The Sea Witch on Canvas

36" X 26" painting by Paul Lantz. Click image, or here, for a larger view.

Oil Painting by Paul Lantz (1948)

Roy Gallucci contacted us in March of 2008 with the following message:

I just found your website. I have a large oil painting of a Seawitch, by the famous artist Paul Lantz. It is dated 1948. I am the nephew of Mr. Lantz. When I was a boy, I remember going to Long Beach or Wilmington to watch him paint this picture. According to what I see on this website, it must be the original Seawitch. I remember him saying that it had just won a big race. I don't have a computer, but I will try and get a picture of the painting and get a friend to post it on this site. I will also give you more info on the artist. I am leaving town for a few weeks but will get back to you. Keep sailing Roy Gallucci

Roy came through on the last day of August, and we have the privilege of seeing another one-of-a-kind painting of Sea Witch. At this time we aren't really sure which Sea Witch this is. All we can be certain of is that it is one of the original WILBO Sea Witches built before 1948. Sea Witch (1937), Sea Rover (1939), Sea Queen (1945), Sea Belle (1946). Guesses so far are that it is either Sea Witch or Sea Belle.

The painting was varnished at some point to protect its surface, and the varnish has yellowed with age. The brilliant white spots in the painting (on the bulwarks, cabin side, and sail covers, etc.), are a few places where the varnish has flaked off. According to Roy:

...The white is where some of the varnish has come off and taken some of the white paint with it. Those are the hills of San Pedro in the background. Changed a little, hasn't it...

Yes, the San Pedro hills have changed in appearance since 1948, but Sea Witches, wherever they may be found, retain the same ability to enchant and charm.

Roy would like to sell the painting to a Sea Witch owner, and Sea Belle owner, Jack Oldrin, (as of the last day of August, 2008), seems to have first choice at this point. But, says Roy, "If Jack doesn't want the painting, I will make a deal with any Sea Witch owner that would like it."

Mr. Callucci can be contacted at: (Roy and Ginny Gallucci). Here are some more of his comments with regard to the painting and the artist:

...(T)he Sea Witch was launched in 1937. I was launched the 13th of May 1937...
     Let me tell you a little about my uncle Paul. He was born in 1908 and passed away in 2000. He had paintings in the 460 Park Avenue gallery NY, the Marshall galley and the Roswell museum, to name a few. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (hall of masters) and The New York Historical Society and in many private collections, that include Mrs. Marshall Field and Theodore Roosevelt. He was pretty good!

Roy noted the apparently oversized galley smoke stack in the painting. Perhaps that will turn out to be the clue that identifies which Sea Witch this actually was. As for the race the above Sea Witch had won before 1948, Roy speculates: "(T)he race could have been the Newport to Acapulco Mex. I think they ran that race back then."




The Sea Witch by Peter Ellenshaw

This matte painting of "the" Sea Witch, by Disney artist Peter Ellenshaw, has been a feature of this web site for some time.

Sea Witch, painted by Peter Ellenshaw for the Pelisseros


Among the distinguished former owners of Sea Witch, were Godwin and Deborah Pelissero, of Santa Barbara, California. They owned Sea Witch from 1958 to about 1968 when it was sold to the Driscolls.

We heard from Godwin Pelissero, Jr. In late May of 2007, and he has kindly provided us with a photo of a wonderful painting of Sea Witch.

The elder Pelisseros, who were still going strong, at 90 and 86 years of age (2007), commissioned the above painting in the early 1960s.

The artist, Peter Ellenshaw, was a matte painter for Walt Disney, and quite renowned in that field. Peter passed away in February of 2007, at the age of 93. His son, Harrison, has followed in his father's footsteps and he and the Ellenshaw family maintain a web site at:

Of his memories of Sea Witch, Godwin, Jr. wrote:

"Love the site! ...She (Sea Witch) was berthed in Newport Beach, California just down the bay from Hugh Angelman's Sea Rover. I spent many glorious days and nights aboard 'The Witch', mostly sailing to Santa Catalina Island as well as trips south to San Diego. My bunk was the stern bunk next to the galley. I would fall asleep staring up at the stars through the open gangway and awaken to the smells bacon and coffee on the wood stove (later replaced by my father with a butane gas stove; a sure way to identify the true Sea Witch with its tin smoke stack missing).
     "I was a young boy (born in 1951) but I also remember sitting aboard the Sea Rover listening to Mr. Angelman tell stories while he smoked his pipe."

Mr. Pelissero gives us the good news that Kitty Davies, the widow of Charlie Davies, is still alive and well and that his mother, Deborah, corresponds with her regularly. Kitty is pictured in the first photo below, with husband Charles Davies and Godwin, Sr.


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