Introducing “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store!”

Introducing my new painting — “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store,”!  I’ve created a limited edition of just 50 special Artist-Enhanced Giclee prints. These are much larger than the open-edition Giclée, and they will be hand-enhanced with my soft pastels, just like the original. I will highlight numerous areas in the painting to make it look much more like the original. Each one will be uniquely beautiful, each one an original in itself.

I will have one framed Artist-Enhanced Giclée this weekend at the Mt. Lebanon Artist Market in the Academy Parking Lot behind The Saloon, across from the Rolliers Hardware parking lot off Washington Road. Weather permitting, the original pastel will also be there. Lee Heckman Custom Framing did great work making the giclée look beautiful.

As soon as I finished the painting, I headed over to Courtney-Laughlin Frame Studio and Gallery in Beaver to pick out just the right framing for the original. I love working with Jamie and Kathy, who always design fantastic framing for my originals. As you can see, I’m “in the zone,” creating just the right look for the original!

Here’s the first reveal of “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store,” a nostalgic Christmas print of the one-of-a-kind S.W. Randall Toyes and Giftes, our city’s oldest toy store and the last animated Holiday window in the city.

In this painting, I set out to capture the fascination of three little girls who are gazing through the window of this magical playland in excited anticipation of Christmas morning. Holiday hopes have come alive for generations of children at S.W. Randall Toyes and Giftes on Smithfield Street in Downtown Pittsburgh.

The other day, Tom and I drove to downtown Pittsburgh to gift the proprietor of S.W. Randall with a framed print and the new ornament featuring his toy store. Jack Cohen, known by everyone as “Mr. C,” is such a nice man. Beaming with pride, he paid me a nice compliment, asking, “How do you get to paint like this?” I told him, “I don’t know – I’ve been painting all my life!”

Mr. C was tickled pink when I also pointed out that he’s in the painting, too. I pointed out some of the other “Easter eggs” in the painting, like how I painted “my Santa” in the window, and that the three little girls looking in the window are my granddaughters.

I feel very blessed to have been able to paint this wonderful landmark toy store. I hope “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store” brings back happy memories to families who have delighted their children and grandchildren with gifts from S.W. Randall over the years.

I hope you will consider adding this colorful, and charming painting to your collection. Check it out at and order your print today!



Sneak Peek – “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store”

Tom and I had a great time at the Covered Bridge Festival last weekend! It was great to see so many dear friends, not to mention meeting many new ones. The weather was perfect, without a drop of rain – my favorite kind of show!

Did I take a day off to rest up? No! I woke up Monday morning and went straight to work on my newest painting, “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store.”

The painting has a few special “Easter eggs” (hidden features that my readers will notice). First, you might recognize my favorite models, my grandgirls, looking into the store’s window.

And you’ll also see a figure in the display that may look familiar… Perhaps a certain someone who has appeared in a few of my paintings, now turned into a toy? Yes, that’s our Santa smiling back at you! Mr. C had quite a few Santa figures in the window, so I didn’t think he’d mind me switching one out for our own Jolly Old Elf!

Then if you look in farther back in the store, you can actually see Mr. C (owner of S.W. Randall’s for the last 52 years) working, perhaps setting up a new display.

“Santa’s Favorite Toy Store” will be unveiled at the Mt. Lebanon Artist Market on October 1st and 2nd. Follow this link for more information about the show:

Next week, you’ll be able to pre-order your own copy of the print on my website,

Remembering “The Immaculate Reception”

After all the construction and traveling this summer, Tom and I took some time out this week to give our backyard some attention. While I was planting some mums this afternoon, my daughter Brittany took a photo of me. It occurred to me that the way I was holding the plant looked like I was holding a football, about to charge at her through the garden.

Which reminded me of the news recently that Franco Harris, four-time Super Bowl Champion and Super Bowl IX MVP, will be honored by the Steelers retiring his number this year. It will be one of only three officially retired numbers. No Steelers player has worn Franco’s number since 1983.

It’s hard to believe that it was about this time 10 years ago when I first met Franco to present my idea of a painting to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception. The second time we met, I had these sketches of that day, nine original pencil drawings. Franco took his time and carefully looked at each one.

