instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads

Picturing a World

Urban energy

As I said in last Thursday’s post, Bellows' painting of a horse being brought under control conveys complex information and energy. It has attitude. It helps me imagine life in the city at the start of the 20th C. Can't you just feel how the cold, wet nastiness makes the frustrated driver’s task harder, the danger greater? The gaping child and other spectators are also reminders of the theatricality of life on the streets.

Jeanette is always conscious of her good fortune to be in beautiful Paris. Mattie is aware of the rawness and challenge of New York. What she finds in her city is power and newness, unending change and demand that she make herself over, make her life her own.

George Bellows was from Ohio. His eyes help me imagine how my Ohio character sees what is around her. For several more of his paintings of the city, click here.  Read More 
Be the first to comment

Mattie suffragist

As my new novel opens, Mattie Palmer is at breakfast, skimming the morning newspapers. Her eye is caught by the story of a cross-country automobile trip  Read More 
Be the first to comment

Taking pictures to the Salon

When I ran across this illustration early in my research, I knew Jeanette must ride in an omnibus when she delivered her Salon entry. Omnibuses, in fact, became a minor motif in the novel for no particular thematic reason; I just like them. But the tension involved in submitting work to the Salon, its importance  Read More 
1 Comments
Post a comment

View from a train station

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. Read More 
Be the first to comment

Asleep on a train

For my new novel, I’m investigating early 20th C photography and print processes. This picture of a girl asleep on a train appears Read More 
1 Comments
Post a comment

Angelica/Demonica

“Her mother calls her Flora/ She doesn’t know her papa …” The illustration by Théophile Steinlen of a fatherless little girl on her way to school is way too innocent for my Angelica (the child Amy Richardson calls Demonica). All the same, I was delighted  Read More 
Be the first to comment

Arc de Triomphe

This loosely painted detail of the distant Arc de Triomphe in the background of Hassam’s
painting of the Champs Elysées
is the kind of thing I had in mind when Jeanette sarcastically suggests sketching Adeline Vann in the Tuileries Garden with the arch just  Read More 

Be the first to comment

Moving pictures!

Blog alert: Yesterday, Two Nerdy History Girls posted a YouTube clip of "Victorian Era Actuality Footage 1896." Visit several European cities and one North African site by clicking here. As a bonus, you will be able to  Read More 
Be the first to comment

Pont Aven

This is a view of Pont Aven from the estuary looking back inland to the town. Ragland and Nagg have their studio near here, where Charlie Post is working on his huge painting of an oncoming wave.
Be the first to comment

Diligence

After reaching the train station in Quimperlé on their way to the Breton seaside town of Pont Aven, Jeanette and her friends continue their journey in a French diligence or stagecoach. For van Gogh’s vivid painting of a southern example, click hereRead More 
Be the first to comment