Light ‘Em Up!

Last night our power went out. In the winter, that can be a little scary because you don’t have heat. And you never notice how dark it can get in your home until you don’t have electricity. We just take it for granted in our daily lives and don’t appreciate it until the lights go out.

When there’s a power failure, you have to rethink everything you do. For one thing, I couldn’t take our dog Allie out through the garage as we usually do – no power to open the garage door. No electric range and no microwave meant no cooking dinner. The house was slowly getting colder and colder with the furnace off. Even worse, if the power was out all night, I wouldn’t be able to style my hair in the morning… and no one wants to see that.

Fortunately, it wasn’t too long before the power came back on with no real harm done. But that experience last night made me laugh, remembering how just the day before I found out how much my granddaughter loves my candles.  (Seems like I was the last one to know!)

I walked into the living room to find Aria stretching upward, trying to reach one of the candles. I picked it up and brought it down to her level so she could see it. (It was unlit, of course!) She leaned into it and took a huge whiff. One by one, she asked to see and smell each of the candles – it took a while because I have so many candles with different paintings and scents. As we sat there together, Aria looked at each candle, closed her eyes, and smelled the fragrance. She kept saying and signing “more” as we closed up each one. So it looks like I can advertise my candles as Baby Approved!

This last holiday season I sold quite a few candles to my friends at BNI (a business networking meeting I attend every week). Since then, they’ve been telling me about how they gifted my candles to their loved ones and how well they were received.

It means so much to me to hear those stories, knowing that my work has touched the hearts of their families and friends. If you have any stories of your own to share, I would love to hear them.

Have you noticed that the days are getting longer? The groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter, but we Pittsburghers know better!

In three short weeks, the 2018 Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show opens at theDavid L Lawrence Convention Center.– where Spring comes to Pittsburgh a couple weeks ahead of schedule. You can find me in my customary spot, Booth #3146-8, at the beginning of Artists’ Row. The show runs from Friday, March 2nd to Sunday, March 11th.

Candles also make great Valentine’s Day gifts! If you’d like to order in time for the 14th, all candles are in stock right now except for Hills and My Hometown. I will, of course, be fully stocked at the show.

One Step Ahead of the Groundhog

I just know that rodent is going to see his shadow tomorrow morning, and we’re going to be stuck with winter a little while longer. But I’ve already seen the first sign of Spring – yesterday I received my vendor packet for the 2018 Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show!

I can hardly believe it, but this will be my 23rd year as an exhibitor.

It all started back in 1980 when I was just a newlywed. I had joined the South Hills Art League, and they asked me to do a demo at the show. That year the show was featuring a beautiful “Dream House” – a little yellow ranch house with a pretty pond, surrounded by lots of flowers. I remember happily standing there for hours with my pastels and easel, painting and fantasizing about what it would be like to live in that wonderful little house.

Years later, Tom and I were visiting the show when we ran into an art representative from the old Jerry Horn Gallery, who suggested I might want to become a vendor at the show. Back then it was held in the old Convention Center, where it occupied three whole floors. He gave me one piece of advice – even though there were galleries on the third floor, I should ask to have my booth on the second floor. Apparently many people never made it all the way up to the third floor… and if they did, they were too tired by then to care.

The very next year, I called the owner of the show and signed up. I was pleasantly surprised to find that he knew who I was right away, and that helped make my first experience very special. He even gave me a booth on the second floor like I asked… right between bathtubs and window treatments.

Did I mention that I was the only artist at the show back then? I remember putting balloons around my booth so people would notice me. Customers commented that visiting my booth was like having dessert after endless aisles of garage doors, windows, kitchen appliances, and of course bathtubs. That first year exceeded all my expectations… and now here we are getting ready for my 23rd time around!

The next four weeks will be action-packed…  once again organizing, ordering new product, and getting all my ducks in a row for those ten delightful days at the David L Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh. You can find me in my usual spot, Booth #3146-8, at the beginning of the Art Aisle.

I’ve met so many special people over the years at this show… I can’t wait for the smiles and great conversations with friends old and new. The Home and Garden Show is a great time to purchase my gifts and decor because I’ll be fully stocked, especially during the opening weekend.

Save the dates – March 2 to March 11 – I have a feeling this is going to be the best show yet!

P.S. – In case you’re wondering what Aria is up to these days, here she is wearing Grandma’s gloves and hat. She loves to go out even on the coldest days, and sometimes you just have to go with what you have available.

I also have very exciting news! Aria will soon be a Big Sister… to two new siblings! That’s right – Alyssa and Jon are having twins, so we will be doubly blessed.

