Deck the Halls!

I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but if I don’t at least get my decorating started before the Pittsburgh Holiday Market starts next Thursday, there’s no way I’ll get it done in time for Christmas. (Don’t judge! Costco’s been ready for Christmas for at least a month already.)

Following the hanging of my original painting “All Aboard with Santa” over my mantel the other day, I got inspired to keep going. Tom and I put on holiday music and began to deck the halls! For the first time in a long while, we have to keep the decorations up high – my little granddaughter is about to start walking, and she’s very inquisitive. As she gets more confident, nothing below waist level will be safe!

I’ve also been making a list (of inventory) and checking it twice, gathering together as many of my stock items as possible and getting ready for the holiday shows coming up. (Don’t forget to shop early for best selection!).  My show schedule is always available on my website, www.lindabarnicott.com .

Looks like a busy week ahead:

  • Tomorrow (Friday, November 10th) I will be at Laurie’s Hallmark on the second floor at Fifth Avenue Place for Lunch with Santa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • On Saturday, November 11th, I’ll be at the Bethel Presbyterian Church Holiday-A- Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The church is located at 2999 Bethel Church Rd in Bethel Park. This was a terrific show last year, and I’m really looking forward to it this weekend.
  • Then comes the BIG ONE…  next Thursday (November 16th) at 4 p.m., I’ll be open for business at my chalet at the Holiday Market in Market Square in Downtown Pittsburgh. The hours for Thursday’s soft opening are 4 to 8 p.m.

After Thursday, we will open every day except Thanksgiving at 11 a.m. You’ll know me because I’m the one with four layers of winter clothing, gratefully accepting donations of hot cocoa from random passersby…

As I embark upon another holiday season, I’m reminded of how grateful I am for all of you and that my art has touched so many hearts. Just listening to the stories of my customers at the John McMillan Church Christmas Affair last weekend truly warmed my soul.

I hope that in this holiday season I can somehow be of service to you.

P.S. –  Original of the Month: “Holiday Season on Grant Street”

This original pastel has always been one of my favorite paintings, and I’m happy to have it hanging on my wall until it finds a happy home.

When I developed the composition on this painting, I did what only an artist can do – I moved the nativity scene closer to Grant Street so the viewer can get a better look at it. You may also notice that the First Lutheran Church and the US Steel Tower are a lot closer together than they are in real life!

To capture the beauty of the church’s stained glass windows, I actually went inside the church during the day and snapped a few photos so I could reproduce those colors in the painting. I wanted to show the church lit up at night with light shining through the windows.

One day I visited the church with my partially finished pastel original in a cardboard box, and of course, the skies opened up, and there was such a downpour that Grant Street was flooded. The minister thoughtfully looked all over the church for a large trash bag that the box would fit in so as to not get this precious painting wet. I’m still very grateful for his act of kindness!

The original pastel painting “Holiday Season on Grant Street” is double matted with a wooden filet (extra wooden frame inside between the mats) and museum glass.  Let me know if you’re interested in investing in original art that will last for generations – just call 1-888-748-8278 or email me at linda@lindabarnicott.com.

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Whooo’s Ready for the Holidays?

Here we are in November… but I couldn’t resist showing off our little Halloween owl . Aria seems to be a bit annoyed, wondering why Mommy made her wear this funny outfit with wings on the arms. But we did let her have a taste of candy, and let me tell you, she didn’t mind that part at all!

Speaking of Aria, she sure has grown a lot since she modeled for me last fall. She was just 4 months old – the perfect age to stand in for Baby Jesus – when she posed for “Santa and the Greatest Gift,” this year’s latest painting in the Jolly Old Elf series.

It looks like “Santa and the Greatest Gift” will be my best-selling print of the year! It’s now up on my website and available to order online.

And for all of you who are interested in ordering the print of “Santa and The Greatest Gift,” I have good news!

For one week only, every order will include a secret gift! The offer is good until Wednesday, November 8th.  You’ll be surprised when you receive your print in the mail. Trust me, you’ll like it!

