Here We Go!

And so it begins…

We found all of the decorations. Then we bought a few more.

We boxed up hundreds of prints and giftware pieces, loaded them in the van, and brought them downtown.

All day long, we hung paintings, filled up my displays, and made sure everything was in place.

Why all the hard work? Because today is Day 1 of 38 days of holiday cheer at the annual Holiday Market in Market Square! The soft opening tonight (Thursday, November 15th) is mostly unadvertised. It’s sort of a dry run to make sure everything is in working order and the lights and decorations are ready for Light-Up Night on Friday (and of course for every day and every night after that until December 23rd).

Not many people know about the soft opening, so it won’t be nearly as busy as it will be tomorrow on Light-Up Night. Today’s your chance to enjoy the Holiday Market without the crazy Light-Up Night crowds that will be downtown on Friday.

Come visit me at my Chalet in Market Square today between 4 and 8 pm! You’ll not only avoid the crowds… but if you need more motivation, I’ll also take 15% off any purchase! Simply print out this blog post and present it at the Chalet. (The discount is available for today – November 15th – only.)

That’s right – everything that is in my chalet today is 15% off!

Not in town? Not a problem! I’m offering Free Shipping today for online orders. The banner is waiting for you on the main page of my website – check it out at www.lindabarnicott.com. Better hurry though – the free shipping offer ends at midnight on Thursday, November 15th.

I’d be happy to help you with your holiday shopping list. Hope to see or hear from you soon!

P.S. – If you think Santa looks excited about the Holiday Market, you should see Aria. She is all dressed up in her pink sunglasses to come downtown and visit Grandma’s chalet!

P.P.S. – Abigail and Autumn Update: Both babies are thriving and are still totally adorable in my completely unbiased opinion.

Ready or Not… Here Come the Holidays!

It seemed like Fall was playing games with us this year, and the leaves took forever to turn. But finally the fall foliage has arrived, filling our world with a plethora of beautiful colors. I was afraid we would miss out on that this year with all the unusual weather.

And now another sign of the changing of the seasons is coming our way…

It’s hard to believe, but in just one week, it’s time for my longest (and favorite) show of the year – the Pittsburgh Holiday Market in Market Square!

As they do every year, the Market will have a Soft Opening on the day before Light-Up Night. This year, that date is Thursday, November 15th. (Yes! That’s less than one week away!) Though it won’t be advertised, the Market will be open from 4 to 8 pm that evening. The reason for the soft opening is to test the lights and make sure all the bugs are worked out before the real Light-Up Night festivities begin.

Not many people actually show up because not many people know about it. So I’d like to invite you, my favorite customers, to join me downtown for a Soft Opening Jump Start Sale at my Holiday Chalet!  I’m offering a straight 15% off everything in my Chalet for my readers. Just print this email and bring it with you to my Chalet next Thursday between 4 and 8 pm. You can find me near the live stage.

What if you’re busy that night or out of town? I’ll save you the travel time and gas by offering Free Shipping on everything on my website for one day only – from 12:01 am, Thursday, November 15th, until 11:59 pm that night. Taking advantage of the one-day-only online free shipping isn’t quite as good as being there, but close enough! I’ll be happy to personalize your gifts if you just mention it with your order.

Many of you have asked about Santa’s schedule for the Christmas season. Listed below are the dates he will be at the Santa House in Market Square. Please bring your kids, your cousins, your nieces and nephews, your neighbors, your friends, your parents and grandparents, and especially YOURSELF and have a fun time together! If you purchase any of my Santa paintings, he may even be able to sign them.

11/17/18:             4 – 8 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
11/20/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
11/21/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square

11/24/18:             9 – 11 am, WPXI Holiday Parade
11/24/18:             4 – 8 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
11/26/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
11/27/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
11/28/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
11/29/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square

12/1/18:               4 – 8 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/3/18:               12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/4/18:               12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/5/18:               12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square

12/8/18:               4 – 8 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/10/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/11/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/12/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square

12/13/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/15/18:             4 – 8 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/19/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/20/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square

Before things get rolling at the Chalet next week, I have one more pre-holiday show on Saturday (November 10) at Bethel Presbyterian Church  in Bethel Park. I will be there in the auditorium from 9 am to 3 pm. If you’re in the neighborhood and want to check out a great craft show, please stop by!