What that also means for Grandma is that I’ll be painting like crazy this year to finish before the twins are born. Wish me luck!

On Location with Supermodel Santa

What do you think Santa does in the off-season? I’m betting he takes a relaxing tropical vacation somewhere to unwind after the holidays.

Though Santa’s definitely enjoying his post-Christmas downtime, he did make an exception for me last weekend. He was kind enough to make a special trip from the North Pole to my house for our annual marathon Jolly Old Elf photo shoot.

(Santa may be a whiz at toymaking and overnight delivery, but those aren’t his only talents… he’s also a great model!)

First, I want to send out a big “Thank You” to everyone who helped us out with props for this year’s new Santa paintings. We don’t know yet which ones will be included in the final designs, but I truly appreciate the generosity of all of you who shared your treasures with us for a little while.

Meet our photography crew: There’s me, of course, and Santa, who needs no introduction. Carolyn and Nathan, the young couple in the photo, are friends I met at the Holiday Market in Market Square several years ago. They have been helping me out with the Jolly Old Elf photo shoots every year since then. We make a great team – when you get the four of us together, the creative juices really start to flow!

Now all that remains is to see how inspiration strikes and where it will take me when I sit down to paint…

Once Santa’s supermodel weekend was a wrap, I turned my attention to preparing for the Pittsburgh Travel Show at the David L Lawrence Convention Center this weekend. My van is packed up and ready to go to the Convention Center for set-up later today.

As their tag line says, “The World Awaits!”

So what’s this hometown girl doing at a travel show? I represent Pittsburgh from an artist’s point of view. My paintings are like a Pittsburgh travelogue – as you browse through my paintings, it’s like taking a tour of all your favorite Pittsburgh landmarks.

The Pittsburgh Travel Show runs from Friday, January 26 through Sunday the 28th at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. You can find me in Booth #129 next to the Hertz display. The hours are noon to 8 pm Friday, 10 to 8 pm Saturday, and 10 to 5 pm on Sunday.

In the middle of this cold, gray winter, this weekend is the perfect time to get out of the house and dream about faraway cities, tropical beaches, and exotic destinations. Maybe you’ll even find a gift or two, decorate your home or office, and have some fun. Come on down and visit me and forget about the ice and snow for a while!

Jolly Old Elf Scavenger Hunt

I’ve been sitting here in front of my computer this evening wondering what to write to you this week. Unfortunately, I’m having a really hard time keeping my mind on the written word – but I have a really good excuse.

I’ve been very distracted lately, deep in thought, seeking inspiration for my next painting in the Jolly Old Elf series. You see, this Saturday Santa will be coming to my house to pose for this year’s paintings. But I still don’t have all the props I need!

That’s right – Santa’s coming Saturday for his photo session, and I’m still short a few items. And thanks to my outstanding procrastination skills, I only have two days left to acquire them.

Can anyone help with this year’s Jolly Old Elf Scavenger Hunt?

  • A quill pen would come in handy.
  • A small old-fashioned braided rug such as you might have in your entryway or kitchen.
  • I need one of those long sleeping caps like the ones worn in olden days. (Think Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol or the dad in The Night Before Christmas.)
  • An old-fashioned milk bottle.
  • I could use a few more antique toys as well.

If you have any of these items, would be willing to let me borrow them for the photo session, and can drop them off at my studio on Friday, I would be most grateful!

Despite the cold and snow, these midwinter months are one of my favorite times of year. With fewer shows to worry about and lots of time indoors, it’s typically one of my most creative periods. I also get to do a lot of brainstorming and planning about what I will be painting in the coming year.

But what I enjoy the most in January is the process of designing and setting up my next Jolly Old Elf painting. Santa is always so much fun to work with, and he’s a great model… willing to try just about anything!

Then once this photo shoot weekend is over, hold onto your hats! I will be getting ready for my first show of 2018. And after 36 days out in the cold in Market Square during the holidays, I’m happy to be staying indoors this time.

The Pittsburgh Travel Show runs from Friday, January 26 through Sunday the 28th at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. You can find me in Booth #129 next to the Hertz display. The hours are noon to 8 pm Friday, 10 to 8 pm Saturday, and 10 to 5 pm on Sunday.

It’s my second year exhibiting at this show, providing a hometown presence in a world full of travel. After all, “there’s no place like home!” And dreaming about sandy beaches and exotic locales is a great cure for cabin fever.

So stop by and see me – I’ll have a booth full of art and giftware to decorate your home or office, to give to someone special, or just to spoil yourself a little.

