I have to confess: Until last week, I thought Dod Proctor was a "he" and he was Irish. I've been familiar with Proctor's work for many years as one of her striking painting hangs in the National Gallery at home. And I got a bee in my bonnet last week, trying to track down more information about that painting. During that process, I learned more about Doris Proctor. I'll learn even more once the book I ordered about her arrives. Hooray!
Although I'm disappointed with myself for jumping to the wrong gender conclusion, I think the mistake is telling. The truth is inspiring women are all around right under our noses but we're so used to the opposite that we, or I at least, often assume it without reflection. Much fuss is made about the against-all-odds female writers and artists and scientists. But there's something I love about the idea of an unperturbed artist. (In the same way I love the idea of a peacefully happy spinster.) And I wonder if it could be really true.
Dod Proctor specialized in figure painting, usually single female figures. One of these paintings, ‘Morning’, was bought by the Daily Mail for the Tate Gallery collections, which made Dod Procter a household name of the day. After her husband died, Proctor lived in west Cornwall for thirty-seven years, until her death at the age of 80.
Book: A Singular Vision: Dod Procter 1890-1972
Photo: Ernest Procter; Doris Margaret ('Dod') Procter (née Shaw) by by Felix H. Man (Hans Baumann) © estate of Felix H. Man / National Portrait Gallery, London