Have a great week! I’m looking forward to seeing you or hearing from you this Holiday Season.

Catching My Breath

Today I’m at the Giant Oaks Garden Club’s “A Victorian Tinsel Christmas,” and I’m taking advantage of a little break in the action to sit down for a bit, catch my breath, and write a quick note to you.

I’m still playing catch up after last week’s very successful – and very fun! – Trunk Show and Studio Open House.

The folks who came by really seemed to enjoy both the evening and the daytime events. I’m very grateful for everyone who showed up and for the opportunity to spend time just hanging out and talking with everyone.

In fact, the event was so successful (and so much fun) that I believe I may make it an annual thing! So look for the Second Annual Trunk Show and Open House event next year at our new home/studio in Brentwood.

Tomorrow, Tom and I will be doing our “divide and conquer” strategy again – I’ll be spending the day at John McMillan Presbyterian Church (875 Clifton Rd, Bethel Park, PA 15102), and Tom will be representing me at Christ United Methodist Church on Highland Road in Bethel Park.

Please stop by and see one of us (or maybe even both of us?) and kickstart your holiday shopping with a special gift.

Studio Trunk Show and Open House – This Weekend Only!

If you’ve been keeping up with my last few posts, you know I’m hosting my most unique and unusual event ever this weekend. My Trunk Show and Open House will take place at my studio this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Items for sale will include everything from originals, prints, and gifts to one-of-a-kind pieces, including some of my “oddities.”

Friday Preview Night (October 26th) will run from 7 to 9 pm and will feature 20% off everything in the show – INCLUDING ORIGINALS! – except “Super Savers.”

On Incentive Saturday (October 27th) from 10AM to 3PM, I’m offering percentage discounts – the more you spend, the greater the savings.

Sunday (October 28th) from 1 to 3 pm will feature unadvertised Mystery Specials that won’t be revealed until the day of the show.

There will be homemade cookies (not made by me, but sooo good), apple cider, dips, and chocolates to munch on (from my palette to your palate?) as you browse my studio looking for that perfect gift or addition to your home. Remember, originals will only be on sale (20% off!) at the Friday evening event. So if you’ve always wanted one of my original pastels, Friday evening is definitely the best time to visit.

I am so excited to invite you into my studio! But if you can’t make it or you live too far away, I’ll be offering an online special for this weekend only. Everything on my site will be 15% off… and if you spend over $100.00, you’ll also receive free shipping on your order! To claim your exclusive discount, type in the code SUPERSALE.

So hurry – Don’t wait! When the clock strikes midnight on Sunday, the sale will be gone. Happy shopping!

P.S. – Don’t forget! If you’re planning to attend, please RSVP to my email at linda@lindabarnicott.com. You’re welcome to bring friends – they don’t need to RSVP if they are with you.

P.P.S – In breaking Twins news, the girls have hit a milestone! They’re now 3 months old and over 9 lbs each! Aria loves her sisters, and the family is settling into the New Normal.

There’s a First Time for Everything

I’m super excited about the special event I’m hosting this weekend – because it’s going to be my most unique and unusual event ever!

My very first Studio Trunk Show and Open House will take place right here at my home studio on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 26th through 28th.

Items for sale will include everything from originals, prints, and gifts to one-of-a-kind pieces, including some of my “oddities.”

Here are the highlights:

Friday Night, October 26th, is Preview Night. From 7pm – 9pm, attendees will get 20% off everything at the show – Including Originals (I’ve never done this before!) – except “Super Savers.”

Saturday, October 27th is “Incentive Saturday.” From 10 am to 3 pm, I’m offering percentage discounts – the more you spend, the greater the savings.

Then on Sunday, October 28th, from 1 pm to 4 pm, I’ll be featuring unadvertised “Mystery Specials” that will be a secret right up until the day of the show.

This is a great opportunity to find something unique and special for the people on your Christmas list… or maybe just to treat yourself and buy that painting you’ve always wanted!