Still Crazy After All These Years

All my life, my art, my painting, has been the way I express myself best and communicate my feelings.

When I was a girl, I was very quiet on the outside. There was a lot going on inside my head, but to everyone else, I was just a shy little kid.

If I liked you, the easiest way for me to express it was through my art. I would probably draw a portrait for you or maybe even make an attempt at a needlepoint gift (though I was really awful at that!).

Sometimes I would even create something out of the woodworking scraps that my father had in his garage. That garage was full of just about everything you could think of.  My dad was the original “Jack of all Trades,” and to me he was a “Master of Everything.” I miss him most of all during the holidays.

Speaking of being with loved ones during the holidays, this year I had the privilege of spending two glorious days in New Jersey with my dearest friends – Ron, who I met when I was 9 years old (so this year it’s our “50th Anniversary!”) and his wife Kathy.

Kathy had been a friend of mine from RCA, where I worked when I lived in New Jersey before Tom and I got married. I’m obviously an excellent matchmaker, because I introduced Kathy to Ron in 1977, and they have been together ever since.

Over the years, I showed them how much I cared by creating many pieces of art just for them. Ron and Kathy are preparing to sell their home, and this weekend I had a chance to see a few of those pieces before they went into storage for a while.

I thought it would be fun for them to pose with two of the pieces they were in and recreate their poses from the original paintings. The one shown at the top of the page was a fun clown painting that I had surprised them with back in 1981. The other was this drawing I had made for their wedding in 1979.

Friendships like ours are golden, and seeing my artwork in their home reminded me how much that shy girl really cared for them. Art is a language all its own, and I feel very privileged that I can use my art to create gifts of love.

May this New Year bring you comfort, love, joy, hope, and good health.  Here’s hoping that 2018 will be spectacular!

Still looking for gifts? Check out my Immaculate Selection!

Happy Holidays to one and all!

As the clock runs out on this holiday season, my Chalet is still full of prints and giftware for those last-minute gifts to share with family and friends.

It seems like so many people are celebrating something special this year… I’ve sold out of a quite a few items over the last several days. Fortunately, today I was able to restock several popular pieces, but quantities are limited, so hurry on down before they’re gone!

And speaking of something special, someone who is very special to me stopped by the Chalet this week. My friend Franco Harris is one of those unique guys who is both “a gentle man and a gentleman.” He always has time for a handshake and a photo. I’m doubly blessed because I got a hug, too!

Of course, I’m not the only Pittsburgher who loves Franco… it was a real treat to see the joy and excitement on the faces of the people passing by when they recognized him.

This Saturday, Franco will be celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception.

I can’t believe it’s been five years since I painted “Franco Harris – The Immaculate Reception Story.” You can see the print on my website at http://lindabarnicott.com/product/franco-harris-the-immaculate-reception-story/.  Each of these archival giclee prints is signed by Franco himself and is part of a limited edition of only 232. (Notice the edition number… now where did we come up with the number 32???)

Lots of my artwork is heading to someone’s home this Christmas. But what’s really been flying off the shelves this year are my Metal Color Sandwich Dishes, Mint Trays, and Coasters.

Each one is hand made by Wendell August Forge. They’re dishwasher safe and scratch- and fade-resistant. They make great gifts – I can even personalize them for you on the back. Some say they’re too beautiful to eat from… so I sell them with a black stand so you can use them as an art piece instead!

Where did the time go this year? I can’t believe that at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday (in just three more days!) I’ll be saying goodbye to my little Chalet after another wonderful and successful holiday season. After that, I’ll be taking a breath and celebrating with my family. Wishing you all the happiest of holidays…

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Ho-Ho-Ho – It’s Linda!

Every day for the last few weeks I’ve had the same routine. I wake up, and I dress in my warmest clothing. Then I head off to the Holiday Market in Market Square, where I get to hang out all day at my little Chalet full of art and gifts… and I love every minute of it!

One of the best parts of the Holiday Market is that every day I have the privilege of meeting fascinating people from all walks of life. My smile could not be any bigger as we share stories and talk about Pittsburgh. Many out-of-town visitors tell me that they see our town as a mini-New York – we have the culture without the congestion!

So today I was reminded of that song from The Sound of Music as I sit here surrounded by a chalet-full of my favorite pieces, large and small: ornaments, magnets, coasters, mint trays, sandwich trays, bookmarks, key chains, candles, note cards, Christmas cards, mini prints and framed prints. These are (more than) a few of my favorite things!

