to oil painting was in the mid-2000s under Sue Carol Knight using the Flemish Method in Destin, Florida. As a young adult, Kerstin felt burned out from her AP Art years in high school, and took a brief hiatus from studio art to focus on photography and her first years at college.
Kerstin revisited painting during her sophomore year of undergrad using it as a self-care creative outlet, and then a side hustle. On the weekends 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 while teaching English in the Mississippi Delta helped run an art club. In New York City pursuing her Master's degree, Kerstin furthered her oil painting practice by experimenting with wet-on-wet techniques, impasto, and palette knives. After leaving the city life for Western Massachusetts, Kerstin reconnected with nature through hiking, camping, and rustic exposure opportunities, and discovered a love for photographing and painting the new environments 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.