Minnesota artist Marley Kaul’s recently released book, Letters to Isabella, Paintings by Marley Kaul, presents seventy-seven egg tempera works each accompanied by a letter written to his granddaughter. The book offers stunning full color reproductions of his paintings and is also an intimate look at his artistic process and the unique personal and professional influences reflected in his long career as an artist.
In 2003, Kaul learned he would become a grandfather. A health concern caused him to worry about whether he would still be around to meet his granddaughter, or if she would have to speculate about his life and art after he was gone. He decided to compose a letter to her so she could read it later and know a little more about him.
As time went on, Kaul got to know his granddaughter quite well, but he continued writing her letters, filling them with advice, insights, and descriptions of his painting process and techniques. Those letters and the colorful egg tempera paintings they refer to come together in this vibrant art book.
As Kaul looks back on the many experiences that have influenced his forty-five plus years of painting, he recalls the farming community he grew up in, his German and Irish ethnicity, his work ethic and love of the land, and his interest in reading philosophy and poetry.
Kaul began painting with egg tempera (a paint made of pigment, egg yolk, and water) when he was called upon to teach it to his university art students. He has been painting with egg tempera for over 25 years and according to Laurel Reuter, director of the North Dakota Museum of Art, he is a contemporary egg tempera master.
This new book is a great resource for artists who are interested in painting technique and for anyone who values a window into the creative process
A book launch will take place at Watermark Art Center in Bemidji on November 12. The reception will start at 5:30 p.m. with a brief reading beginning at 6, followed by questions from the audience, book sales, and signing. The event will be hosted by Watermark’s Spoken Word Committee.
Born and raised on a farm in Good Thunder, Minnesota, Marley Kaul earned a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Oregon. He taught painting and drawing at Bemidji State University. He paints daily in his studio near Lake Bemidji and exhibits throughout the northern region. His paintings, acrylic and egg tempera, reside in private and public collections, including North Dakota Museum of Art, Plains Art Museum, Minnesota Historical Society, 3M Collections, Minnesota Mutual Life, Tweed Museum of Art, and Weisman Art Museum.