|Woman in a Dressing Room||Tide Mill, Suffolk|
1907 - 2005
Painter of figures, landscapes, still lifes. Born in Clifton, Bristol. The daughter of a bank manager and an amateur cellist who were initially hostile to her becoming an artist, she originally studied piano. After her marriage, she studied at St John’s Wood School of Art where her teachers included: Patrick Millard, Ernest Perry and Kenneth Martin – distinguished maker of constructions and kinetic work. Fellow students included John Minton and Michael Ayrton. She went on to study at the Anglo-French Art Centre under noted continental artists Oskar Kokoschka and Jean Lurcat.
From late 1950’s, Eileen Bell was a visiting designer of house interiors with the Council of Industrial Design. This included work for Woman magazine, The Ideal Home Exhibition, wallpaper and textiles for Sanderson’s and textiles for Elizabeth Eaton Ltd as well as much commission work for private clients. She wrote two children’s books: Tales from the End Cottage and More Tales from the End Cottage and was also involved in stage design and pottery. In 1969, she became a cultural mentor to the young Alan Titchmarsh, then a student at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, when he called on her seeking digs. As well as providing a cosy, Bloomsbury-style environment and “wonderful soups and stews” Bell intdoduced him to the Wallace Collection, National Theatre, Proms at the Albert Hall and concerts on the South Bank. She settled in Suffolk in the mid 1970’s, first at Drinkstone, then Tadstock from where she made many visits to Walberswick and Aldeburgh for painting inspiration.
Exhibitions Include:Artists International Association, London (shared an exhibition with distinguished Scottish painter Ann Redpath); The Young Contemporaries; The Women’s International Group; Artists of Fame and Promise, Leicester Galleries; The London Group; Royal Society of British Artists; The Gallery on the Cam ; Aldeburgh (three times); The Harborough Gallery, Leicestershire; The Art Gallery, Bury St. Edmunds; Quay Theatre, Sudbury; The School House Gallery; Christopher Hull Gallery, London; Taplin Gallery, Suffolk; Phoenix Gallery, Laverham; Duncalfe Galleries, Harrogate; 2003 Retrospective (catalogue introduction written by Titchmarsh)