top of page

Jan Jahnke


Mixed Media on Board

Original Paintings


My mother would tell you this all started when I was two.  The first large scale masterpiece I created involved lipstick samples I discovered early one morning in my Dads “Fuller Brush” suitcase. (He ended up changing professions).  I went to mixed media work at age three.  The underside of the kitchen table served as canvas for a peanut butter and jelly abstract. It was cleaned off before I could sign it.


Before I knew it, I was taking every art class I could all through grade school and high school.  After my kids were born, I finally began my formal studies at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and received a BFA in Printmaking.  After graduation I found myself on the other side of the desk teaching screen-printing at MIAD for 10 years.  During the summers, I traveled the art show circuit and exhibited in national competitions.

Now I work as a full time artist in an old brick feed mill in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin. (By the way, I no longer work in lipstick samples or peanut butter and jelly).

My working process is a connection between myself and nature.  The finished pieces are a connection between my art and other people.  Hiking with my daughter in the Southwest desert, exploring my son’s acreage in northern Wisconsin, memories of living with my grandparents on their farm are sources for ideas.  Textures of grasses, layers of drying leaves, and piles of stone. Colors of sunlight, shadows, and decay.  They are all part of the natural world that inspires me.  Whether creating abstracts or more realistic renderings, I work with a combination of spontaneity and editing.  Multiple layers of ink-both transparent and opaque-are applied, edited, and applied again.  Eventually the piece will reflect my love of nature with its rich surface quality, texture, and energy.



bottom of page