Maple Ridge artist Wendy Wells had been working on her latest paintings for one year and two months.
The painting depicts little boy, about four-years-old, holding two fish attached to a yellow rope in his left hand, naked as he walks away from the camera along a boardwalk.
Wells only had to paint in the yellow rope from the boy’s hand to the fish and the painting would have been complete.
Instead, the artist accidentally left the painting in the lobby of her apartment complex and it ended up being donated to the Mission Thrift Store, formerly known as Bibles for Missions.
But after a visit to the store, where she was invited to search through the donations, Wells did not find her painting.
“I have no idea what happened to it, where it’s gone. It’s a mystery,” said the artist.
The incident happened around mid-February when Wells returned from a painting session with the Fraserview Art Group, who meet every Wednesday.
Wells usually does a bit of shopping before returning home and on this Wednesday she went to the lobby to collect her newspaper and mail. Because her hands were full, she put the painting down on a table, failing to pick it up again before returning to her unit.
It wasn’t until about a couple of days later that she passed the place where she stores her paintings and found out it was missing.
“Suddenly I realized, I bet I left it on the table downstairs,” said Wells.
So she taped a note to the table in the hopes that somebody in the building took it home.
But another two weeks went by with no luck until she bumped into somebody in her garage who told her that they collect everything that is left on the table and box it for donation.
Wells thinks she may have written something on the back of the piece, like the date when she first started the piece, but she is not sure.
She is really hoping to get the painting back.
“When I come to the end of a painting, it takes me quite a while to find something else that inspires me to paint,” said Wells.
“I can’t just sit down and paint. It has to be something that is meaningful to me. That little boy, I thought, was just lovely,” said the artist.
And if somebody has it and they don’t want to give it back, said Wells, she would, at least, like to put her signature on it.
Anyone with information about the painting is asked to get in touch with Wells through the Fraserview Village Association at 604-463-2902.