About Yoram Gil

Portrait of Yoram GilOnce upon a time, I was the best watercolorist among the Israeli National Track and field team, and the best discus thrower among all Israeli artists. Those were wonderful days.

We worked hard and laughed a lot. There was no money in either of my skills but who cared? I did what I loved and I loved what I did. But even though I did it all very well, I too got stuck… and more often than I liked.

I got stuck with my art, when for days or even weeks, I couldn’t come up with anything decent and worth showing.

I got stuck with discus throwing, unable to get that disc beyond a certain distance for months and more. It took enormous will power to drag myself out of “stuckness,” and get moving again. I was determined to be the best, but I was alone, pulling myself out of the hole with no one by my side.

I still remember the paralyzing fear — what if I never get out of this. Was this the end of my career as an artist? As an athlete? And of course the fear made it all worse.

What a vicious cycle. Do you know what I mean?

I longed for someone with enough experience, understanding and compassion to jump into my journey with me and help me get back on track.

Today, when one of my professional clients hits one of those Brick Walls of Life, I truly understand. I’ve been there many, many times.

And it doesn’t matter if you are an emerging, mid career or established artist. Getting stuck, unable to move, is not a career discriminator. It hits us all with equal force, and is equally debilitating.

There is nothing I enjoy more than helping artists move out of their stuck places, so they can discover and unleash their powers to become the best they can.

Biographical Notes — The Long Story

In the summer of 1956 (I was barely eighteen) I was introduced to Watercolors by one of the best watercolorists I have ever known, Zev Staderman, who never got the recognition he deserved, in large part because he became stuck.

Over time, as I have come to understand the art world, its creative minds, and talents, I’ve learned about the range of places where an artist becomes stuck. Now I understand what happened to Zev, and as he is no longer with us, my work is a small tribute to him and his gift to me.

I continued painting watercolors until 1987 when I found myself stuck yet again. But this time it was different. The inner fire that had kept me going for years was gone. And where there is no fire there is no art!

I had already quit the Discus in 1970, right after making it to the National Track and Field team in 1969 as my team and I prepared for the 1972 Olympics. The fire was gone here also, and I was tired.

In retrospect, I realize that I didn’t really believe I could make it. And in spite of all my earlier successes, there was no one there to help me out of the quick sand—if I’d been in a frame of mind to listen to anyone, which I wasn’t. (Sound familiar?)

As it turned out, I watched those 1972 Munich games unfolding on television where teammates and friends were killed by terrorists and “friendly fire.” Since then I pay attention to my gut feelings, and I encourage my friends and clients to be aware of theirs also.

In 1971, I arrived in London as a membership director for the British ORT (120 year-old international Jewish charity specializing in teaching vocations and training needy people to help themselves). Here I reunited with Peter Harper, one of the expert Discus coaches for the British National Track and Field team. Pete had coached me for several years by mail (really!). In London, he and I discovered that we had more in common than the Discus Throwing—watercolors! It turned out that Peter was a prominent expert on Victorian Watercolors.

Miniature by Yoram Gil, On the way to Jerusalem, Watercolor on paper, 1.5”x1.25”

How fortunate could I get? What better place to hone my skills, and where else could I find a better teacher, who not only knew me well, but was eager to share his knowledge with me again?

At the end of 1973, I returned to Israel. My art continued evolving even as the size of my works began shrinking. I became a miniaturist. This wasn’t intentional, but emerged as I tuned into my inner voice.

I also needed to figure out how to put bread on our table. My wife and I now had two boys, 10 and 14, and a newborn girl. Going back to institutional teaching wasn’t an option, so I started a picture framing business. This, in turn, became The Gillery where artistic frames were hand crafted, young Israeli artists were given first shows, and imported Victorian watercolors were introduced for the first time in Israel alongside my own traditional watercolors miniatures.

Miniature by Yoram Gil, Ancient Olive Trees, Watercolors on paper, 1.25”x1.5”

As a miniaturist, I was officially inducted as an associate member of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers in 1976.

The Gillery kept growing and I was enjoying it very much. I learned secrets of the business, how to “hold artists’ hands” and more. It was the all-alone-do-it-yourself kind of learning process. Though I came by this information the hard way, what I learned was worth gold; this insight I now share with my clients.

Sure, I got stuck more often than I liked. But I learned how getting stuck is part of growing. By now I wore several hats while sitting at all sides of the table. As an artist, I wanted to expand my reputation, show with other galleries, and get better recognition and prices. As a dealer I was servicing my clients, tending to my artists and supporting my family. Working with Peter’s Victorian art, I learned aspects of international trade: export, import, international regulations and finances. This experience has proved invaluable to my clients as well.

Miniature by Yoram Gil, Looking at Mt. Tabor from afar, Watercolors on paper, 1.85”x0.85”

In 1985, The Gillery and I moved to the US. In two years I quit making art so I could focus my creativity into expanding other artists’ careers. I began working with the Louis Newman Galleries in Beverly Hills and in Scottsdale. Then in 1997 I incorporated The Gillery Inc. and opened my own gallery, galerie yoramgil. In this venue, I was finally able to do things in sync with my deepest beliefs.

All along the way, I have had extraordinary and generous mentors to whom I still feel indebted. Mentors whose wisdom I can pass along.

I closed galerie yoramgil in 2006 to move on to a new chapter in my life. I became a private dealer, an art adviser to collectors, and a coach to art professionals like you.

Coaching has always given me great joy. But only recently have I come to understand that it is my true calling. So, I come here, to this website, to make it easier for you to find me.

I read every submission, and I promise that you will hear from me as soon as possible.

Yoram Gil

P.S. From my coaching files:
The many gifts Yoram has given me over the years have helped shape who I am today and unleashed an endless potential. —Daniel Windsor

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    Yoram Gil has been involved in the art world as a miniaturist, gallery owner, private dealer, art adviser to collectors, and is now a coach to art professionals, helping artists move out of their stuck places and unleash their powers to become the best they can.

    An Allie Creative Design

    Photograph: Susan Einstein