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.

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Selected Works

Fiction
An American woman art student meets a Civil War veteran in Belle Époque Paris.

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Picturing a World

Rocks at L'Estaque

May 22, 2014

Tags: Cézanne, Renoir, Provence

This painting was at the back of my mind for when I imagined a vineyard terraced below a limestone escarpment on the grounds of Dr. Aubanel’s sanatorium. Edward helps tend grapevines there in February 1880. It tickled me to discover in preparing this post that the picture was painted two years later in February 1882 (more…)

Van Gogh’s hospital

April 28, 2014

Tags: Edward, Provence, Van Gogh, gardens

While I was working on Where the Light Falls, my husband and I visited this mental hospital in Arles. The courtyard has been restored to look much as it did when van Gogh was a patient. The (more…)

Les Collettes

April 21, 2014

Tags: Renoir, Provence

Working from the photographs, paintings, and—best of all for my purposes—elevation plans, plant lists, and a bird’s-eye layout in Derek Fell’s book Renoir’s Garden, I used Renoir’s estate, Les Collettes, near Cagnes to invent Dr. Aubanel’s (more…)

Sea at L’Estaque

April 17, 2014

Tags: Cézanne, Edward, Provence

Edward is discouraged by his first view outside the L’Estaque train station, but then Winkie turns him around to look out over the bay of Marseille. For another version of this painting, click here. For another view from higher up, click here. For others, click here, here, here, and here. (more…)

View from a train station

April 14, 2014

Tags: Cézanne, Edward, Provence, transportation

Originally, I had intended to give the Renicks’ a house in Aix-en-Provence, where I spent a semester my sophomore year in college, and place Dr. Aubanel’s sanatorium near its thermal springs. Jeanette and Effie were to stay for a longish visit and encounter Edward swimming in the river Arc, where Paul Cézanne and Êmile Zola swam as boys. (more…)