It was through the purchase of one of my paintings that we met. Now, with great sadness, I learn of the passing of a collector who became a dear friend.

It’s no wonder she resonated with the painting ‘A Beautiful Mess’ – the loosely painted white dress with tulle mesh indeed radiated the essence of a romantic ballerina tutu. As a teenager, Di was an elite dancer with the National Ballet of Canada.

Diane Nyland Proctor, was best known for having played the title role in the 1970’s Canadian sitcom ‘The Trouble With Tracy’. Her lengthy career branched into being a choreographer and director of plays and musicals, successfully staging more than 100 professional shows across Canada. She was a talented actor and award-winning director-choreographer. She worked in television, film and on stage.

Diane was married to the charismatic AM 740 host Frank Proctor for over 44 years. They shared a fascinating love story, one I was delighted to learn about over the lively and entertaining dinners we shared in each others homes. (he proposed after 3 weeks of dating!)

It was for a special birthday, that Frank surprised Di with the painting. He escorted her to the Art Gallery of Mississauga where it was exhibiting and asked that I be present. Di and I met and an immediate connection was formed – it was a meeting of the souls between the artist and the viewer.
When someone invests in my work, I like to think they can return to it again and again. I found it incredibly fulfilling to hear how Di interacted with the painting which hung next to a gleaming white Grande Piano. In this charming room decorated in layers of whites and creams, Di and Frank celebrated life on a daily basis; they had a daily ritual of enjoying a happy hour martini at 5:00pm.. (called it Tini Time). It would always begin with the flick of a switch turning a spot light onto ‘A Beautiful Mess’.. and Di greeting the painting with, “Hello My Lady”.

As an artist, it is immensely rewarding to know that something I created was so lovingly appreciated and treasured.
My dearest Di – you too were lovingly appreciated and treasured. You were a gift to your Frank, your sons, family, friends, the film and theatre communities across Canada… and to me.
Go now to the heavens and dance, sing, choreograph and direct to your hearts content… and at 5:00pm Tini Time, turn the spot light on to your remarkable life.

A Beautiful Mess