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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 November 2012
This book was published to accompany an exhibition of work of the artist Dod Procter (1890-1972) at Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance, in 2007. This is essentially a biography of the artist who rose to great acclaim in the late 1920s following the exhibition of her painting of a sleeping girl, `Morning', which was purchased for the nation by the Daily Mail and is now in Tate Britain. The author, Alison James, has had access to much of the correspondence between Dod Procter and her husband Ernest, particularly the letters written during his period of absence serving in the First World War. As a result James is able to detail the day to day experiences of Dod whilst living in Newlyn. This can be both revelatory and also at times a little tedious and, as the book progresses, a little repetitious. Following the early death of Ernest Procter in 1935 Dod undertook a great deal of travelling and painting including a number of trips to Jamaica and we learn that she enjoyed parties and an active, if superficial, social life. The odd title of the book appears to relate to the quixotic character of the painter whose mood could quickly change and who some people found difficult to cope with. The author does give a good straightforward account of the work and painting style of the artist without recourse to `art-speak'. The book contains a number of good black and white and colour illustrations and some interesting family photographs but all too often paintings are referred to in the text which do not appear in the book. However, the reproductions do give a good resume of the different subject matter and styles that Dod Procter painted; still life flowers, female nudes, portraits and a few interior and exterior scenes. Overall a nicely illustrated book which gives a good account of the life and work of this life-long artist, if very slightly tedious at times.
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