Check it out at http://lindabarnicott.com/product/santa-and-the-greatest-gift/. The secret gift is for online orders only – no code is needed.

With the new month kicking off the 2017 Holiday Season, I decided to make “Holiday Greetings on Grant Street” November’s Original Pastel Painting of the Month.

Back in 2001, I had already created quite a few paintings that became holiday cards for the American Cancer Society. As I searched for inspiration for that year’s holiday painting, , I walked up and down Grant Street. My heart was set on painting the City-County Building, and I took hundreds of photos.

But then as I kept walking up Grant Street, I caught a glimpse of the larger-than-life Nativity at the US Steel Tower. I remembered hearing that it was the only authorized replica in the world of the crèche that’s on display at St. Peter’s Square in Rome.

Well, I fell in love. I walked right into the lobby of the US Steel Tower and spoke with the concierge, Barbara Stull. I remember telling her, “I guess it doesn’t matter which side of Grant Street I paint!”

We did the photo shoot on a beautiful day in late May with my models all dressed in their winter clothes. Even Molly’s Trolleys came by just to be in the painting. The Dickens singers were actually singing inside the Tower. I just took their photo and magically put them into the painting.

Of course, those photos I took of the City-County Building didn’t go to waste… they came in very handy when I painted my last holiday card for ACS in 2014, “Winter’s Glow on Grant Street.”

P.S. – I’ll be the Featured Artist at “A Simple Country Christmas” at the Hilton Garden Inn at Southpointe on Friday, November 3rd from 9 am to 3 pm. I’ll be in the main lobby to the left, and most of my items will be available. (1000 Corporate Drive, Canonsburg, PA).

P.P.S. – On Saturday, November 4th, you can come see me at the John McMillan Presbyterian Church for “A Christmas Affair Craft Show.”  I’ll be there, fully stocked, from 9 am to 3 pm. The church is located at 875 Clifton Rd in Bethel Park (15102).

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The Early Bird Gets the Best Selection

Though the pumpkins are still being carved and the candy is still uneaten, those of us whose businesses are busiest in the holiday season are already hard at work.

The fall shows have begun, and I’m getting excited! It seems like every day there are decisions to be made, inventory to stock up on, orders to be filled, and generally preparing for the next two frantic months. For people like me in the art and gifts business, as far as we’re concerned, the holidays are already here!

As I have been planning ahead for the upcoming rush on giftware items that will begin soon, I realized something very important. It takes the North Pole a long time to create the ornaments and other pieces I’m ordering. That’s because most of my giftware is handmade, and there are lots of styles and shapes with my paintings on them.

Every Linda Barnicott art gift is locally made and packaged with love and dedication.

My elves are always telling me how much work goes into each ornament, bookmark, and key chain. My Wendell August Forge aluminum ornaments are each individually hammered (on a real anvil!), punched, and polished. Then there are the trays and coasters – each one cut and polished to perfection. And of course, candles are being poured, prints being cut to size, and note cards and Christmas cards are being placed in beautiful boxes.

What’s the moral of this story? It’s important to buy early so you get exactly the gifts you want for the holidays. So plan ahead for those office parties and customer Thank You gifts, and remember your family early this year. If you put it in the instructions when you order, I will be happy to sign your gift purchase. Order anytime from my beautiful new website – www.LindaBarnicott.com.

I hope you’ll come see me at my shows this fall and downtown at the 2017 Holiday Market beginning Friday, November 17th – but the sooner the better!

Can you believe that next week they’ll be starting to build the wooden Chalets in Market Square? The holidays will be here before we know it, and it pays to plan ahead.

P.S. – Don’t forget, there’s no time like the present to invest in an original pastel painting!

October’s Original Painting of the Month is “Game Time at Heinz Field.”

If you’ve ever seen one of my originals, you know it has a very different look from the prints. The pastels almost seem to sparkle, especially under holiday lights.

“Game Time at Heinz Field” is a historical painting. Can you imagine what Heinz Field and Pittsburgh might look like 100 years from now?

