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

Elizabeth Butler

November 20, 2015

Tags: Elizabeth Butler, Carolus-Duran, Sargent, women artists

An important new show, Artist & Empire: Facing Britain’s Imperial Past, will be opening at the Tate Gallery in London on November 25, 2015. It features this painting by Elizabeth Butler among (more…)

Paris in Mourning

November 16, 2015

Tags: Paris landmark, Lépine

As we all try to absorb the implications of last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, it seems fair for each of us to dwell with love on the aspects of the city and the people that mean the most to us. Paris has had a bloody, violent history yet who can deny its (more…)

Light and composition

November 13, 2015

Tags: Menzel, light

We are so used to evenly lit rooms at night that it requires a real act of imagination to visualize stories from the 19th C and earlier as their authors and first readers did. And what about writers of historical or fantasy? Is it pedantic to try to imagine authentic lighting or (pardon the pun) illuminating? How does one convey to a reader what the characters should take for granted? (more…)

Kewpie Votes for Women

November 2, 2015

Tags: women artists, illustration, Rose O’Neill, suffrage

After Saturday’s post on Halloween cards, my first search for the illustrators who painted them turned up Rose O’Neill—the inventor of Kewpie! Who knew? (Well, probably lots of historians of material culture, but not me.) It is tempting, tempting, tempting (more…)