Through a diverse body of work spanning different mediums, themes, and styles, Kerstin Glaess explores color, physical formations, and living creatures. Recently refocusing on oil painting, these works demonstrate a captivation with flora, fauna, and landscapes. Glaess utilizes bright and abstracted color schemes, while her sculpted paint gives the illusion of depth. She applies just-mixed color with a palette knife, often leaving it untouched for the remainder of the painting process. Glaess's recent paintings examines horizon lines, refraction of light, and animal forms.
Kerstin Glaess was born to a Texan and Californian on Whiteman AFB outside of Knob Knoster, Missouri during an early October snowstorm. Growing up a military child, she traveled around the world until her teens when her family settled along the Emerald Coast in Northwest Florida. These early wanderlust experiences helped shape her life and artistic thought-processes. Kerstin's childhood centered around creativity; her earliest memories are 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. In the visual arts, Kerstin dabbled with different mediums including ceramics, wire sculpture, watercolor, acrylic, color pencil, oil pastel, ink, 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 was also highly involved with entertainment arts until she became more interested in the aesthetics over performance.
During her undergraduate college years, Kerstin revisited oil painting as her medium of choice as both a self-care creative outlet and side hustle. On the weekends, she painted animal portraits, florals, still lifes, as well as university and fraternity themed works. Most of her sales were to her sorority sisters, and fellow resident assistants. She taught 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. Whilst pursuing her Masters degree in New York, Kerstin furthered her oil painting practice by experimenting with direct painting techniques, and then with palette knives. Through her artistic exploration, she found a love for painting the natural world surrounding her. Kestin's oil paintings are based off her own and her father's photography from their world-wide adventures; flora, fauna, and landscapes from areas she has called home; and her personal nature collection. Meanwhile her collages focus 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.