An original is a special gift or investment that will last for centuries, something you can pass down through future generations. If you’d like to schedule a time to come and check it out in person, just email me at linda@lindabarnicott.com.

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Now That Summer is Over – What’s Hot?

What beautiful weather we’re having! It’s been more like summer for the last week, though it’s now turning a little more brisk and Fall-like. But I really don’t need to follow the weather forecast…  my schedule of shows tells me the holidays are at hand!

The show at Fort Ligonier Days was even better than I had hoped. So many folks came out to enjoy the festival and picked up a few pieces of art for loved ones or as treats for themselves. I greatly appreciate all of you – thank you for supporting your friendly neighborhood artist!

If you’re wondering what’s hot lately when it comes to what’s selling at my shows…

One of my favorite new products is my bookmark collection. Currently, there are six of them – you can see them all on my new updated website http://lindabarnicott.com/product-category/bookmarks/

As far as prints, two of my bestsellers are “Waiting for You under Kaufmann’s Clock” and “A Holiday Tradition.” The stories folks share with me about their memories of meeting under Kaufmann’s Clock and shopping at Horne’s Department Store always make me happy inside.

The bookmarks are individually hand-crafted by Wendell August Forge and are made of scratch-resistant aluminum. They’re lightweight but will not break, so they can be easily shipped as a gift to someone special – a perfect gift for an avid reader, and it will remind them of a treasured memory.

What has really been taking my shows by storm is the latest painting in my Jolly Old Elf series, “Santa and the Greatest Gift.” Of course, you may already know why this painting has an extra-special meaning for me and my family. My granddaughter Aria was the model for the child in Santa’s arms representing baby Jesus.  Aria was 4 months old at the time, the perfect age to pose with Santa for our photo shoot in January.

I’m just blown away by the response I’ve had to this painting. Last weekend at Fort Ligonier Days, a few people even told me that the painting gave them shivers up and down their spines (I believe they meant that in a good way!). Many of them purchased a print because a family member or friend was having a baby, and it seemed like a perfect gift. Others told me it was going into a special place in their home.

This weekend I’ll be setting up once again for the Night Market in Downtown Pittsburgh at Market Square from 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, October 21st. I’ll have lots of my smaller items with me, including the bookmarks and of course, “Santa and the Greatest Gift.” Stop by and check it out!

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Fort Ligonier Days are Here!

Have you ever been to Fort Ligonier Days? It’s all-day fantastic experience with great food and music, historical re-enactments, and of course the finest art and gifts!

It looks like Friday and Saturday will be perfect days to come out to the country (and don’t let a little rain scare you away on Sunday!). Ligonier Days is one of my very favorite shows of the year, especially with the beauty of fall and the wonderful people who always come to this event.

I will be in booths #16-17 in the Loyalhanna Lot located off South Market Street behind the fort. The show runs October 13th through 15th, from 9 to 6 on Friday and Saturday and then Sunday 10:30 am to 5 pm. I have so many new things to show you for the holiday season and would love to see you there!

On a more personal note, this has been a significant week for me because Tom and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary – 37 years of a truly happy marriage.

You may find this hard to believe, but back then almost everyone we knew said “It won’t last.” But we always knew it would.

You see, we mastered the long-distance relationship long before cell phones and texts made it easier. In those days, you had to wait until after 11 pm for the cheaper long-distance phone rates. And we actually communicated with snail mail. Every day I would get letters from Tom… some were even handwritten on napkins from a coffee shop at South Hills Village on his way to work (complete with coffee stains!).

Throughout the years, Tom has been my rock, the greatest source of support for my art career – the man behind the artist. He’s always challenging me to persevere, to excel, and to be more creative in every aspect of my work. He truly is my better half, and today I salute my husband and best friend.

Now, since you haven’t seen my granddaughter in a while, I couldn’t resist a showing you this photo with a little different aspect of her personality. There certainly are a lot of photos out there with her smiling – she does that all the time. But this expression was too precious not to share…

Can you believe how time is flying by this fall? It’s not too early to start thinking about gifts for the holidays! If you can’t make it to the show in Ligonier this weekend, check out my Brand NEW website at www.LindaBarnicott.com and let me help you with your shopping needs!

