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

Movement in color

April 27, 2018

We can detect movement most easily through sight: we see something change position in relation to other objects. We hear movement: rustling, whooshing, gurgling; Doppler changes in volume and pitch. We feel it as changes in pressure against our skin or bodies: mothwing zephyrs, vibrating tuning forks that buzz in our fingers, the ripple (more…)


April 25, 2018

After reading David Abram’s deeply thought-provoking book, Becoming Animal, I have been thinking about what it means to open oneself to the world through all of the bodily senses and more particularly how to incorporate such awareness into fiction. Can an artistic medium effectively communicate what is perceived through seemingly unrelated senses? (more…)

Hollar’s Tangier

April 12, 2018

At special exhibitions, I sometimes play the game of deciding which picture or object I would take home with me if I could. I’ve just been to the Clark Art Institute to see Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection, which (more…)

Ladies painting a bull

April 8, 2018

Tags: art colony, fashion or clothes, plein air, schools, women artists

Blog post alert: James Gurney’s post on Von Hayek’s Animal-Painting Academy is the source of this photo of women artists en plein air. Besides the art-historical angle (and the clothes), I love the farmers in the distance watching. What story do you suppose they might tell?!

Romani follow-up

April 3, 2018

Tags: women artists

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on Juana Romani, here’s a drawing of her by the prolific painter, sculptor, and Art Nouveau designer Victor Prouvé. I love the informality of the portfolio propped on a chair—not to mention the formality of the hat.

Prouvé was as new to me as she was. The best article about him turned up by a quick Google search is Victor Prouvé : un artiste transversal (in French).

Juana Romani

April 2, 2018

Tags: Carolus-Duran, women artists

I wish I had known about the artist’s model and painter, Juana Romani when I was writing Where the Light Falls. She actually posed for Carolus-Duran and studied with his associate, Jacques Henner—although, maybe it’s just as well (more…)