Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

Another Christmas is behind us. January, and a hot, dry Melbourne summer are upon us again. Howard Arkley’s air-brushed, brightly-coloured pictorial images of triple-fronted brick veneer Melbourne homes remind me of when I was younger, and the route I regularly walked from the bus stop to the local swimming pool. I would marvel at those cream-brick, highly-prized family havens. Today, […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Socrates (469-399 B.C.), the classical Greek Athenian philosopher, believed there are two ruling and directing principles in all of us: one being an innate desire of pleasure; the other, an acquired judgement, which aspires after excellence. In his book ‘Simply English: An A to Z of Avoidable Errors’ (2014), Simon Heffer certainly aspires after excellence in grammar, and finds it […]

In 1848, inspired by medieval art and literature, seven young British artists formed the semi-secret Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB). Together they explored new ways of ensuring that visual truth could be better expressed through a more realistic, less idealised art, which had been previously defined by the standards of classicism and High Renaissance art. During a time of profound change in […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Spanning one long white wall, painted cross-form stars crowd vertical rectangles of bark after bark, giving the effect of twinkling stars moving across the night sky; on the opposite wall, shimmering cross-hatched lines painted on barks using earth ochres, mimic the ancient rippling of land in one of the driest areas of Australia, hardened by the sun, but saved by […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Does anyone care that ‘lay’ and ‘lie’ are frequently used incorrectly in sentences? Should we care? Apparently, the Oxford English Dictionary—Samuel Johnson’s dictionary—decided on these forms, and I’m thinking that maybe it’s time to lay them to rest, and not worry about their misuse anymore. I don’t hear my clients applauding me when I put a red line through ‘lay’ in […]

We’ve all deleted or manipulated photos of ourselves if we don’t like the way we look. So do we really care if our ‘self-portraits’ are just constructions, images of ourselves that we want to convey, at a particular place and moment in time? Self-portraits that mask the identity of the artist are often slammed as being pretentious and gimmicky, disallowing […]

Categories: Musings on Art

It’s those jaw-dropping moments we just happen upon as we drift through foreign places that make travel so exciting, and addictive. The heat was sizzling in Florence on the afternoon of 18 July 2007 when I flew through the door of the rather non-descript and gloomy Santa Felicità; it was 4.50pm, 10 minutes before closing. There it was to the […]

Categories: Musings on Art

To hyphenate or not to hyphenate? That is the question . . . The truth is, when trying to decide whether a hyphen needs to join two words, quite often grammar rules are not black and white, and in many instances you can decide for yourself. In general, British dictionaries and publishers are more inclined to hyphenate words than their […]

As ever, additional reading is high on my agenda of things to ‘do’ in the first few weeks of January. I’m not a book reviewer, but I can’t resist sharing my reading experience of Patrick McCaughey’s new book on Australian painting: ‘Strange Country: Why Australian painting matters’. I am a self-confessed painting-aholic so this book is fodder for my addiction: […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Traditionally, the first day of January challenges us to take a critical look at ourselves and reflect upon who we are, or who we’d like to be. Our sense of identity is important to us. Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror, like I have, and thought about drawing, or even painting a self-portrait? How would you depict […]

Categories: Musings on Art