P.S. – There’s no time like the present to invest in beautiful original art!

My Original of the Month, “Game Time at Heinz Field,” would be an amazing addition to your collection of sports memorabilia or Pittsburgh art.

This is the one and only original, and it will last for centuries. From the glowing reflections on the water to the unique “Pittsburgh” sky, this painting is truly is one of my favorites. You can almost hear the crowd going wild in the stands.

If you have an interest in owning this or any of my other one-of-a-kind original paintings, please shoot me an email (linda@lindabarnicott.com) or give me a call at 1-888-PITT-ART.

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I’m on a Roll!

This week has been a time of intense creativity for me. We had the pleasure of hosting a nationally known artist here in Pittsburgh, and I was privileged to attend her workshop. Of course, being “Pittsburgh Proud,” we had to show her all the sights. She was suitably impressed and told us “You have a beautiful city!” My head and my heart responded together – “Yes, yes we do! And we are so lucky to live here.”

You can google Christine Ivers and check out her work… both are pretty spectacular!

So what did we do with Christine, and what did I learn from it?

First we made our own boards to paint on, applying acrylic gesso with pumice to the board with a paintbrush to make the board archival. Basically, that means it will last for decades upon decades… maybe even centuries!

Then it was time to sit down and sketch and then paint with my soft pastels. My subject was the Lili Coffee Shop in Polish Hill. Because of the texture, I had to use all of my fun thick pastels instead of my tight skinny hard pastels, making the painting very “painterly.”

I loved the way the texture showed through the pastel – in fact, I do believe it could be an interesting addition to my paintings in the future. Let me know what you think!

Though I haven’t yet figured out how to clone myself, I have figured out a way to be at two shows at the same time this weekend!

Well, not exactly… but my family will be manning my booth at St. Thomas More Church in Bethel Park this Saturday from 9 to 3. Stop by and see them – they’ll be happy to help you fulfill all your gift needs. (Don’t forget to splurge on yourself, too! You deserve it.)

My actual physical self will be with Santa at the Courtney-Laughlin Gallery in Beaver for the Artist Walk on Saturday from 10 to 4. Of course, there will be photos with Santa all day long (perfect for Christmas cards!) and lots of my new work that I will be happy to sign and personalize for you. After you stop by, be sure to take a stroll down the street and meet the other artists who will be visiting.

The response to my new website has been very gratifying! Thanks again to all of you who have checked out my new updated website www.lindabarnicott.com and have been ordering from there. It warms my heart to see those familiar names coming through on the order forms.

P.S. – October’s Original Painting of the Month is “Game Time at Heinz Field” – Perfectly framed to look great in your Man Cave but elegant enough for any room in your home or office. If you are interested in owning this one-of-a-kind collector’s piece, please contact me at 412-283-4072

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It’s About Time

It looks like Fall is making a comeback today, and it’s about time! For now, I’m pretty excited about it, as I’m not normally a person who loves the hot summer weather. But check back with me after November 16th when I’ll be downtown at the Holiday Market in Market Square for 36 straight days, bundled up in four layers of clothing and complaining about the cold.

First, I just want to say thank you to everyone who visited my new website last week. It was great to see so many positive comments. I just updated the site with all my new giftware and prints, so if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, just click here.

I would also like to thank everyone who took advantage of the 25%-off sale to purchase lithographs last week.  In my opinion, the best deal of the bunch was “Mazeroski’s Magical Moment,” officially signed by Maz himself. This print in particular has been a well-loved piece, and the ones he has personally signed are nearly sold out.

One interesting tidbit his wife shared with me – the Mazeroskis already had a Linda Barnicott painting hanging in their home before they even met me. It’s one of my Kaufmann’s Clock paintings, and it had a very special significance to them… you see, they met on a blind date under Kaufmann’s Clock!

