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

Powerful Overstory

August 30, 2018

Usually my blog posts begin as reactions to images, but picturing worlds in fiction depends solely on words. In The Overstory, Richard Powers deploys his gifts and well-honed skills to carry us to the top of the trees, weave us through American society, and plunge us into (more…)

Zorn’s bathers

August 26, 2018

Tags: Scandinavian artists, Pont Aven, Zorn, nudes

As we near Labor Day, Anders Zorn’s bathers are a reminder of summer’s pleasures that will soon be coming to an end. I loved this picture when I was writing about my young artists in Pont Aven. Nudes were basic to academic training (more…)

Breslau’s milliners

August 20, 2018

Tags: Académie Julian, Breslau, fashion or clothes, women artists

Louise Catherine Breslau was a star student at the Académie Julian at the time during which Where the Light Falls is set. She does not play a role in the novel, but it was like coming across an old friend (more…)

Beaury-Saurel’s cigarette

August 17, 2018

Tags: Académie Julian, women artists

In the latter 19th C, polite society considered it a sign of shocking Bohemianism for women to smoke. Now we might not worry about the sitter’s morals, only her health. When Amélie Beaury-Saurel painted this picture, however, she probably meant it as (more…)

Boost your mood

August 1, 2018

Website alert: Yea! In May of this year, Prevention posted its its list of 55 happy books proven to boost your mood, and I'm proud to report that Where the Light Falls is No. 28!