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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Beatrice Baxter Ruyl

November 12, 2018

Tags: summer art colonies, art schools, women artists

I love illustrated books, which in today’s world largely means children’s books. This combination of text and illustration from 1909 is by Beatrice Baxter Ruyl (who posed for photographer Gertrude Käsebier’s picture The Sketch). The children’s book pulp-fiction syndicate for whom my character, Mattie Palmer, works would not publish work of the caliber of Little Indian Maids at Work and Play; but I’d like to think Mattie would admire it.

Beatrice Baxter, was born in Denver, Colorado, in 1879, studied art in Boston and at the Académie Colarossi in Paris, and married artist/illustrator Louis Ruyl. In the first decade of the 20th C, she wrote or illustrated Little Indian Maids at Work and Play and other books. She also drew illustrations for the Boston Herald. The Ruyls were part of the Ogunquit, Maine, art scene; but Beatrice’s best-known work today stems from a visit she made to the Zuni Pueblo. Like writer Willa Cather, she must have been influenced by Western origins her all her life.