Speaking of nostalgia… I’m trying out a new feature starting this week: Original of the Month.

Each month I will highlight one of my originals that I have in my home gallery, where I display all my original paintings so I can enjoy them until they find a happy home.

As you may know, I paint in soft pastels; however, my paintings are anything but pastel in color. Game Time at Heinz Field, a night scene with a true Pittsburgh sky, is my favorite of all my sports stadium paintings.

The painting itself is 14 x 24 inches, and with the framing, it measures 26 x 34 inches. It is double-matted with a wooden fillet in a black wooden frame. The brass title plate is shadowboxed in the mats.

My favorite memory of setting up this painting was standing near the big riverboat paddle wheels and seeing the stadium all lit up for the game as the shuttle cruised past me. The reflections in the water were so vivid that I knew exactly at that moment what the palette of the painting was going to be. I wanted to show the beautiful color reflections on the river and pair that with the excitement of the game.

This original has a purchase price of $6400.00. It is the only stadium scene I have left in the original form. Game Time at Heinz Field is one of a kind and will last for centuries. It really is a great investment in art for a collector with their own special memories of Heinz Field.

This Saturday Night I will be downtown in Market Square at the Night Market from 5 pm to 10 pm. If you need any gifts, or if you’re redecorating your home or office, stop by and see what I have to offer!

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Linda Barnicott (.com) Got a Makeover!

Hi, it’s Linda!

Not me, exactly… but my cyber-self, LindaBarnicott.com, had a complete makeover and she is looking fantastic!

Yes! After months of brainstorming and hard, detailed work, my new website is finally live. I would love to hear your opinions, so check it out and let me know what you think!

www.lindabarnicott.com

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my work on the Forbes Hospital History/Community Wall mural. I had the opportunity to meet with the CEO of the Allegheny Health Network last Friday when several of us sat around a table and envisioned the final panel for the wall. What I love about this project is their interest in including the human experience… sure, there will be plenty of buildings, but my favorite part is the people who will be prominent in the painting and their place in the history of Forbes Hospital.

They’re planning a big gala event in April, and the plan is to unveil the entire painting then – Yikes! Nothing like a little pressure, right?

Well, let me be completely honest – I am extremely nervous about that because I’m just getting started painting it. The finished painting will be 1 foot by 10 feet in pastel chalk. There is a total of five panels with five different themes. It will be enlarged to 4 feet x 40 feet for the wall!

This is the biggest project I have ever done. Please pray for me, as my fall show season is starting. I have so many shows to take me away from the studio, and there is only one of me! I wish I could clone myself.

Speaking of shows… last week I had a tremendous show at the Covered Bridge Festival. I’m so grateful to all of you who came down to the Ebenezer Bridge and said hello. This weekend, September 23rd and 24th, I will be at the Mt. Lebanon Artist Market. The hours are Saturday 10 to 6 pm and Sunday 10 to 5 pm. The show is on Academy Avenue in the parking lot behind PNC Bank in the Washington Road Business District. This is my second year at the Artist Market, and I’m really looking forward to it.

It looks like the weather will hold for another glorious fall weekend. If you’re out and about, I hope you get a chance to stop by!

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All Santa, All the Time on Etsy

Though we’re just a couple weeks out from Labor Day, my time seems to be filled with Christmas activities!

The big news this week is the launch of my brand new Etsy shop – LindaBarnicottArt. I spent much of the last week working together with my assistant Leslie to create.

LindaBarnicottArt on Etsy can be summed up as “All Santa, All the Time!” I’ve stocked it with all my favorite gift items and colorful prints. I hope you’ll visit my shop and have a look around. If there’s a piece you particularly like, make it your favorite. As a new shop owner, it’s important for me to get the word out, so I would really appreciate it if you could share it with your friends on social media.

Here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LindaBarnicottArt

Another thing that has kept me busy lately is working with the framers to pick out exactly the right look for my original paintings, “All Aboard with Santa” and “Santa and The Greatest Gift.” As always. I spent a lot of time evaluating each frame to find the perfect one to suit each painting.

