Herald Neighbors

Painting ‘a part of local history’ with the Historical Society of East Rockaway and Lynbrook


Several local residents were leisurely stroking their paintbrushes across canvases at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3350 during a paint and sip event hosted by the Historical Society of East Rockaway and Lynbrook on April 29.

The group was under the direction of noted East End artist Linda Davison Mathues, who guided them step-by-step on how to make a replica of a more than 100-year-old painting her great grandmother made of a bay house off of Hewlett Point.

“She’s just very talented,” said HSERL President Pat Sympson of Mathues. “Very talented, and she was willing to give her time for this. Her art is just magnificent” Sympson said that Mathues donated the paints, canvas and aprons for the group to use, and that they were painting “a part of local history.”

Residents from Lynbrook, East Rockaway, Rockville Centre, Port Washington and other areas came to the event. Mathues is part of the Davison family, which ran the Grist Mill Museum in East Rockaway for many years. Mathues discovered a painting that her grandmother, Grace Coombes Davison, crafted as a young girl and used it as the inspiration for the event.

Sympson said Mathues was a great teacher and took the time to guide each individual through the painting. “Linda was very patient and she had time to come around to each one of us,” she said. “Some people had steadier hands than others, but it didn’t matter because the final product, it looked like it was supposed to look like.”

Each year, Mathues donates a painting as a raffle prize for the HSERL’s annual tea event. Paint organizer Mary Colway said that there are plans in place for Mathues to return to guide guests in creating paintings of their pets in the autumn.

Colway said Mathues broke the paintings down to easy elements and was a positive influence on the artists. “She only finds the good in what you do,” she said. “Sometimes art teachers will point out everything that’s wrong and most of the people there never painted anything before, but she can find the good and it’s a very encouraging thing.”

Colway and Sympson both said they were pleased with the finished product of their creations under Mathues’ guidance.

“Not bad,” Sympson said. “I’m willing to buy a frame for it.”