Woman’s appeal for help to be reunited with dead mother’s painting

Jill Clark's mother's painting was based on this photograph SUS-170802-142630001
Jill Clark's mother's painting was based on this photograph SUS-170802-142630001

A woman is calling for help to find a painting by her late mother, who lived in Polegate and Willingdon.

Jill Clark, of Plumpton Green, lost the painting, which has ‘immense sentimental value’ to her, after her stepfather died and his belongings were donated to charity.

She believes the painting, of a path through a bluebell wood, was picked up by Chestnut Tree House charity shops and sold in the Eastbourne area.

Mrs Clark said, “I would be overjoyed if I got it back. My mum, Vera Maconachie, lived in Polegate for many years, and then moved to Willingdon when she remarried.

“Even though she was partially sighted, and was registered blind, she loved painting, and was a member of a local amateur group, which put on exhibitions from time to time.

“I particularly loved her painting of a path through a bluebell wood, and had it mounted and framed professionally for her.

“Mum promised me that it would be passed on to me when she died, because she knew how much I loved it.

“She died in 2005, but because I knew my stepfather Martin loved it too, I felt it would be wrong to deprive him of it whilst he was still living.

“He and his son and daughter knew that it was to come to me, and he assured me that it would be returned to me in the event of his death.”

The painting remained at her stepfather Martin’s house until he died in 2014.

But sadly when the house was cleared it was mistakenly included with unwanted items and given to charity.

She said, “I was heartbroken and extremely upset, and know how upset both mum and Martin would have been by this.

“I was even more upset when my husband phoned someone from Chestnut Tree House in a effort to trace the painting, and was told that everything was sent to a central warehouse and then distributed to different shops and that anything that didn’t sell within a certain time would be destroyed.

“I like to think that my mum’s painting is hanging on someone’s wall somewhere, and am sure that if they knew how much it meant to me, they would want to return it to me.

“I would, of course, be more than happy to reimburse them for their trouble.”

She is asking for anyone who thinks they know where it is to get in touch. It is A4, landscape, and signed V DAUNT in the right hand corner.

Based on a photograph of a path through woods, the painting was mounted in a gold frame with a creamy-beige hessian surround.

Mrs Clark said, “I know it was several years ago, but it’s coming up to the anniversary of my mum’s death, and I feel I owe it to her and to myself to try to trace it. I would be so grateful if someone could help me.”

If you know of the painting’s whereabouts please call 01323 414492.