Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

I read a lot of non-fiction for work: unpublished manuscripts, final drafts of theses, newsletters, educational resources, essays and business material. I also read non-fiction for my own pleasure and research. My response to each individual non-fiction writing that crosses my desk for appraisal is dependent on many variables; however, the initial challenge is to assess the clarity of the […]

The handmade book and the manual craft of printing are brought into sharp focus in an Arts and Crafts house situated along a short stretch of the Thames River in Hammersmith, just a half-hour train journey from central London. I visited 7 Hammersmith Terrace on a sunny spring day on the 17th of May this year. Between 1903 and 1933, […]

Categories: Musings on Art

From mums and dads, aunts and uncles, to queens and kings, princesses and princes—there is often confusion amongst writers: when to capitalise and when not to capitalise these names? I am frequently asked questions such as: ‘Why did you change the capitalisation of ‘Dad’ in the sentence to lower case?’ The simplified answer I can give to this query is […]

Dangling modifiers (often participles) continue to hang around in sentences, probably because most writers (and readers) are indifferent to them. Some work, but most don’t. This month I have encountered so many of the latter from various sources that it has piqued my interest and motivated me to do some thinking on the subject. You may ask: What are dangling […]

Private art galleries are not only imbued with the presiding spirit of the collectors, which is consolidated in the choice of art works on display, but also by the nature of the gallery’s building and its site. Whether the building is a new build or a domestic residence converted into a museum to exhibit the owner’s art collection, there is […]

Categories: Musings on Art

A few years ago I wrote a thesis with its focus the mid-nineteenth-century painting by British artist Valentine Prinsep, ‘The flight of Jane Shore’. I researched Jane Shore’s life to the point of obsession and got to know this medieval royal mistress so well that I thought I could speak for her—write her story in the genre of historical fiction. […]

One of the reasons why I admire TarraWarra Museum of Art (TWMA) is the museum’s strong connection between the modern and contemporary Australian art on display within the museum’s walls and the broader landscape beyond. The current summer exhibitions, ‘Rosemary Laing’ and ‘Fred Williams – 1974’, feature painted and photo-based views, both near and far, by acclaimed Australian artists, Fred […]

Categories: Musings on Art

This is my second article about words that have been used in the wrong context by writers whose manuscripts I have assessed, edited or proofread. Was it a historic or historical event? Was it a continual or continuous noise? Is someone illusive or elusive? The confusion can occur because these words are spelt similarly or sound similar, or both, so it’s understandable […]

In 1830, at the age of 60, the self-professed drawing maniac, Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), thought his best work was yet to come, and maybe it was, but the National Gallery of Victoria’s ‘Hokusai’ exhibition (closes 14 October) proves that his woodblock prints and paintings prior to the 1830s were indicative of a prodigious artistic talent. Displayed in the […]

Categories: Musings on Art

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 […]