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5260 Duncan Rd #1
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Product Name: Artist Bill Gimbel - Part 1 |::| Model#: ABGTHA122

Product Information: Model#: ABGTHA122
Product Description:
Artist Bill Gimbel:
A study in serendipity and simplicity Part 1

Thomas Hall writer for

November 24th, 2010 5:59

After being implored by an over-eager audience to perform her hit "Big Yellow Taxi," singer-songwriter-painter Joni Mitchell quipped, "That's the difference between a painter and a musician. No one ever said to van Gogh, 'Paint another Starry Night, man."' Perhaps not, but as Punta Gorda artist Bill Gimbel knows first hand, art can touch the soul just as deeply as music can.

Years ago, Gimbel painted a poignant scene of a little boy clutching his father's leg, his father's consoling right hand resting gently on the boy's head. He titled the work simply, "It's ok." But it wasn't. The dad died young and the boy went to live with his grandparents in Indiana. Years later, the three were visiting Florida and the boy spied the painting at an art show. "That's me!" he exclaimed to his stunned grandparents. As their tears and sobs underscored, art - good art - can be cathartic and confer closure.

For Bill Gimbel, art can also be serendipitous. You can't help but feel Norman Rockwell's influence in "It's ok." That's no coincidence. Gimbel studied Rockwell and is a huge fan of his World War II paintings, many of which appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. As fate would have it, in a chance encounter Gimbel met the everyman who served as the model for Rockwell's fictional private, Willie Gillis Jr. "Robert Otis Buck was sincere, affable, and of course, I got him to sign my copies of those covers," Gimbel recalls.

In another stroke of kismet, Gimbel painted a ramshackle ice house he happened upon while fishing Bull Bay one day. Some time later, the fish shack was destroyed by Hurricane Charley. "I went back out there after the storm and found some of the wood from the shack floating in the water." He used it to frame the painting and then serendipity struck again. The man who owned the shack, Randy Dunn, spotted the framed painting at a show. Not surprisingly, he purchased it on the spot.

"It's ok," another version of "Fish Shack," and Bill Gimbel's other works are currently on exhibition at newly-opened "GALLERY 122 WEST" in the Cherry Hill Antiques building in Arcadia, which Gimbel helped owner Marc Washicheck set up. But that's another story, and will be explored in Part 2 of this expose' on Punta Gorda artist Bill Gimbel.

To read more articles written by Tom Hall go to
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5260 Duncan Rd #1
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