The stolen paintings taken from a studio in Honeymoon Bay in April have been returned.
But painter and sculptor Thomas Hutchings, who created the two art pieces of scenes on Vancouver Island, said they were returned in a most peculiar way.
He said that, after the two paintings were shown in the Lake Cowichan Gazette, someone contacted a friend of his and asked if there was a reward to have them returned.
“I certainly don’t have any money to pay anyone a reward,” said Hutchings, who moved to the Cowichan Valley from Newfoundland about a year ago to continue with his artistic career.
“I was working with a friend in the backyard one day after that and noticed a plastic bag stapled onto the fence and the two paintings were in it, totally unharmed. There was no note or anything else with the paintings. I don’t know who took them, but I’m really pleased to have them back.”
Hutchings said he received a lot of feedback from the community after his paintings, from which he hoped to make about $2,500 each, were taken and were featured in the newspaper, so he thinks the thief or thieves may have been having a hard time selling them to anyone.
He said his studio, which was located in Honeymoon Bay’s old gas station after renovations were completed, was in the process of shutting down due to the uncertain financial times related to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and the two paintings were the last of his collection that were still on display when they were stolen.
“I’m now living at a friend’s place and looking for an apartment, which are very hard to find,” he said.
“I’m afraid that, at the end of the day, I may have to return to Newfoundland.”