I also started the process this week of transforming my new paintings into giftware, and I’ve begun ordering the supplies I need to get ready for the coming Holiday Season. There’s so much to be done before the season officially arrives.

One thing that’s taking longer than expected is the launch of my new LindaBarnicott.com website. We’ve been working on it for months, but it still isn’t 100% ready. But we’re almost there! I’m not sure how I ended up with such a huge site… when I started out in 1995, it was fairly small. Over the next 22 years of painting and adding new merchandise, it has grown bigger than I could ever have imagined! So it’s been a lot of work to give it a makeover, but it will definitely be worth it when I can finally show it all to you.

After our summer break, Tom and I dusted off the tent this week and started getting the van ready! My first major show of the season takes place this weekend at the Washington County Covered Bridge Festival. I’ll be at Mingo Creek County Park. Look for me on the paved path close to the Ebenezer Bridge – take a right, and I’m just a short distance away. The festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 16th and 17th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Covered Bridge Festival is one of my favorite shows. It’s a big one and very well attended. The forecast is for beautiful weather this weekend… perfect for a country outing to kick off the fall foliage season. So stop by and see me!

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Santa and The Greatest Gift

This has been quite a whirlwind week, in part because I’m still catching up after all my travels. But though it seems like I was on the road forever, I’m done with traveling for a while, and last week I was focused on completing this year’s Jolly Old Elf Series companion print, “Santa and The Greatest Gift.”

I’m very excited that we now have six paintings in the series, with four more paintings to go over the next two years. As I’ve planned the five-year series, I’ve experimented with some different concepts for the companion prints. But the fact that I chose this particular subject this year is actually a result of some impeccable timing.

Three years ago when I started the series, Tom and I had no idea that we would soon become grandparents. We didn’t anticipate that our daughter would give birth to a baby of her own last year, and that her baby would happen to be born in September… perfect timing to use her for an ideal Santa-and-Baby pose.

My granddaughter was just the right age to be my model for Baby Jesus. At that time, she was starting to become more interactive with the world around her, and needless to say, she was fascinated with Santa.

First, I had to shoot some reference photos to plan out the painting. Unfortunately, let’s just say that my photography skills leave something to be desired. (In fact, you might say they’re pretty terrible!) With the lower light, the photo had turned out yellow and blurry. However, this is one of those challenges that shows what an artist is made of!

I decided to go for an “Old Masters” look but with my own spin on it. I added in the rich blues that I’ve used in the other companion prints, “Santa’s Newest Reindeer” and Santa’s Joyride It was important to me to make the Christmas Star an element of the composition, I really wanted it to glow and make a statement. And as I did in my painting of Mother Teresa, “The Heart of a Saint,” my intention was to express the same deep eye-to-eye connection between the subjects of the painting that says “I love you.” I tried to capture Santa’s expression of profound joy as he cradles Baby Jesus in his arms.

The last important element in this painting was Jesus’ golden crown of light. I was going for something delicate, yet regal. I had the ideal image of its ethereal glow in my mind, and I feel that I was able to communicate that image onto the canvas.

I hope I’ve created a painting for you that will bring you a sense of peace and joy. It will be available online next week, but you can preorder it by simply sending me an email at linda@lindabarnicott.com or by calling 412-283-4072.

P.S. – The Fall Show season is getting started! Come see me at the Covered Bridge Festival in Washington County on September 16th and 17th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year I’ll be on the paved path, not too far from the Ebenezer Bridge. It’s a great show with a lot of fun activities and vendors. Come out and have a great time!

P.P.S. – If you have something special in mind that you would like me to bring for you, just contact me ahead of time at 412-283-4072, and I’ll have it there.

Make sure you are the first to know about all of my news, appearances and any “special deals” I am offering to my subscribers, by taking the time to sign up for my weekly newsletters now. You will also receive a FREE slideshow showing the step-by-step development of my painting, “Celebrating Time and Tradition at Macy’s”.

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