When he got to the drawing that would be at the center of the painting, I proudly announced, “And that’s The Scoop!” He gave me a very puzzled look. I repeated, “You know, the Scoop!” and I made a mime hand motion like I was catching the ball. He smiled, put his hand gently on my arm, and said, “Linda, it’s called the Reception, The Immaculate Reception.” Franco and Tom found that quite funny, but how was I supposed to know? I was a Jersey girl who grew up sailing every weekend on Barnegat Bay, not watching football!

Originally, I hadn’t planned to include Art Rooney in the painting, as he was in the elevator at the time and missed the play. But what if I could find a photo of the inside of the elevator? It took a lot of research, but eventually I found the original elevator panel housed at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and I was able to get a photo of it. So, Art did make it into the final version!

In the end, it was worth all that work (and a lot of help and collaboration!) just to see Franco’s expression when I showed him the finished pastel painting.

When the time came for it to make its debut, Franco invited Tom and me to the Heinz History Center along with most of the 1972 Steelers team for the unveiling of “Franco Harris – The Immaculate Reception Story.” You can see it under wraps on the easel.

As we stepped up for the unveiling, Franco was on one side, and I was on the other. Because he’s pretty tall, he had no problem pulling the cover off. I, on the other hand, am definitely NOT tall. I literally tried jumping up to get the cover off the painting. After a few tries, Franco finally came over and helped me unveil my side.

There are many stories associated with this painting, and a lot of Pittsburghers have shared their own memories of The Immaculate Reception with me. What do you remember about that day?

I have ten artist proofs and five artist-enhanced giclee prints that are signed by Franco himself. I currently don’t know if there will be more. With this being the 50th Anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, it would make a great gift for the Steelers fan in your life! You can check out the print at At this point, they’re available on a first-come, first-served basis.

I’m reaching out to Franco about doing another signing, so we will see. I also may be talked into selling the drawings. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Distracted By Shiny Objects

We had a wonderful summer, traveling, relaxing, and getting a lot of projects done around the house. Now that the girls are back in school, and after celebrating Aria’s 6th birthday on Monday, I was finally ready to get back to work.

And… there is a ton of news!!

It couldn’t have been a more perfect day for a road trip, and Tom and I headed up to Wendell August Forge in
Grove City. We loaded up our van with hundreds of etched-metal ornaments with themes of Pittsburgh, Kennywood
Park, sports stadiums, and (of course) Santa! It’s lovely to have everything back in stock again!

These photos are just a sampling – you can see all of my etched-metal ornaments on my website, Unfortunately, my “Laughing Through Kennywood’s Le Cachot” ornament is permanently retired and will soon be removed from my site. So don’t look for that one this year.

While we were at Wendell August Forge, we sat down with their President, Christian Werner, and talked about our partnership going into the future. Let’s just say that there will be some exciting news coming soon for all of you ornament collectors. In the meantime, keep watching and reading!

Tomorrow, I’m meeting with Jack Cohen, owner of S.W. Randall Toyes and Giftes Downtown on Smithfield Street. I can’t wait to show him my progress on the painting and to ask a few questions about the store (especially the front window). I’m looking forward to getting his input.

This week I’ve finally been able to really focus on the painting again, and it’s coming along nicely. I think it really pops off the museum-quality pastel board.  When finished, the painting will be 12 x 16 inches in size. I hope to have it finished in the next few weeks.

Once again – believe it or not – it’s Fall Festival time! My first show of the season is coming up in just a couple weeks. I’ll be at the Ebenezer Covered Bridge at Mingo Park in Washington County. The Ebenezer site is part of the 51st Annual EQT Washington & Greene Counties Covered Bridge Festival on Saturday and Sunday, September 17th and 18th.

My new “Remembering the O” puzzle, as well as my latest painting, “Pittsburgh at First Light” will make their debuts at that show… so don’t forget to mark your calendars!

