Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

A few years ago, an author of nonfiction whom I was mentoring as she wrote her new book, shared with me an interview she’d been listening to. The interviewee was Barbara Kingsolver, acclaimed author of historical fiction. Kingsolver was talking about the difference between fiction and nonfiction, and suggested that writing a novel is like creating a garden in the […]

Letters written by British suffragettes imprisoned in London’s Holloway Prison in the early twentieth century, and the Holloway brooch awarded to these women for their bravery on their release, send shivers down my spine. The Holloway brooch succinctly symbolises the militant struggle of the suffragettes as they fought tirelessly for the right of women to vote in political elections. Designed […]

Silence is a tool that writers of fiction can use to great effect. By silencing a character in a poignant moment, emotion is heightened; interrupting action with silence can magnify drama; allowing a character to inhabit a space devoid of action allows time-out and an opportunity for reflection. For examples of silences in literary writing, seek out authors such as […]

In Geraldine Brooks’ ‘Year of Wonders’ (2001), Part 1 is called ‘Leaf-Fall, 1666’. Readers’ senses are immediately stimulated as autumnal sights, sounds and smells are richly evoked; there is an undercurrent of the foreshadowing of tragedy, decay and death. Chapter 1 is called ‘Apple-picking time’ and the reader can hear the ripened apples tumbling into bins; smell the hay, the […]

I often stand and commune with Pablo Picasso’s 1937 painting,‘Weeping Woman’. It conveys extreme saddness, much of what is experienced by humans, near and far, today. I run my eye over it, wondering whether there’s something that I may have missed since I last stood before it. I go early, alone, with an art buddy, or with a few of […]

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

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

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