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!

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.

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).

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.

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!