Mike Sonnichsen spent his first seven years in Puerto Rico. After a childhood in the tropics and architecture studies at Virginia Tech, he trained at the Tamarind Institute of Lithography and received an MFA from the University of New Mexico. He now resides in Moscow, Idaho teaching printmaking in the Art+Design Program at the University of Idaho. His work explores systems and patterns, employing light, color, and the mechanics of both print and photographic processes to reveal poetic, formal, and previously unseen qualities of ordinary or familiar objects. While often dazzling to the eye, his work welcomes associations with textiles, play, and quilting as well as the ideas found in Tantric art, cymatics, and sacred geometry.


This piece was letterpress/relief printed from Lego “flat tile” arrangements with 4 tiled color forms printed in a 180 degree “work & turn” manner. Careful blending of translucent inks results in zones of both color neutralization and dazzling high contrast. While planned printing steps are systematic, eventual composite results are always a visual surprise, and in this instance may allude to quilting, play, gardens, and sacred geometry.

Regarding the musical track, I have long been a fan of somewhat moody acoustic guitar players as well as those of the “American Primitive” stripe. The noodling heard here, like the print, is cyclic, optimistic, and a tad imperfect owing to the fallibility of its maker.

Track title: The Dance of the Shaky Graver (2020)

Print title: Observation/Perambulation 4-color Lego Letterpress, 12”x12” sheet, 2020

Website: www.mikesonnichsen.com

Instagram: @mikesonnichsen