Jan Jahnke

"An intuitive interpretation of nature, rather than a realistic rendering, best describes my approach to making art. I like to give the viewer the fun of a little mystery and personal connection rather than any clear-cut answers."

Jan Jahnke grew up with a passion for making art. Even as a child, she was always in trouble for her "lipstick paintings" and "peanut butter drawings." Growing up on her grandparents' farm, she formed an appreciation for nature, with all its colors, textures, and patterns. Her love of beauty and art led her to explore materials and techniques, and her connection between nature, paint, and emotion was born.

Strong compositions with rich surfaces and highly detailed textures are a trademark of Jahnke's work. She applies multiple layers of ink—both transparent and opaque—then edits them and applies more. Stenciled areas are highlighted with a combination of materials that may include pencil, crayon, watercolor, and metallic inks. She continues this process of spontaneity and editing until the piece reveals her love of nature to the viewer.

Jan Jahnke graduated from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) with a BFA in printmaking. After graduation, she taught screenprinting at MIAD for 10 years. She has participated in more than 100 juried art fairs and 40 national exhibitions, and has won several awards. She has a studio in Shorewood, Wisconsin, and continues to paint and experiment with new techniques.

Selected Exhibitions & Awards
TOTAL PRINT, Plymouth Art Center, Plymouth, Wisconsin, 2013
ART and Jazz, Cedarburg Art Center, Cedarburg, Wisconsin, 2013
FRESH IMPRESSIONS, Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, Wisconsin, 2014
ANNUAL FALL CELEBRATION, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2014
MEMBERS EXHIBIT, Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, Wisconsin, 2014