The following information was submitted by Marites Gonzales/Researcher/Art Professional:
James Proctor was born in Philadelphia in 1919, the son of James
William Proctor of Goole, England. An important early Modernist,
Proctor worked almost exclusively in watercolor. Proctor's
progressive, broad stroked, spontaneous figurative and landscape
watercolors show the influence of his Bay Area contemporary painter,
David Park. A precocious youth, he was tutored by the artist, Martha
Berry, holding his first exhibition at age thirteen at the Skyland
Lodge in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Proctor continued his studies for six
years at the Yale School of Fine Art, the Art Students League of New
York, and the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. While at the Art
Student's League, Proctor studied under Reginald Marsh, who became a
lifelong friend and in later years he was a collector of Marsh's work
From 1942 to 1945 Proctor served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific where
he worked as a draftsman and designer while continuing to paint
landscapes and figurative subjects in watercolor in Guam and Hawaii.
After the war, in 1946 and 1947 Proctor traveled on to Switzerland
where he studied psychoanalysis at the Carl Jung Institute. During
this period, Proctor began to record many of his dreams in watercolor.
These autobiographical symbolic works took on a Modernist style that
was to influence his later work in watercolor. Leaving Switzerland,
Proctor established his studio in Berkeley, California. In the 1950s,
1960s while continuing to maintain his studio in Berkeley, California,
Proctor traveled and painted throughout Europe ( France, England,
Italy, Germany, Switzerland ) and Asia ( Thailand, Japan, and China ).
In later years, Proctor retired to a studio home in Carmel, California.
Throughout his life, Proctor exhibited actively, including at New York
University ( 1938 Grand Prize in Watercolor ): Yale University Art
Gallery: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center ( 1944 ):Oakland Museum of
Art ( Exhibition of Western Painters: 1955 ): Von Keppel &
Green/Beverly Hills: Arizona University/Tucson: Arizona State Museum of
Art ( 1943 ): Tucson: Summit Art Association: New Jersey: Gumps
Galleries/San Francisco: Kresges Gallery/New Jersey: Pacific Grove Art
Center: Monterey Art Museum.
James Proctor family estate records