The art of a yachtsman chosen for the Wooden Boat Festival poster

PORT TOWNSEND — English-born painter J. Steven Dews, who was planning to spend a few months in Port Townsend, decided otherwise shortly after landing. He and his wife, Louise, opted to stay for a year, and now Dews’ oil painting featuring the MV Blue Peter has been chosen as the poster for the 45th annual Wooden Boat Festival.

Born in Yorkshire in 1949, Dews failed his Art ‘A’ level program and then quit a fine arts course after just a few weeks due to his disillusionment with teaching methods, according to

Dews has since sold paintings for tens of thousands of pounds and exhibited his art in galleries in London, San Francisco and around the world.

The artist and his wife sailed their 60-foot schooner Wolfhound to Port Townsend last June; now they are heading north for the summer, but will be back for poster signing events at the Northwest Maritime Center in August and during the Wooden Boat Festival.

His painting for the festival – scheduled for September 9, 10 and 11 around the Maritime Center – is a limited-edition 18 x 24-inch poster available for $20 at

After a COVID-induced two-year hiatus from in-person festivities, plans for a full-size wooden boat festival are underway.

Discounted early bird tickets can be found at, and those who purchase by July 1 will be entered into a raffle to win prizes, such as a private sail on the wooden sailboat La Vie en Rose, during the festival.

The event, hosted by the non-profit Northwest Maritime Center at 431 Water St., involves hundreds of boats entering Port Townsend, as well as plenty of on-water activities, presentations, music and merriment . has information about the festival and many other events this spring and summer.


Jefferson County Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]

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