Wednesday, November 6, 2013

So Much In One Little Painting


I found this little gem (9X12) of a painting on the weekend
at a local 'thrift shop'.
The scene caught my attention as it feels so familiar.

Two kids in a rowboat in summer.....this has happened to many of us.

I looked on the back of this acrylic painting and was surprised
to discover that it was done by someone here in Halifax in 1988.

In fact, it was painted by a nun who lived at 
Mount St.Vincent Motherhouse, which was
the headquarters and residence for the 
Sisters of  Charity.

The Sisters of Charity taught in the public schools in Halifax 
when I was a student. They taught me from grades 8 to 12.
Here is a link to learn more about this 'order':


The name of this 'artist' was also on the back. On the front
of the painting are only the initials S.E.S.

This woman's name was Sister Evelyn Spruin.
She died in February of this year here in Halifax.

I wonder if this was a 'moment in time' that she experienced
many years ago here in Nova Scotia,
and during her retirement years she took up painting 
and recalled this summer day.

I did some research online and found out the following information
on this 'artist':

Sister Evelyn Spruin

Sister Evelyn SpruinSpruin, Sister Evelyn, (Teresa Evelyn), 93, died at Parkstone Enhanced Care on January 4, 2013. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on February 3, 1919, she was the daughter of James and Florence (Halliday) Spruin. She entered the Sisters of Charity-Halifax on September 8, 1947 and made her final profession on August 15, 1956. From 1950 to 1953, Sister Evelyn was assigned to general duties such as receptionist and office work. Her educational ministry began in 1953 in Dorchester, Mass, followed by North Andover, Mass, Lowell, Mass and then Dartmouth, NS. Later, she was missioned to such places as St. Foy, QC, Amherst, NS, and Halifax, NS. She then opted to become a Library Assistant and Secretary at Mount Saint Vincent University from 1974 until 1985. In that year, she began work in the Renewal Centre at Mount Saint Vincent Motherhouse and also served as Purchasing Clerk and then Purchasing Director until her retirement in 1998. Sister Evelyn resided in Walsh House from 1978 until 2007 when she moved to Parkstone Enhanced Care. She is survived by her half-brother, Edward, Halifax, NS, and a niece Barbara (Randy) Adachi, Pasa Robles, CA. She was predeceased by her brothers, James and Douglas. The body will be in Caritas Residence with visitation from 3 – 7 p.m. on Monday, January 7. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, January 8, at 10 a.m. in Immaculate Conception Chapel of Caritas Residence. Burial will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Lower Sackville, NS. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sisters of Charity Ministry Fund.


29 comments:

  1. Great find Jim -- and how neat your were able to track down the artist.

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  2. awesome find Jim-a really nice new treasure

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    1. Hi Kathy. I was surprised to find it in a 'thrift shop' of all places. But I have learned that a lot of things end up there when family doesn't want it.

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  3. What a discovery purely magical from a nun, a gift, a treasure...I am thrilled for you

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    1. Thanks so much Lorraine. We don't often think about nuns doing this kind of thing, do we.
      Have a great break and see you when you return.

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  4. What a great little find you have here, and how neat to know the history of it!

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    1. I agree Jeanne. I wasn't expecting to find information on her but am happy I did....puts the story together in one neat package.

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  5. I love the painting. How fascinating to read about this sweet ladies life. Thank you so much for sharing this morning.

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    1. You are most welcome Becky. Learning more about the artist really does add to the total 'picture'.

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  6. I'm glad her painting has found a good and appreciative home with you!

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    1. Me too Debra! I am happy that this painting will 'warm up' our home during the cold winter months ahead.

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  7. What a wonderful find. And how wonderful that the artist was from Halifax.

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    1. Martha, once I found out she lived at the 'Motherhouse' for years, then I figured she was a local.

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  8. One painting with such a wonderful story, Sister Evelyn's smile is full of love and happiness, and that is exactly what I read in the scene. Great to have more of her life, wonderful you did the research, for us all as well. Greetings, Jean.

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    1. You are so correct Jean. When I saw this painting I immediately thought the artist was a kind and gentle soul.

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  9. What a find. It's beautiful, and so interesting that you already knew something about the sisters.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. My family almost literally lived in this 'orders' back yard, Janie! The convent in which they lived was a thriving part of the parish I grew up in. I took piano lessons for 5 years from the Sisters of Charity in this convent.
      Since I got this painting I am realizing how much the 'nuns' presence in my early childhood has helped mold my life.

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  10. we don't think of nun's having a regular life before they took the oath. I wonder if it was a memory of a sunny day back in her childhood. My goodness, we can all attach a different memory to this one little piece of art found in the thrift store. Isn't that amazing. Glad you found the history to go along with it and even happier it jumped out at you..it's a great treasure.

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    1. I am sure we all could find a memory in this, Joanne, you are right.
      Now back to finish your journey journal!

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  11. Can't imagine a work of art with better karma. Knowing about the artist is an extra bonus. You wonder how it ended up in a thrift shop? Enjoy your treasure.

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  12. What a story! How neat and fitting that S.E.S. was a local artist, and its great to know a little bit about her!

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  13. It's a lovely little scene. How interesting it is to find out about the artist.

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    1. Hi Rick.
      What a coincidence. It appears that her brother, Douglas, may have been a painter.
      Is/was he from Nova Scotia?
      Thanks for sharing.
      Jim

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