Yesterday was the release date of “Pittsburgh at First Light,” and while I was at the post office to ship the pre-ordered prints, I had to wait a long time in line. As I was waiting to mail my tower of parcels, I heard that the Postal Service prices for shipping packages will be going up between November and January. I mention this to let you know if you’re not in the Pittsburgh area and would like to order gifts from my site for the holidays, you may want to do your shopping early… just a heads-up!

“First Light”/Last chance at 15% off!

Is it just me, or did summer really fly by this year?

Back in early summer when I finished painting “Pittsburgh at First Light,” its September 1st release date seemed so very far away. I couldn’t wait to unveil this majestic painting of sunrise from the South Side Slopes. Now suddenly September 1st is right around the corner – just one week from today!

So this is the last week to take advantage of the one-time-only preorder discount of 15% off – the offer expires at 11:59 p.m. on August 31st. To reserve your print at this special price, just visit my website and enter the code FIRSTLIGHT15 at checkout.

For the last week, I’ve been putting all the orders together and creating the Artist-Enhanced Giclee prints, getting them all ready to ship out on the 1st.

So what’s an “Artist-Enhanced Giclee Print?” Here’s a brief history of these special collectible limited-edition prints and why I offer them to my collectors…

Back in the day when I first started creating prints, they were all lithographs. Then in 2005, I discovered a great process to create giclee prints with archival paper and archival inks. That meant achieving a good color that would last upwards of 100 years. It was something I would be proud to sell my customers.

During the time I was printing four-color lithographs, I wanted to give my collectors a little extra “gift” from the artist. So on some of the prints, for a little something extra, I would draw a remarque – a rendition of one of my favorite parts of the painting – on the print in colored pencil under the title. For example, for the print, “Ride with Me on the Carousel,” the remarque was a drawing of the lead horse’s head.

When I switched over to giclees, I realized I could take my soft pastels and highlight right on the print; this was the birth of the Artist-Enhanced Giclee! It’s also a great way to get a larger piece, as they’re usually about 25% greater in size.  Also, the number of prints in the limited edition is smaller. For example, there are only 50 prints in “First Light” Artist-Enhanced Giclee edition. I always loved the idea of giving the customer a little “original” right there on the print in my own medium!

Well, an artist’s work is never done (because I don’t think of it as work!), so I’ll get back to it. Don’t forget, if you would like this painting for 15% off the regular purchase price, you only have until midnight on August 31st! Just use code FIRSTLIGHT15 at checkout at

P.S. – Here’s a glimpse of our other huge painting project – the before-and-after of our back patio and the start of our patio furniture, newly painted in Floridian colors! I’m not sure we will need any outdoor lights with this furniture. I think it will glow enough to see at night. In fact, it may even be visible from outer space. What do you think?

Where the Toys Are

Wow! I was really inspired this week by your comments and title ideas for the new painting I’m working on… one great suggestion after another, each one heartfelt and illuminating. I’ve put them all together in my head and rolled them around a bit, and now I’d like to run one by you… how about ”Santa’s Favorite Toy Shop” (or something like that). What do you think?

I never know when I start a piece how it will touch the hearts of others and whether it will resonate with them or not. I promise to give it my best shot so that even if you’re not from Pittsburgh or have never shopped at S.W. Randall, you can still appreciate it as a delightful fantasy land for the young at heart. And it would make a great addition to your wall for the holidays!

I promised to update you this week, so I have a little slice of the painting to show you. The details are starting to take shape, and I’ve added some snow.

My girls’ contribution to this process was to tell me that I needed to soften the expression on Raggedy Ann’s face (and I will not share the exact words they used!). My reply was that her face in the actual painting is only ¼ inch in size, so it shouldn’t matter. Yet off I go to fix it anyway. My family members are my best art critics – I’ve trained them well, and they tend to be brutally honest with me!

Before I go, I want to remind you that the release date for “Pittsburgh at First Light” is coming soon. If you want to take advantage of the special pre-release price, you have until 11:59 p.m. on September 1st to order your print. Just enter the code FIRSTLIGHT15 at checkout to receive 15% off. It’s a one-time opportunity to get this new piece at a reduced price, so it will be just a little bit sweeter when you hang it in your favorite place!

P.S. – We have another painting project going on this week… we’re painting our patio furniture. Since we just came back from Florida, guess what colors they are going to be!

