Creating Art from Nature
Sonja Larsen, Print Artist

Lakeview Gallery

Exhibit March 25 – June 22, 2024
May 11, 2024 1-3pm →

LISTEN: Interview with KAXE’s Andrew Dziengel on “Area Voices” →

Nature Printing Society →

Sonja Larsen has been making nature prints since the late 1980’s when she saw the Smithsonian show, “Pressed on Paper” at the Bell Museum.

Used for scientific purposes as well as art, nature printing dates from prehistoric times. Detailed and accurate print making is painstaking and demanding.

Larsen is co-author of a book called Creating Art From Nature now in its 6th printing and available at Watermark’s SHOP 505 gift gallery during the exhibit.

Goatsbeard Seeded- Sonja Larsen
Goatsbeard Seeded- Sonja Larsen

What is Nature Printing?

The images you see in this exhibit are transferred from real leaves, flowers and fish. Inks or pigments are applied to the plants, then pressed onto paper or fabric. Each inking, each use of a leaf creates a unique print that captures the intricate beauty of nature.

Leonardo Da Vinci printed a sage leaf in his journal. Benjamin Franklin printed tobacco leaves on colonial money. Today a few hundred practitioners are joined in the Nature Printing Society, an effort to educate people about this art and to enhance its practice via workshops and exhibitions.  Nature Printing Society →


Portrait Sonja Larsen

Portrait Sonja Larsen

In the late 1980s, Sonja Larsen attended a weekend of workshops at the Bell Museum, Smithsonian, and was introduced to the Nature Printing Society (NPS).

Through the Society, she studied with two Japanese master fish printers and several American artists. She was later invited to participate in an annual Gyotaku (fish print) exhibit in Japan — a great honor.

She has exhibited at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and in 2005 her prints were on display in Glendale, California’s Forest Lawn Museum with “Artistic Nature”.

In 2014 she participated in a two-person show, “Impressions of Nature” at the Minnesota Horticulture Arboretum’s Andersen Library where they are now in the Andersen permanent collection.

Larsen has hosted two international NPS workshops in Minnesota and has led workshops for the NPS throughout the U.S. and in New Zealand. People came from all over the U.S. for week-long workshops she held in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s in Central Minnesota.

Larsen is active with the Nature Printing Society. For ten years she edited the NPS newsletter, edited the Society’s original book, “The Art of Nature Printing” and two subsequent editions. Her art is included in Paper Art by Marurer-Mathison and in Natural Impressions by Carolyn Dahl. Her fish and plant prints are in collections in Germany, Russia, Sweden and the U.S.A.