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Tributes after death of talented painter

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Renowned for her vivid watercolours of Bermuda's flora, Ann Proctor has been remembered by friends and family.

Born in London, Ms Proctor moved to the island in 1964 — paying £38 for a seat on a British Overseas Airways Corporation plane, with her baby son Tim on her lap.

The hairdresser eventually went on to buy the Inverurie Beauty Salon in Paget's Inverurie Hotel, offering the latest styles to residents and holidaymakers alike.

“It was a well-paid and glamorous job back then, before you could buy products from the pharmacy to do your own hair,” Tim Proctor told The Royal Gazette.

A “modest yet fiercely independent” woman, Ms Proctor raised her son by herself in Paget in addition to her full-time job.

She decided not to remarry, despite plenty of offers, and maintained an active social life — enjoying tennis, water-skiing, boating and gardening.

“She made sure that I did not want for anything, although the path she chose was tough for a single mother in Bermuda,” said Mr Proctor, a father of one who works in insurance on the island.

“Her main priority was to make sure I got a good education.”

Ms Proctor took up painting when she was in her Fifties.

Largely self-taught, she quickly wowed Bermuda's creative community with her stunning botanical watercolours, becoming a regular fixture at exhibitions across the island.

Danjou Anderson, the owner of Front Street's Windjammer 3 gallery, described Ms Proctor as “a gentle soul” who enjoyed painting natal plums, oleanders and juniper berries.

“Ann created these very memorable images of our flora, and the softness of her lines was amazing,” he said. “She will be sorely missed.”

After moving to St George's eight years ago, Ms Proctor sold her beauty salon business — by then located at the Hamilton Princess — and devoted herself to painting. As well as volunteering at the National Trust's Globe House and playing bridge, she sold notecards and prints at locations including the Dockyard Craft Market, and provided all the packaging artwork for the Bermuda Perfumery.

Isabelle Brackstone, the owner of the fragrance company in St George, recalled a visit from Ms Proctor a month ago.

“Ann gave me this beautiful watercolour of a crocus and said she thought it would look very pretty in the Perfumery,” she said.

“She was so generous — the fact that we appreciated her work was all that mattered to her — and she was a fantastic businesswoman, who definitely gave me some good advice when I was starting out.”

Ms Proctor passed away on at the age of 81 at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital on May 30.

Her ashes will be scattered next springtime in the British hamlet of Netton, Wiltshire, where she was evacuated during the Second World War.

“She had very fond memories of there,” Mr Proctor said, “but she also loved Bermuda, and I always thanked her for making the decision to come here.”

Devoted mother: Ann Proctor in 2013 at a family gathering. She raised her son, Tim, by herself while working full-time (Photograph supplied)
Gentle soul: Ann Proctor in Paget in the 1990s (Photograph supplied)
Close family: Ann Proctor as a child with her parents, James and Dorothy May Fossett (Photograph supplied)
Fond memories: Ann and Tim Proctor celebrating Christmas in Bermuda in the early 1970s (Photograph supplied)
Skilled artist: one of Ann Proctor's watercolours (Photograph supplied)
Nature lover: Ann Proctor took up painting in her Fifties and quickly wowed Bermuda's creative community (Photograph supplied)
Festive feel: Ann Proctor's watercolour of holly
Memorable images: Ann Proctor was praised for the softness of the lines in her watercolours (Photograph supplied)

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Published June 11, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 11, 2016 at 1:17 am)

Tributes after death of talented painter

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