A heartbroken local artist in mourning is pleading for the return of his treasured painting he made of his late wife after it was stolen from a Cumberland County, New Jersey art gallery.
“The day I realized it was stolen, I mean, my emotions went mad,” said Dennis Tawes.
Tawes’ 67-year-old wife Linda lost her battle with lung cancer in March. A few months before her death, Tawes made a painting of her that he called “Cloud Walker.” It was inspired by the first time he saw her nearly 30 years ago.
Tawes put the painting on display at an art gallery in Millville, New Jersey. The painting was recently stolen however. Tawes believes the theft occurred the third Friday of either June or July, the only times the gallery was open.
“Your heart feels ripped out anyway, ripped to a million pieces,” Tawes said. “It just ripped my heart out again.”
Tawes, who is preparing for an art show on Friday, is now begging for the thief to return the painting.
“Return it,” Tawes said. “I won’t press charges. You took something personal.”
Tawes said the painting was not for sale and its value is priceless.
“It’s not the money, the loss of that,” he said. “It’s just that piece of my heart that was taken.”
If you have any information on the painting's whereabouts, call Tawes at 904-304-6336.