Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

If the name Vanessa Bell (1879-1961) doesn’t ring a bell, then maybe her younger sister’s name, Virginia Woolf, does. Happily, my recent stay in London coincided with an exhibition of Vanessa’s art at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, and I also visited Charleston House, her charming rural bolthole in East Sussex. Combining these visits enabled me to better understand this artist […]

Verbs not only convey action and reveal personality in fiction, but they are capable of sharpening communication and meaning in non-fiction writing. The featured painting of horses by Lucy Kemp-Welch (‘Horses bathing in the sea’, 1899) captures the personality of each horse as they engage with the shoreline waves: one or two show fear, a couple rear, another hesitates, others submit. […]

The University of Melbourne and National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne, have organised an international conference, Human Kind: Transforming Identity in British and Australian Portraits 1700-1914, which will start next Thursday, 8 September, and run for four days, finishing on Sunday 11 September with a panel discussion and debate from 6.15pm to 7.00pm. As the title suggests, the focus will […]

Categories: Musings on Art

These days, it is cool to poo-poo the pursuit of beauty in art, but avant-garde writers and artists in late-nineteenth-century Europe, particularly in the hedonistic capital of France, celebrated the power of beauty to transform the beholder. English literary genius, Oscar Wilde, was notorious as the witty spokesman of Aestheticism and its bold declaration that art should be independent from […]

Categories: Musings on Art

In conjunction with the National Gallery of Victoria’s current exhibition, ‘Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood’, which I reviewed in a recent post, The University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Arts has organised a two-day symposium opening with a keynote address tomorrow night, 2 July at 6.30 pm. I will be presenting a paper on Saturday afternoon at 2.00 pm, the details of […]

Categories: Musings on Art

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

It is considered by many to be somewhat pretentious to call oneself a writer, and perhaps even more so to promote oneself as a writing mentor and editor. Maybe this is why the value of an editor is so decidedly under-valued, proof being the invisibility of an editor’s work in the writer’s final, polished writing. The most compelling and authentic […]

As I wing over to London I think back on the whirlwind that was New York. For 10 days I criss-crossed Manhattan, visiting different areas each day, observing the art that is unique to each area: Greenwich Village, SoHo, Little Italy, Chelsea, Battery Park, Central Park, Uptown, Midtown, Downtown, East Side and West Side . . . I have already […]

Categories: Musings on Art

January 1st 2014: time to jab a pin into my list of destinations yet to be explored. Apart from the consideration of important aspects such as available cash and security, travel to distant countries is a lot easier than a century or so ago. Today’s travel writers not only narrate their journeys through the written word but also through images […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Claude Monet (1846-1926) painted water in its many forms and moods—a rough and animated sea, a misty and mysterious river, a still and reflective pond, and crisp, white snow. Monet began his water garden at his home in Giverny in 1893, and over time the plants in and around the pond grew and merged, softened and framed. In Monet’s painting, […]

Categories: Musings on Art