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Art & Photography - Painting

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Letters to Isabella

ISBN: 9780692502310
Binding: Paperback
Author: Marley Kaul
Trim: 8.5 x 9.5 inches
Published: 10/16/2015

Marley Kaul's stunning new book Letters to Isabella: Paintings by Marley Kaul presents seventy-seven egg tempera works each accompanied by a letter written to his granddaughter. It offers beautiful full color reproductions of his paintings and is an intimate look at his artistic process and the unique personal and professional influences reflected in his work. In 2003 Marley learned he would become a grandfather. He thought about his granddaughter to be and wondered if he would still be around years from now to tell her about himself in person or if she would have to speculate about his life and art after he was gone. He decided that in case he was unable to be there when she grew up he would compose a letter to her so she could read it later and know a little more about him. As time went on Marley got to know his granddaughter quite well but he continued writing her the letters filling them with his advice insights and descriptions of his painting techniques. These letters and the colorful egg tempera paintings they refer to come together now in this vibrant art book. This fine art book features 77 vivid color plates on the highest quality archival paper. (168 Pages with lay-flat Perfect Binding PUR)


Marley Kaul is considered a contemporary master in a medium valued for its crisp vibrant colors and its luminosity. Tempera is one of the oldest mediums in painting and consists of dry pigment water and egg yolk.

Though Kaul's subjects center on his home in Northern Minnesota: the wildlife outside his kitchen window the birds lighting at his backyard feeder and other domestic subjects his artistic concepts have revolved around ecological issues and what he witness every day in his yard garden and community.

Born and raised on a farm in Good Thunder Minnesota Kaul earned a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Oregon. From 1967-1997 he taught painting and drawing at Bemidji State University.

His paintings are in collections including the North Dakota Museum of Art Plains Art Museum Minnesota Historical Society 3M Collections Tweed Museum of Art the Anderson Center and Weisman Art Museum.

Marley paints daily in his studio near Lake Bemidji.


"THE BOOK OF LOVE...inspired by his granddaughter a Bemidji painter offers life lessons and lyrical observations of rural Minnesota in a beautiful volume." - Mary Abbe art critic Minneapolis Star Tribune 12/08/15

"Letters to Isabella is a stunning and deeply felt book beautiful in both writing and image..." 
- Robert Hedin is the author translator and editor of twenty-four books of poetry and prose including The Light Under The Door.

"Marley Kaul is a contemporary egg tempera master... His work in both content and energy emphasizes his connection with natural forms and poetic metaphor." - Laurel Reuter is the Founding Director and Chief Curator of the North Dakota Museum of Art. Reuter and has curated countless exhibitions ranging from "Light and Shadow: Japanese Artists in Space" (1992) to "The Disappeared" (2005). Publications include Whole Cloth and Marking the Land: Jim Dow in North Dakota.

"Marley Kaul has taken a unique approach to the identity issue─theme and critique─central to contemporary art since the nineties. He has pierced a hole in the blatant strident political side of "identity" and has brought us personally home to a place of the heart. Through his stewardship of his rural land and knowledge of plants and animals he has offered metaphors about the principled practice of art and life and the changing aspects of growing and seeing." - Sarah Clark-Langager is the retired longtime director of Western Gallery at Western Washington University Bellingham Washington and is the author of Sculpture in Place: A Campus as Site Isamu Noguchi and Skyviewing Sculpture and Critical Messages: Contemporary Northwest Artists on the Environment.

"A unique and absolutely fascinating art book Letters To Isabella presents and showcases a truly impressive body of work and commentary. Very highly recommended for personal community and academic library Contemporary Art collections it should be noted that Letters To Isabella would also aptly serve as an example or template for other artists to similarly present their own life work and insights to a grateful and appreciative readership." -Helen Dumont Reviewer Midwest Book Review