Tonawanda News — Two and a half years ago oil painter Linda Banas began a project that even her teacher, Joan Horn, was wary she’d be able to complete.
Some 377 paintings later, Banas’ series of daily 5-by-7-inch paintings of the Erie Canal and Niagara River, and 12 larger, monthly paintings of the same subject have culminated in one show at Partners in Art Gallery where all the artworks will be on display at the same time for the first time.
“I have never seen the whole thing all together,” Banas said. “I’ve seen them a month at a time but then they went in a shoebox. I can’t wait, myself, to see what the whole project wll look like on the walls.”
The City of Tonawanda resident began the project Jan. 1, 2011, after her teacher at Partners in Art, Horn, suggested a student paint the river and canal area each day for a year.
“Every day I drive through the park and drive down Niagara Street and I see the river every single day and every single day it tells a different story,” Horn, co-owner of the Partners in Art complex, said. I told my class, “Somebody should paint this every day so you can see what it does different days ... different seasons.”
“It’s the kind of project that you expect somebody to start and peter out on so this was a very pleasant surprise,” Horn added.
Banas lives in the city, just where the Niagara River and the Erie Canal meet, a perfect location for having easy access to the water on a daily basis. She spent anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours on each painting, using the alla prima, or wet-on-wet, method because she has to work so quickly.
Some paintings are more detailed than others, some are mere impressions of what she saw.