I hope you’ll join us for this fun event! Please RSVP by email to Linda@lindabarnicott.com.

Studio Address:  326 Turngate Drive, Bethel Park, PA 15102

P.S. – I also have an important announcement that has been a long time coming.

Tom and I have discussed it for many months, and for various reasons, we have decided it’s time for him to change careers. At some point in your life, there comes a time when you have to look at what is in front of you. Though ministry will always be a part of who he is, and he will be listening to God’s guidance as he starts this next chapter, Tom will be retiring at the end of January.

Sometimes you just know when you make a decision that it’s the right thing to do at the right time. We know this is the best path for us going into the future for a number of reasons, especially with the birth of our new twin granddaughters.

Tom and I will be moving to a new home and studio in Brentwood at that time. I’ll fill you in on the details as things develop.

Celebrate Autumn with Me at Fort Ligonier Days

Have you ever been to Fort Ligonier Days?

Fort Ligonier Days is one of my very favorite shows of the year, especially with the beauty of the fall landscape and the wonderful people who always come to this event. It’s a fantastic all-day experience with great food and music, historical re-enactments… and of course, the finest art and gifts!

It looks like the weather on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be perfect for a day trip out to the country. I’ll be in Booths #16-17 in the Loyalhanna Lot located off South Market Street behind the fort. The show runs October 12th through 14th from 9 to 6 on Friday and Saturday and then Sunday from 10:30 am to 5 pm.

Come out and see all the wonderful new things I have to show you for the holiday season!

***
Now on a personal note…

Tom and I are celebrating our 38th anniversary today, and this year I decided to surprise him with a very special and meaningful gift.

When we first got married, I commissioned a painting for Tom from a fellow artist and dear friend, Joe Stasny, who has since passed away. Joe was an amazing watercolorist and loved painting wet-on-wet – meaning that the paper is wet the whole time you’re using watercolor paints.

Wet-on-wet can be pretty challenging, as I know because I took a few classes from him. They say that in the watercolor field there are “Happy Accidents.” Well, I never had one of those, and I never was really able to master that technique.

Anyway, Tom loved Joe’s work, especially a painting he had entitled “Winter’s Eve.” So I asked Joe if he could make a morning version of it for Tom; hence, “Winter’s Morn.” After all these years, the frame was looking a little shabby (I didn’t know about acid-free or museum-quality framing back then). So for our anniversary this year, I surprised Tom with “Winter’s Morn” in its new frame.

It’s amazing how just putting it in a new frame has brought the painting back to life. So if you have a painting that you love that looks tired or beat-up, I encourage you to re-frame it, and you’ll enjoy it again as if it were brand new.

One last thing…

In just two weeks, I’m hosting my most unique and unusual event ever – my Trunk Show and Artist Open House will takes place here at my studio on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 26th through 28th. And of course, you’re invited!

Items for sale will include everything from originals, prints, and gifts to one-of-a-kind pieces, including some of my “oddities.”

Friday Preview Night (October 26) will run from 7 to 9 pm and will feature 20% offeverything in the show except “Super Savers” – INCLUDING ORIGINALS!

On Incentive Saturday (October 27) from 10 am to 3 pm, I’m offering percentage discounts – the more you spend, the greater the savings.

Sunday (October 28th) will feature unadvertised Mystery Specials that won’t be revealed until the day of the show.

Full details to come in next week’s email!

***
So head out to Fort Ligonier Days this weekend and stop by the booth and say hi! I’ve packed up my van as well as my car without an inch to spare, and we’re heading out to Ligonier to begin set up as soon as I finish this.

Hope to see you there!

How to Be in Two Places at the Same Time

Every week I write an email to reach out to you and give you a glimpse of what is going on with my life, my art, and my dreams. So you know that this 2018 has been a year of great change for our family. With the birth of the twins, my son-in-law beginning a new job, and my oldest daughter starting a new career, we’ve been through so many transitions.

The Barnicotts are in a very different place than we were last year in a lot of ways. But there’s one thing I’m looking forward to, something that I find comforting in light of so much change, and that is the consistency of my fall shows.

