The artwork has the initials of the painter, ‘MH’, in the corner.

The artwork has the initials of the painter, ‘MH’, in the corner.

Castlegar woman seeks return of painting she gave away

$800 original donated to an ‘Under a Penny’ thrift store

A Castlegar woman is hoping she can recover a painting she gave away to a thrift store last winter.

Darleen Van Sickle has posted a request to Facebook asking if anyone who might have picked up the picture could return it to her.

“It has got a lot of sentimental value,” she says. “I really want to get the painting back if I can.”

Van Sickle, who volunteered at the now-defunct thrift store last winter, found the painting in her basement, and thought it was one from her own collection.

Turns out, it belonged to her son, who had stored his stuff at her house. It was painted by his ex-girlfriend, and he paid $800 for it.

“For some reason I didn’t think they were hers and so I had the pile of stuff I was taking in, and I took that one in,” she says.

She says she realized her mistake when her son came home last weekend to pick up his stuff.

“He said ‘It looks like I might be missing a painting or two’,” she recalls. “It suddenly clicked in my mind I had taken one that wasn’t mine.”

The painting would have been purchased from the Kootenay Under A Penny store sometime between November and February, she figures.

Van Sickle says she’ll pay a reward to the person who returns it to her.

“It’s a very sad story,” she says. “I don’t know what to say.”

But her son is taking it well.

“He laughed and said ‘Mom, you are always donating stuff. But it did cost me $800’.”