New Work From Bob Orlin, Hemingway Artist & More
After my interview with Bob Orlin in March, we have become friends. In fact, I now have a painting of Hadley near my desk, which was a gift from Bob, along with a wonderful painting of Ernest too. Bob has been busy with new Hemingway related artwork as well as a series of sea life paintings that will be featured in a show in Key West. I thought you would enjoy seeing some of his latest work.
Stay tuned as more interviews come in and we talk about the Lost Generation, Hadley, and Hemingway in Cuba. A Florida resident since 1985 with his roots in Chicago, Bob Orlin is a highly successful, self-taught, artist with his work showing in the collections of numerous celebrities both nationally and internationally. In August 2003, Orlin was featured by the Orlando Sentinel as Artist of the Week. His style suggests a bold but realistic representation in his nautical and portrait renditions incorporating a wide range of subject genre. His passion for Ernest Hemingway as well as the conservation of our oceans and fragile barrier reef ecosystems is displayed generously in much of his more recent work and commissions in development. It was an honor for Orlin to create the replica Picasso cat for the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum when the original Picasso cat was stolen. The Orlin replica now sits in the Key West home where the Picasso cat once did.Orlin was the official artist of the Hemingway Days Festival in Key West, Florida 1994-2000. Annually, Orlin designed T-shirts, posters and literature. A bust of Hemingway was created for the 1996 Hemingway Days Festival in Key West, Florida. And then presented each year after that to the look-a-like winner. A bas-relief of Hemingway hangs in Sloppy Joes Key West where it bears the names of the past look-a-like winners. In the past, one-man shows of his artwork have taken place at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. Orlin received the festival’s Aficionado Award not only for his love for Hemingway but because of his artwork spanning the festival.
Additional works include portraits, murals, greeting cards, clothing design, and advertising illustration along with scenes from the various places he visited including Africa, Cuba, Spain, and Paris. Orlin was also the official artist for the ESPN2 “Running of the Bulls”segment from Pamplona, Spain from 1999-2001. He also appeared on the program where he sketched the bull run event. A quite successful limited edition poster for an event at Chicago’s Atlas Galleries is sold out. Current works in progress suggest a naturalist’s view of native Florida and Bahamian land and seascapes.
As a young boy I always drew, then around the age of 20 I got a blue boy paint by numbers kit, after a few days I was bored with it and used the paints to do a portrait of my dad, after that I was hooked, that Christmas I asked my Uncle Jack for an Oil Painting kit, that was my beginning of my being an artist. Bob writes:
Since then I’ve painted hundreds of paintings. As I said in our last interview I’m a big Hemingway fan, so naturally I gravitated to doing paintings of him. Papa looks different in every photo of him, so there are endless canvas to paint of him. The first portrait I did of him hangs in the Hemingway Museum in Oak Park Illinois, the second one I did is in the Museum in Key West, Florida, I bas relief I did resides at the Finca Vigia his home in Cuba. Numerous Hemingway family members have examples of my Hemingway paintings (Lorian Hemingway, Valerie Hemingway and Ernest Mainland).
In 1994 I did the first of 4 t-shirt designs for the Hemingway Days Festival, and later created the bust of Hemingway that was given for years to the winner of the Hemingway Look-alike contest.
In 1995 I had a one man show of My Hemingway paintings at the Hemingway museum in Key West, for the show I also did a stained glass portrait of him.
When the ceramic Picasso cat was stolen from the Museum in Key West and was broken beyond repair I did the replacement for it and also do ornaments of the cat.
In 1999 I did the first of 4 t-shirt designs for ESPN2 for the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona, and was invited there to sketch the running on TV for ESPN2. The 3rd years T-shirt design the Mayor of Pamplona liked so much she asked for the original painting and it hangs in the City Hall there.
I also did the cover for Brian Gordon Sinclair’s play Hot Havana which will be preformed at the Hemingway Days in Key West. Every year I do one art show and that’s at The Green Parrot in Key West during Hemingway Days.
My favorite Hemingway painting is the one where he is standing in front of the fighting chair aboard the Pilar his beloved fishing boat, it has special meaning for me, I had just finished it and had it in the room adjacent to my upstairs studio, the door was open to that room and I had gone upstairs to paint and as was the norm my dog CJ followed me up the stairs, she was about to lay down next to my easel and looked through the open doorway and started to growl at the painting thinking a real person was standing there.