Just a week ago, I was at Houlihan’s for Perfect Palette, a unique charity event. It was a type of art event that I’ve never done before, being in a restaurant and meeting and greeting people in a small, intimate setting. So many people came back to visit us in the private room to say hello and enjoy the creations of ten different artists. I met up with many old friends as well!

Then on Saturday, I will be in two places at once! How can that be? 

I will personally be at the Courtney-Laughlin Gallery in Beaver on Saturday from 10- 4, and Santa (yep, that’s right!) will be joining me from 11-3. For anyone who would like to learn a little more about my work, I’ll be giving a short talk/telling stories at 11, 1, and 3.

Of course, Santa and I will be happy to sign any of my Santa paintings and gifts, and you’re welcome to take a free selfie with the Jolly Old Elf himself. The Courtney-Laughlin Gallery is located at 531 3rd St, Beaver, PA 15009.

Because I have such a great “better half” (my amazing husband, Tom), I have the power to be in two places at the same time… so I will also be at the St. Thomas More Art and Craft Fair in Bethel Park from 9 to 3. Tom will have lots of my new art and gift pieces as well as a wide selection of my prints and giftware. The church is located at 126 Fort Couch Road in Bethel Park (15102) across from South Hills Village. If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by and tell him Linda said he’s doing a great job!

Hope to see you there!

P.S. – Remember to mark your calendars for my exclusive “Studio Trunk Show and Open House” the weekend of October 26th! More details to follow!

P.P.S. – Just a word to the wise… shop early for the best availability of your favorite pieces.

It’s Showtime!

It’s that time of year again… Last week’s Covered Bridge Festival was the official kick-off of my 2018 show season. My fall schedule is already packed, including two shows coming up in the next week.

First up – this weekend I’ll be at the Mt. Lebanon Artists’ Market, a wonderful upscale arts festival, on Saturday and Sunday, September 22nd and 23rd. The Artists’ Market takes place in the Mt. Lebanon Business District at Washington Rd. and Academy Ave. I may even bring an original or two for sale!

Then on Thursday night (September 27th) from 7 to 9 pm, I will be part of Perfect Palette, a very special charity art show at Houlihan’s in the Galleria.

I’ll be joining nine other Pittsburgh artists (including Bob Hayes, Vince Ornato, Maria DeSimone Prascak, and more!) for a meet and greet with our artwork available for purchase. It’s all for a good cause – the event will benefit the O’Backpack Children’s Foundation, an organization that helps abused and neglected children in Allegheny and surrounding counties.

Complementary light snacks will be provided, with glasses of white wine available for $5. Call (412) 379-4811 to reserve your spot.

There are many more places where you can find me this fall! Keep an eye out for each week’s email, where I’ll announce the shows as they get closer.

Every year I work hard to finish with new paintings and giftware that will be fun and collectible for my customers, and this year is no exception. I am finishing up these new pieces, and they’ll start showing up at the booth this fall… along with many pieces in my inventory you may not have seen yet!

Don’t forget – when you see me at shows, I’ll be delighted to personally sign each piece for you. On some of the gifts, I can even dedicate it to the recipient!

This time of year is truly my favorite because I can escape from my studio for a little while and hang out with all of you. I hope this year I can help you check off some important gifts from your Holiday List… one person at a time!

One last thing…

I’m planning a new, unique event – a kind of event I’ve never done before – for the weekend of October 26th through 28th. It will take place right here in my home studio! More details to come… 

In the meantime, will I see you this week? I sure hope so!

P.S. – “Dear Santa” is now available for sale on my website! http://lindabarnicott.com/product-category/jolly-old-elf-series/

“Dear Santa”

I have a title!!!! After much thought and collaboration with Tom and close friends, I settled on something short and sweet, but one that says it all – “Dear Santa.” Tom also proposed the subtitle “Letters from a Child’s Heart,” but we decided to keep it simple.

As I promised last week, I want to show you some of the things I’ve included in the painting that have a special meaning or symbolism for me.

