Katherine Keenum


A blog about how paintings, photographs, and prints have helped me visualize my fiction—both Where the Light Falls and works-in-progress—with a hope that they will stimulate other writers and readers, too.

Click on images to see enlargements. In the text, click on words in color to activate links.

Selected Works

Fiction
An American woman art student meets a Civil War veteran in Belle Époque Paris.

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Picturing a World

Man in the Moon tree house

July 25, 2017

Tags: cafés and restaurants

In looking for images of medieval taverns this morning, I stumbled across this 18thC painting. It has nothing to do with my new story, but it instantly reminded me of the Swiss Family Robinson tree house restaurant in Where the Light Falls. Oh, yea! And doesn’t it just cry out for its own story? (more…)

Dust jackets

July 23, 2017

Tags: illustration

I’m looking forward eagerly to the October publication of the first volume of Philip Pullman’s new trilogy. The Belle Sauvage is pictured here in its UK cover. How I wish we could buy this version in the U.S.! To see both, click here.

In any case, I’ll be buying mine at an independent, books-and-mortar bookstore. It will cost more because publishers don’t offer indies the deep discounts they give the major on-line dealers, but we keep real book culture alive by supporting the stores that foster serious authors and readers. For a British bookseller’s view on this topic, click here.

New York 1911

July 15, 2017

Tags: New York landmark

Website alert: Only one week left! Through July 21, 2017, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City has up a superb nine-minute restored video of harbor, elevated railway, and streets scenes from New York in 1911.

Marie-François Firmin-Girard

July 5, 2017

Tags: Paris landmark, dogs, flower seller, handcart, street views

Blog post alert:> Thanks to a post at Line and Colors for introducing me to Marie-François Firmin-Girard. I love finding pictures that I might have used for Where the Light Falls had I come upon them in time. (more…)

Lee Lufkin Kaula

July 1, 2017

Tags: Edward, women artists

A recent post at It’s About Time introduced me to another woman artist from the period of my Palmer sisters, Lee Lufkin Kaula.

Although Kaula seems to be best known for paintings (more…)

Mary Bradish Titcomb

June 24, 2017

Tags: Bradish, women artists

Although these young women date from some thirty years after the action of Where the Light Falls,, they immediately made me think of my characters sketching en plein air in Pont Aven, and I am specially grateful to a blog post at It’s About Time for introducing me to (more…)

Solar system quilt

June 20, 2017

Website alert: At the moment, I’m working on a short story with an astronomical motif so this quilt jumped out at me. Wow!

The quilter was born in Cincinnati. An Ohio connection and a date in the mid-1870’s places her and the piece right in my imaginary Palmers’ milieu. Worth (more…)

Anna Alma-Tadema

June 17, 2017

Tags: rooms, women artists

Today at an exhibition, Orchestrating Elegance: Alma-Tadema and Design at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., I saw a reproduction of this watercolor by Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s daughter Anna Alma-Tadema. Another portrait without people! As a novelist, I find these 19th C paintings of unpeopled rooms helpful aids to imagination. The suggest a sensibility but leave me free to imagine my own stories. (more…)

National Museum of Stockholm

June 7, 2017

Tags: Scandinavian artists, Zorn, nudes

Blog alert! The June 6th post at the invaluable Line and Colors blog announces a Treasure trove of high-res images from Nationalmuseum Stockholm and gives instructions on how to explore it. After visiting the sight, I chose this image by Anders Zorn because (more…)

Carolus-Duran, fencer

June 1, 2017

Tags: Carolus-Duran, fencing, illustration

A recent update from a correspondent who is doing research on Carolus-Duran led me to look over my collection of images by or about the artist. To my surprise, I saw that I have never posted this drawing of Carolus as a fencer. His swordsmanship made him dashing to his students—and to me!

(more…)