One of the newer items here at the Chalet this year is my Wendell August Forge Sandwich Trays. Each one is handmade at the Forge. They’re dishwasher safe, scratch resistant and fade resistant. They’re very durable and lightweight – perfect for shipping to faraway friends and family. Just put them in a bubble envelope, and they will arrive in perfect condition. Check them out on my website athttp://lindabarnicott.com/product-category/sandwich-trays/.

The deadline for guaranteed Christmas delivery via US Postal Service shipping is noon on the 20th of December. So this is the last week to order online!

Some items are beginning to sell out, and inventory will not be replenished until the new year, so if you have a particular gift item or print in mind, everything is available while supplies last on a first-come, first-served basis.

And of course, I’ll be at the Holiday Market through the night of Saturday, December 23rd. I would be happy to be of service to you and help brighten your holiday season with Pittsburgh memories!

Happy Holidays to All!

Countdown to Christmas!

It’s been an exciting week at the Chalet in Market Square! At last, the weather is changing to something more like winter, so it feels more like Holiday Time. I’m not a fan of cold weather myself, but that just means adding a few layers of clothing and cranking up the new heaters that have been doing such a great job of warming up my chalet this year.

I’ve noticed this week that some folks are just getting started on their holiday shopping, while others, believe it or not, are finishing up. They’re well ahead of me, that’s for sure!

Another thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve been selling a lot of note cards, Christmas cards, and especially ornaments. Many of my customers tell me they’re buying ornaments for family gift exchanges, ornament exchanges, grab-bag gifts, and Secret Santa presents.

So whether you’re just starting your holiday shopping (like me!) or literally wrapping it up — stop down and see me for a great selection of artful Pittsburgh items for everyone on your list.

Can’t wait to see you this weekend in Market Square!

The Merriest Chalet in Market Square

No snow yet, but it’s definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Market Square – especially at the fabulous Linda Barnicott Double-Wide Chalet!

My first special visitor this week was Santa himself, who took a break from his busy seasonal schedule to stop by, admire his paintings, and wish me a Merry Christmas!

Santa loves my newest painting in the Jolly Old Elf series, “All Aboard with Santa.” He says it makes him feel like a kid again!

“All Aboard with Santa” is available as a limited edition giclee print, but it also comes in all sorts of giftware as well, including mini prints, Christmas cards, an ornament, and a magnet.

And Santa wasn’t my only special visitor this week!

Aria, my littlest helper, stopped by to see if she could give Grandma a hand. She looks very small next to my super-sized chalet! I’m so glad I upgraded to the Double-Wide this year. I love having all this extra space – not only do we have room to move around, but we have double the inventory to show you.

So if you come visit me at my Market Square Chalet, you’ll find plenty of holiday art and gift ideas to choose from. If you happen to be downtown or have the opportunity to stop by, I would love to see you and wish you the best for the holidays.

And while you’re in town, take a detour over to the Heinz History Center and see their gorgeous new holiday exhibit, “A Very Merry Pittsburgh.” It’s a delightful walk down Memory Lane that reminds us of Kaufmann’s dazzling holiday display windows and many other wonderful Pittsburgh holiday traditions of years gone by. I am thrilled and honored to see that they’re using my painting to promote the exhibit.

Can’t make it to Market Square? That’s okay – you can shop on your own schedule at my beautiful new website.

Getting Ready to Light Up Pittsburgh!

I’m writing this to you late Wednesday night as we’ve just finished setting up my Holiday Market Chalet down in Market Square. Tom took this photo of me decking the walls earlier this week. We’re pretty worn out… not only have we been decorating, but we’ve also been stocking the Chalet with a ton of inventory for the coming 36 days.

I can hardly wait for the Holiday Market to get started! My new Chalet is bigger and better than last year’s – actually DOUBLE the size! If you’ve visited me at the Holiday Market in Market Square in the past few years, you can find me in the same general area. I’m now on the end near the walkway to the PPG Plaza skating rink.

Because Friday officially kicks off the Holiday Season in Pittsburgh, because it’s Light-Up Night Weekend, and because it’s the first weekend of the show, I’m really in the holiday mood!

Get a jump on your holiday shopping with art from Linda Barnicott Prints and Gifts!

Wishing you a festive Light-Up Night and a Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. – I also managed to sneak in an appearance at The Gather Shop in Sewickley last night. One of my pieces will be highlighted in next month’s TABLE Magazine, and they were throwing a party. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and check out some of my giftware!

P.P.S. – Today I was honored at the Heinz History Center for my painting “Waiting For You Under Kaufmann’s Clock.” Their new exhibit, “A Very Merry Pittsburgh,” is not to be missed!