As I was designing the painting, my first thoughts were that I wanted a living-room setting. Santa liked the idea of looking directly at the viewer while holding a glass of milk. (Personally, I think he just wanted to drink the milk and eat the cookies. Why not? He’s Santa!) I started out picturing him holding his leather-bound “Naughty and Nice” Book, but I changed my mind. I had been wanting to incorporate something related to artwork and letters from children, so I decided to exchange the Naughty and Nice Book for a bag full of letters written by children from around the world.

I loved the idea of including a kitten in the painting. At first I thought it would be fun to have the kitty climbing down from the top of the chair to read over Santa’s shoulder. Instead, I decided to highlight one of the letters Santa received from a little girl and to share it with you, so I put the kitty up front with the letter in plain sight. I named the kitty “Noel” because my favorite childhood decoration was a set of shiny ceramic letters that spelled out NOEL.

I also decided to paint a fire in the fireplace so there would be a soft glow of light reflecting off different elements in the room. It was easy to paint the mantel and the fireplace –  they’re still decorated from last Christmas!

As you know, I always make sure my family is represented in my paintings. My father’s Santa ornament is making its fifth appearance on the Christmas tree in the “Jolly Old Elf” series, and the pink doll in the painting once belonged to my mom.

Tom and I also visited his childhood home and climbed the stairs to the attic to bring home his old fire truck and aeroplane, as well as his father’s childhood train to include in the painting. If you look closely at the train, you may notice the characters 4-AAA under the window. This is a secret message – “For Aria, Abigail and Autumn” – dedicating the painting to my granddaughters.

You may also notice that the letter was signed by Aria herself. It wasn’t easy to get her signature – after all, she just turned 2.  She really is just as sweet as that letter, if I may say so myself!

Finally, the doggie pull toy was donated by one of my readers. I love when my supporters get involved in my work, and it means the world to me.

As you can see, I put a lot of personal symbols into “Dear Santa,” and it’s a very meaningful painting for me. I hope you will enjoy it as well.

By the time you’re reading this, “Dear Santa” should be available on my website under Prints for Sale at  www.lindabarnicott.com 

You can also see it in person this weekend at the Washington County Covered Bridge Festival. I will be there Saturday and Sunday. Just cross the Ebenezer Bridge and make a right. I will be along the walking path. I hope to see you there!

A Chill in the Air?

Is it cold in here, or is it just me?

Even with all the 90-degree days this week, I’m feeling a chill in the air… maybe it’s just wishful thinking.
Or maybe it’s because my mind has been on the North Pole lately as I put the finishing touches on my latest Santa painting.

Try to picture the scene…

After a busy afternoon making toys in his workshop at the North Pole, Santa takes a well-deserved break. This is his favorite time of day, and he settles into his favorite chair by the glowing fire and enjoys a late afternoon snack of milk and Christmas cookies that Mrs. Claus has thoughtfully already put out for him.

Next to his chair is an overflowing bag full of letters mailed to him from young boys and girls from every country around the world. While Santa kicks back and reads a few letters, his kitty, Noel, is happy to share some time with him. She enjoys helping him with his work, and she knows that if she does a good job, there will be some milk left over for her!

What Noel will soon bring to Santa’s attention is the selfless letter from a little girl named Aria from Pittsburgh, PA, who writes:

“Dear Santa, I hope that all the people in the world find someone special to be with this Merry Christmas. Love, Aria”

For me, it’s sentiments like these that make the Christmas season so magical.

I’m still not finished with the painting and it doesn’t even have a title yet… but I am getting there! I’m putting on the final touches, and soon it will be available in plenty of time for the holiday season. If you would like to own a print of this finished piece, please contact me, and I’ll put you on the waiting list.

(Sometimes my paintings start with a title and develop from there, while some of them don’t have a title until I’m finished with them. I wonder why?)

This latest Santa painting says so much about me – sometimes I think maybe even too much! I’ll tell you more details about the painting in the next few weeks.

P.S. – You can see my upcoming shows on my calendar at http://lindabarnicott.com/events/. The Ebenezer Covered Bridge Festival and Mt. Lebanon Artists’ Market are the first out of the gate this month – I hope to see you there!