Kerstin Glaess is an artist focused in impasto palette knife oil painting, photography, and mixed media collage.
Through a diverse body of work spanning different mediums, themes, and styles, Kerstin Glaess is an artist exploring color, physical formations, and creatures. Recently refocusing on oil painting, these works demonstrate a captivation with flora, fauna, and scenery. Glaess utilizes striking expressive color schemes, while her impasto sculpted-and-carved 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. Her recent work explores the fusion of paper collage with chunky oil paint textures.
Kerstin Glaess was born to a Texan and Californian on Whiteman AFB in Missouri during an early October snowstorm. Growing up a military child, she traveled around the world until her teens when her family settled in Northwest Florida. These early wanderlust experiences helped shape her life and artistic thought-processes. Kerstin's childhood centered around creativity; her earliest memories 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, 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 equally involved with entertainment arts until age 15 when she became more interested in aesthetics over performance.
Kerstin revisited painting during her undergraduate years using it as self-care creative outlet and side hustle. On the weekends, she painted animals, florals, still lifes, monograms, and university-and-fraternity-themed works. Most of her sales were to her sorority sisters and fellow resident assistants. 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. While pursuing her Master's degree in New York City, Kerstin furthered her oil painting practice by experimenting with wet-on-wet painting techniques, then venturing into palette knives and impasto painting. After leaving the city 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 and objects surrounding her.
Kestin's oil paintings are based on her own and her father's photography from their world-wide adventures; flora, fauna, naturescapes from her various homes, and personal natura collection. Her collages, which she circles back to as a purely emotional outlet, 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. She lives in the Pioneer Valley with her partner and cat.