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

Käsebier’s Sketch

October 11, 2018

Tags: photograph, women artists

Although “Anonymity” is stalled at the moment (I’m writing an unrelated novella), images that belong to my heroine Mattie’s world draw me back into it. Both the beauty of this photograph and the earnestness of the artist would, I think, appeal to a wistfully idealistic side of Mattie. Although she works in the pulp end of publishing, she also fosters young talent and encourages writers and artists to strive for their best.

In the novel, she becomes involved with a male photographer, so I’ve done a good bit of reading about the Pictorialist photographers of her era, Gertrude Käsebier very much among them. MoMA has posted 49 more of Käsabier’s softly beautiful photographs.

Beatrice Baxter Ruyl, who posed for this one, was also herself an artist. More about her in another post. Meanwhile, let the picture be an inspiration to you, me, and anyone else who sees the value in persisting with her art.