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

Monet’s Gare Saint-Lazare

November 8, 2018

Tags: Impressionism, Paris landmark, Monet, transportation

A tip from James Gurney on the release of high-resolution images by the Chicago Art Institute led me back to this 1877 painting by Monet. It was in my mind when I wrote Jeanette and Effie’s arrival in Paris in 1878. Going to the high-res image was like arriving with them in Paris all over again—the same sense of being engulfed by the station. With an enlargement, I noticed the overhead wires for the first time; and when I enlarged further, I could see brushstrokes and the support beneath. Details of the station and a reminder of the artist at work—what marvels are available on line to stimulate imagination! Admittedly, it would be even better to go to Paris or Chicago; but in these days when we should all strictly limit our air travel to lessen our carbon footprint, I’ll settle for such virtual tours.