Mulberry Gallery

QUALITY WORKS OF ART FROM THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Home. Gallery. Contact Us. Links.

View works by the following artists:


Frank Archer

Eileen Bell

Tom Coates

Fred Cuming

Sholto Douglas

William Dring

Anthony Eyton

George De Goya

James Horton

William Mason

Olwen Tarrant

Herbert Victor Tempest

David Tindle

Amanda Ward

William Ware

Eileen Bell  (1907 – 2005)

“Girl Struggling with Bundles”

66cm x 56cm

Oil on Canvas

£650

Girl Struggling with Bundles - by Eileen Bell

Eileen Bell  (1907 – 2005)

“Train delayed by Flood”

51cm x 61cm

Oil & Pastel on Canvas

£600

Train delayed by Flood - by Eileen Bell

Eileen Bell (1907 – 2005)


Eileen Bell was a prolific natural artist who was still applying paint to canvas in her mid-nineties. The variety of her works show her to be a rich colourist, producing still-lives with a quirky perspective and sea and beach scenes inspired by the coast of Suffolk where she lived latterly.


Bell was an artist for whom contrasts of tone and the quality of paint were important. She learned from some of the best teachers in pre- and post- WWII London. In 1939 she joined the St John’s Wood School of Art, with teachers including the co-principals Patrick Millard and Ernest Perry, plus Kenneth Martin. Fellow students included Michael Ayton and John Minton, “very much admired by me, Minton - especially Minton”, said Bell.


In 1939, she joined the Artists International Association and continued to show with it. Among her exhibitions was one shared with the distinguished Scottish artist Anne Redpath (Scottish Colourist), as well as appearances at other notable London venues. These included the Young Contemporaries, Leicester Galleries, London Group and Royal Society of British Artists. In 1947, Bell resumed her studies at the Anglo-French Art Centre, which followed on from the closed St John’s Wood School. She learned there from noted continental artists including Oskar Kokoschka and Jean Lurgat.


From the late 1950’s until well into the ‘60’s, Bell was a visiting designer of house interiors with the Council of Industrial Design. In the mid-1970’s, Eileen Bell and her husband Randall settled in Suffolk, then nearby at Tostock, with visits to Walberswick and Aldeburgh for painting inspiration. Unfortunately with failing eyesight, Bell’s final years of artistic output were cut short.

Mulberry Gallery   Email: randssansom@aol.com

An appreciation from Alan Titchmarsh, MBE, VMH


“To say that Eileen Bell was my main cultural influence during my formative years is no exaggeration. Mind you, she would have greeted the pronouncement with a loud “Ha!” I was a student at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, and she was, well…..Eileen Bell. She took in lodgers – just the one to be precise – and I found myself one wintry afternoon in 1969, standing on the doorstep enquiring about accommodation.


She must have decided that I’d do, because for the next 5 years – until I got married – her front bedroom became my home. She would cook supper – I remember wonderful soups and stews, and a dish that my wife makes for me and is known to this day as “Mrs Bell’s Moussaka” – a flavoursome concoction of pasta, cheese sauce, mince and sultanas. My mouth waters just thinking about it. Her home-made wine – decanted from bubbling demi-johns stopped with cotton wool – was innocuous looking but lethal on the legs – the “oak leaf” was particularly potent.


But it was in the “art department” that Eileen Bell excelled. She put it upon herself to educate me – not in a bossy domineering way but simply to share her passion for painting and writing, concerts, and theatre, and I lapped it up. She took me to the Wallace Collection in Manchester Square to admire Fragonard’s “Girl on a Swing”. We went to the National Theatre, to Proms at the Albert Hall and concerts on the South Bank.


In her garret over her husband’s office, Eileen Bell painted in her own unmistakable style – occasionally throwing a canvas at me and asking “Do you want this, Titch? Because I don’t.” I was always “Titch” to Mrs Bell. Over doors in the small Victorian cottage were painted Bloomsbury-style reclining nudes, tempting each other with bunches of grapes – all very tasteful and decorative. Her clothes would be smudged with paint, her glasses slightly askew, and her chunky sweaters (cheaper than turning up the central heating) would give a clue to the colour of the paint that had been most recently used.


I still have a couple of her canvases and I still treasure them. Her style is free and exhilarating and she’s enriched my life no end. Anyone who buys one of her paintings can share in the pleasure that I’ve enjoyed for more than half my life”