About the Artist Godfrey Stephens

“Godfrey’s life, his art, his friends, his deep understanding of First Nations people,

his sailboats, his enthusiasm, his wild energy, his sense of humour, his continuing

quest for adventure … It’s hard to describe this guy.”

—Lloyd Kahn, founding editor-in-chief of Shelter Publications and author of

Builders of the Pacific Coast


Godfrey Stephens 2014

photo by Lloyd Khan


“Godfrey Stephens is the genuine article, a life-long artist on Canada’s West Coast. Uniquely at the

nexus of many cultural influences, he ignores galleries and drives his admirers wild.”

– Robert Amos, painter, columnist and writer of Artists in Their Studios, Inside Chinatown, The Art Lover, and Hometown


Godfrey Stephens is a West Coast original. Born in Duncan, British Columbia, in

1939, Godfrey has lived a life of bohemian freedom and off-the-grid adventure. His

inspiring body of work—including painting, sculpting and boat building—reflects

his many years of travelling the world, living on his boats and following the muse in

all her guises.

Grounded in the wild Pacific West Coast, Godfrey’s work reflects nautical, modern

and classical influences, along with the formative influence of his boyhood

relationship with Kwakwaka’wakw Master Carver Chief Mungo Martin.

Wood Storms, Wild Canvas is the first book to explore the life and work of this

exuberant and compelling artist. Author Gurdeep Stephens (who is also Godfrey’s

niece) makes no apology for selecting her own favourite works—over a hundred of

them—from Godfrey’s vast and varied oeuvre.

From towering sculptures likened to abstract totem poles, to psychedelic whirling

paintings, and sailing vessels crafted without blueprints or tape measures, the

breadth and scope of Godfrey’s artistic output is staggering.

With roots in the beatnik era, Godfrey still recites cool-cat poetry at the drop of a

hat. Gurdeep has included excerpts from her lifelong correspondence with her artist

uncle, further revealing his roving mind and unbounded creativity.


One thought on “About the Artist Godfrey Stephens

  1. Godfrey Stephens is my cousin I have never met, I am the son of Susan and Jon Millhouse , I love Godfreys wonderfully work ,and life’s work I would like to learn more about his sail boat building and art work !!

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