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.

A small sample of the images that inspired me appears below. Click on these or any images in the posts to see enlargements. In the text, click on colored words to activate links.

Selected Works

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


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Picturing a World

Emma Lambert Cooper

July 31, 2017

Tags: women artists

Where do you suppose this picture was painted? I would guess either Italy or California. Emma Lambert Cooper and her husband, Colin Campbell Cooper, spent time in both places. (The Chianti bottle might tip the scales for Italy; then again my research for ANONYMITY indicates that Chianti wine with straw baskets for the bottle was popular among American Bohemians at the turn of the 20th C.) (more…)

Manet, Monet, and the Gare Saint-Lazare

July 28, 2017

Tags: Monet

In contrast to Colin Campbell Cooper’s painting of New York’s Grand Central Station, discussed in my previous post, the ground-level vantage point of Monet’s painting helped me imagine the Saint-Lazare train station as Jeanette and Effie experienced it upon their arrival in Paris.

It is one of many images discussed in (more…)

Grand Central Station

July 27, 2017

Tags: transportation, Académie Julian, William-Adolphe Bouguereau

When I saw this image of Colin Campbell Cooper’s Grand Central Station, my first thought was not that it might be helpful for ANONMITY, despite the 1909 date. Instead, the picture instantly recalled Claude Monet’s paintings of the Gare Saint-Lazare, which did inform Where the Light Falls. (more…)

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…)