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Jane Thissen: Journal

Another semester concludes! - May 16, 2010

Studying studio art with my amazing professor at the UWL continues to be challenging and rewarding.  This summer I have plans for independent study through the university in an entirely new medium to me - encaustic.  I hope to start from scratch making materials, which means a visit to a friend's bee farm, collect the wax made in hives, melt it and make paint in an ancient process.  Will update as this progresses. 

Been awhile.... - January 29, 2010

Wow, haven't updated in too long. The news is I am studying art again with an amazing professor at the University of Wisconsin. Still working with the veterans, encouraging expressionism as a path to healing, and doing some of my own. Walking on campus again feels magical.

Creating - July 15, 2008

The programs at the VA are expanding to reach more artists of different mediums - fiber art has recently been added, and the V.E.T.S. program continues to encourage painting, sculpture, mixed media, and collage...whatever the veterans wants to learn.

Veterans Express ThemSelves (IV.E.T.S.) - January 15, 2007

Founder of the new Veterans Express ThemSelves (V.E.T.S) art program at Tomah VA Medical Center, Jane is bringing art to all patients that are interested. Currently working with six different wards, the response has been enthusiastic from both participants and staff. The purpose of this program is to let the patients discover art for the pure joy of process, emphasizing abstracts and overcoming those who think they "can't" paint.

Home from summer camp - August 24, 2006

Jane lived in the forest this summer as art director for Easter Seals Camp Kysoc. The heat was brutal, the work challenging and just as rewarding. Campers painted murals with wheelchairs, wagons, barefeet, and sometimes a full body roll on the canvas. We had fun and I am now back to civilzation with internet (yay!) to jump into painting, writing, and residencies in earnest.

New art exhibit! - April 4, 2006

This week will bring Jane's art to a wonderful new coffeehouse in her Wisconsin community, Common Grounds, which fills a need with the Boys and Girls Club, as well as for people both young and young at heart to gather and enjoy coffee and friendship.

VSA Wisconsin - April 4, 2006

Now that Jane lives in Wisconsin, the VSA has honored her with the opportunity to work with populations in local areas as well. She has had amazing and fulfilling residencies in Wisconsin Rapids and Wausau, working with special people she will never forget. She hopes to visit them when possible, just to chat and see what new art has been created.

VSA Arts - update Kentucky! - April 4, 2006

VSA Arts of Kentucky
honored Jane with inclusion on their teaching roster.
Jane looks forward to returning to Camp KYSOC summer 2006 after participating as VSA artist in residence 2005 as well.
Camp KYSOC is one of Jane's favorite places in the world.

VSA supports residencies in all areas of artistic endeavor, bringing artists to populations which rarely experience art in the classroom. VSA encourages creativity in all people with disabilities, physical, behavioral, emotional, all people are included in the VSA target programs. VSA is a national organization, found at

Jane brings her passionate belief in expressionism to each of her classes. To some people, the idea of making art for no other reason than to have fun and put color where it pleases them is a new concept. Enthusiasm runs high in these classes of very special students. Jane has been teaching classes and workshops at Explorium, formerly Lexington Children's Museum for four years.

Lexington City Art Project Dynamic Doors - April 15, 2004

To balance the detail pencil work in the illustrations and pet portraiture, Jane paints large vibrant paintings, many depicting cats, dogs, horses, elephants, and birds. Some ask why the animals are such unusual colors. Jane's vision is to paint animals in the colors of their spirits, or personalities.

The first government housing project built in Lexington was torn down and all the original doors were salvaged for a community art project. The design and implementation of it was time consuming but a lot of fun

Because animals are a big part of Jane's life, she wanted to illustrate what pet owners live with day in and out. The ones inside want out and stand at the door waiting for their chance to escape. The ones outside, who don’t even live there, look pitifully at the door for some food and a new home. In and out. Inside/Out is the name of her door. Starting with a heavy metal door, bent in many places, with cracked panes of glass on top was a challenge. Making it weather proof was another part of the fun.

Illustration - April 1, 2002

Jane is illustrator
of three veterinarian authored books:
The Animals in My Life , by Grant Kendall
More Animals in My Life , by Grant Kendall
The Horse Doctor is In , by Brent P. Kelley, DVM.
Jane has been published
as both author and illustrator
in Cat Fancy and CatsUSA .