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Jim DeWitt, Prolific and Talented Sailing Artist

In the February issue of Latitude 38, we profiled the sailor, retired sailmaker and not-retired-yet artist Jim DeWitt. Jim’s wife, Sallie, and daughter, Pam, had sent us so many images of his paintings that we didn’t have room for them all on the printed pages. So we’re sharing more of them from the past decade or so here.

El Toros downwind
Jim built and sailed El Toros. His descendants have learned to sail in El Toros too!
© 2021 Jim DeWitt
AC cat at Golden Gate Bridge
In 2012, Jim was named artist in residence for America’s Cup 34.
© 2021 Jim DeWitt
The yacht America, as Jim painted her in 2013.
© 2021 Jim DeWitt
Rolling with Friends
Jim painted ‘Rolling with Friends’ in 2014.
© 2021 Jim DeWitt
Spinnakers with bridge in background
From 2015, this one is called ‘Leader of the Pack’.
© 2021 Jim DeWitt
The 50-ft 1885 classic sloop Freda recently began her third life that we know of. Jim painted this one of her in 2018.
© 2021 Jim DeWitt

In addition to boats, Jim paints cars, horses, kids, dogs and portraits. “Portraits are one of my favorite things to paint,” he says.

Jim painted this portrait of Foxy Callwood in 2004. Foxy’s Bar on Jost Van Dyke, BVI, has welcomed sailors since 1968.
© 2021 Jim DeWitt


  1. Kimberly Paternoster 3 years ago

    One of the things I cherish the most is the portrait Jim did of me. I also own the “Ducks in a Row” painting that was the Sausalito Art Festival painting in 2013. I’ve had many years being part of their family. I love Pam like a sister, and I love Jim and Sallie like they are parents. Had it not been for them when I moved to Richmond, I would have had a much different life in the Bay Area. Thanks for honoring Jim like you have. I can’t think of anyone that deserves it more.

  2. Bill O'Connor 3 years ago

    Jim is a sweet heart…he and I used to race El Toros years ago with Jim Warfield and others at the old Richmond YC location down the channel (currently the San Pablo YC) and also at Lake Merritt. Anybody remember Edna Robinson and her contributions to the El Toro Assn?
    Jim is 9 years older than I am and he was a hero to a young high school kid like me then…it also was no secret that teen-age and college-age “girl-sailors” (what we used to call them…yikes!) had serious crushes on Jim and his companions. He was then to many of us youngsters, sailing “royalty”….still is today.
    Not sure if you have it at Lat 38 but try and get and publish here on-line, Jim’s self portrait…one of his best efforts and it captures him so well.

  3. Rand Launr 3 years ago

    Jim’s pantings bring cheer to the day, arouse memories and stories of the past and inspire the future. We’ve watched Jim for years, always knowing our day will be better having seen a painting by him. Art is important in life and we are lucky to have him bring it to our bay, and our sailors. with competence, love and cheer. We may not know how much we need art but Jim does. He’s saved the day for us by tucking into our duffle bag for us to find when we are becalmed or in a storm.

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