The year after Bob Newcomb died Gulfport artist and close friend, Ray Domingo, painted a lifelike portrait of the “larger than life” figure in an effort to keep a piece of him alive.
Until recently, the massive painting lived at The Historic Peninsula Inn. Now, the artist decided that Newcomb’s lookalike belongs in his working studio to encourage him while eternally clutching a cocktail glass and showing off his gleaming wedding band.
“I think I can feel his soul in there,” Domingo said. “I think this is where he’s meant to be.”
Domingo, whose typical work depicts National Geographic-worthy oceanic creatures, brought his friend to life using Newcomb’s shoes and green button down shirt for inspiration.
But not before he asked Newcomb’s wife, Beverly, for permission to recreate her husband.
“I didn’t know what to expect, Ray paints fish,” Beverly said. “But when I saw it I couldn’t breathe. I was 15 when we first dated and life without him is only half a life … but I’m fortunate to be here in Gulfport, it’s like my big family.”
Newcombs’ portrait will live on in the Domingo Studio forever, says the artist.
“He’s got a look on him, ‘’ Domingo said, gesturing to Newcomb’s perpetual smirk. “I think it’s an intriguing look.”