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

Florist’s interior

November 6, 2017

Tags: fashion or clothes, flower seller

It was partly paintings of outdoor markets and street-corner flower-sellers that inspired me to have Jeanette buy flowers from time to time in Where the Light Falls, but I sent Edward into an upscale Parisian florist’s shop. Although I knew they existed, I had never found a painting of one until (more…)

Telling, little details

October 30, 2017

Tags: fashion or clothes, flower seller, street views

When Jeanette goes into her first bakery in France, she notices the white cards with prices written in a Continental hand. Those price cards and their style of numbering had stuck in my mind ever since my student days in France, so it’s not surprising that I smiled this morning when I saw (more…)

Flower sellers and models

September 20, 2017

Tags: flower seller, model

The characters in Where the Light Falls buy flowers variously from street peddlers, at stalls in big outdoor markets, and in an upscale florist’s shop. I have posted some of the beautiful depictions of the motif in the blog. Doré’s painting brought me up short, however, with its reminder of (more…)

Marie-François Firmin-Girard

July 5, 2017

Tags: Paris landmark, dogs, flower seller, handcart, street views

Blog post alert:> Thanks to a post at Line and Colors for introducing me to Marie-François Firmin-Girard. I love finding pictures that I might have used for Where the Light Falls had I come upon them in time. (more…)

Flower Market

October 9, 2014

Tags: flower seller, shopping

The flower markets and sellers of Paris pop up now and again in Where the Light Falls; but what really makes me want to include a post about one today is my recent discovery of a beautifully illustrated blog that features clips of the sounds if Paris. In a story (more…)

Flower Seller

January 2, 2014

Tags: Jeanette, Parisiénne, flower seller

During the summer of 1879, Jeanette not only draws a clump irises at the Cluny (see previous post), but also buys flowers on her way home for watercolor studies in her free time. Buying them makes her feel Parisian—and Gilbert’s painting shows why. (more…)

At the Florist

April 29, 2013

Tags: Jeanette, Edward, flower seller, shopping, social customs, street views

Before I saw Béraud’s Promenade, featured in the last post, I had seen Hassam’s Florist, which illustrates the custom of being accompanied by a uniformed maid when out and about in Paris (very handy for having someone to carry purchases as well as to announce respectability). Countess Marie Bashkirtseff and other privileged students at the Académie Julian were escorted to class by a maid. For Jeanette and other foreign students, however, such close chaperonage was unnecessary. The streets of Paris were safe and American girls were notable to Europeans for their independence. (more…)