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

Calm waters

March 17, 2017

Tags: Charlie Post, Dusseldorf, Scandinavian artists

Surfing on the net (not the sea!) landed me yesterday at a sale at Christie’s, where this painting was up for auction. It’s just the sort of thing I had in mind for Charlie Post’s obsessively pursued subject of sea, horizon, and shore. The serendipity was also a reminder that browsing at gallery websites is a good way to see paintings that are not in museums. You never know what picture or object may inspire a story; and for historical fiction, it helps to look at a wide array of artifacts to get the feel of an era.

For the record, Arvid Claes William Johanson was born in Stockholm in 1862, studied in Dusseldorf, and settled in Paris, where he died in 1923. He won a Bronze Medal at the 1889 Salon in Paris and was dubbed a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in 1899. (His name is sometimes spelled Johansson, but he signed his work as Johanson.

For his 1894 painting of Paris in the snow, click here


  1. March 17, 2017 2:45 PM EDT
    Very stark work. Economical. Nothing excessive. It's the complete fullness of whatever subject he's painting. I see your connection to what would be the work of Charlie Post if he stepped out of "Where the Light Falls" and walked around Paris in the 19th-century.
    - Patricia Franzino
  2. March 18, 2017 9:31 AM EDT
    Oh, thank you, Pat! You make my character sound as real as he feels to me! Also, your eye for Johanson's work shows how responsive you are to visual art. We all have to keep looking around us and expressing our imaginations, don't we? Katherine
    - Katherine Keenum