Gutheil was brought up in an environment bounded by tradition in a small town in Germany. As a gay teen struggling to compete with the normality that was forced upon her, she decided to flee to a nearby University town. After high school, she traveled and eventually ended up in Berlin’s Universität der Künste. This is where Gutheil achieved her MFA, and learned about different techniques and art history.
Gutheil uses a number of different mediums, such as oil, fabric, foil, hair, and polymer clay in her paintings. She paints the figures in oil or acrylic, and then uses clay on the canvas to add a 3D effect that makes some of the figures in her painting actually pop out. There is also real hair, foil, and fabric used to mock texture. She says that she realizes it would be easier to paint the effects, but she simply just likes the texture. She refers to using different mediums such as fabric as part of her palette, such as Matisse used cutouts.