Hint #1 – Tom says he wants to be able to look outside and imagine he’s on vacation.

Hint #2 – You may need sunglasses when you look at them!

Expect the Unexpected

You would think by now I would have learned to expect the unexpected. There sure has been a lot of it lately… especially in the last couple weeks!

It all started when Tom and I arrived home from our painting trip to Albuquerque, just in time for Brentwood’s Fourth of July parade. Everyone had a jolly good time.

Not long after that, one of my twin granddaughters (Abigail) was playing with Aria, her big sister, and managed to sprain her ankle. Then, the very next day Aria was running across her living room and fell smack into the corner of the coffee table, landing on her ear!

(Who ever invented coffee tables in the first place? I think I’ve tripped over them and stubbed more toes on them than anyone! Unfortunately, it looks like Aria is taking after her Grandma.)

Well, that ended up with Aria and her mom (daughter Alyssa) spending the entire evening, night, and next morning in the ER, finally followed by Aria’s surgery on Thursday morning. The doctor said she would have developed a “cauliflower ear” like some boxers have if her mom had not brought her in.

And that’s not all… later that day, the exhausted Alyssa and Aria tested positive for COVID, even though they were both fully vaxxed. The good news is that Aria is already better, and Alyssa is well on her way.

But it wasn’t all accidents and COVID… this week also brought the distressing news that Heinz Field is changing its name to Acrisure Stadium. What??? I mean if they had to do this, why couldn’t it be “Acrisure Stadium at Three Rivers” or at least something related to Pittsburgh?  After Consol Energy Center changed its name to PPG Paints Arena, my print, “Pittsburgh’s New Home for Hockey” entered the realm of nostalgia. So I guess my painting “Game Time at Heinz Field” will now do the same! Maybe it will become a collector’s item?

Which brings me to Picklesburgh. I love Picklesburgh, and I really wanted to be there this weekend, but it wasn’t in the cards for this year.

Last year, Picklesburgh was in August. Let me tell you, it was more like a marathon then a show! Tom and I had a blast, and we were totally worn out by the end. Who wouldn’t want to come back the next year and do it all over again?

However, in July 2021 we had received the last of Tom’s Dad’s estate, and we promised ourselves we would spend it doing something special with our family. The grandgirls love all things Disney, so we decided to take the whole family to Disneyworld. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to treat our children and grandchildren. I knew three bedrooms would be hard to come by in WDW’s busy season, so I needed to plan ahead. I thought I was safe booking it for July.

Nope! Picklesburgh moved to July this year; in fact, it’s the very weekend that we’ll be leaving for Florida, and it wasn’t possible to reschedule.

So this year Picklesburgh will have to go on without me. However, my website is available 24/7 if you would like to commemorate the festival with a Picklesburgh print! You can see my prints of both Heinz Field and Picklesburgh on my website,

And while you’re there, I hope you’ll also check out my newest painting, “Pittsburgh at First Light.” It will be released on September 1st, but you can pre-order and save 15% off the regular sale price by using code FIRSTLIGHT15 at checkout.

Online orders will be shipped after we return on August 2nd, while pre-orders for “Pittsburgh at First Light” will be shipped after its release on September 1st.

We are EXPECTING to have a great family vacation! Have a great week!


Homeward Bound!

Tom and I are back on the road again, headed for home. We said our goodbyes to the adobe homes and mountains of New Mexico, and now the scenery has changed to amber waves of grain.

I had a tremendous experience at the IAPS convention of pastel artists. As always, it was a wonderful time spent with friends both old and new, sharing techniques and stories and just soaking up the energy of fellow artists. In fact, I met a few whose workshops I can’t wait to take when this pastel party happens again in 2024.

Each artist showcased their own style of painting, sharing fun and helpful little tidbits like a new pastel or paper, a favorite color, or how they use alcohol, gouache, watercolor, or pastel under paintings.

I even won a raffle and received a bunch of the most coveted UArt papers and boards!

Upon leaving Albuquerque, we took a slight detour by way of Santa Fe to catch up with artist Barbara Meikle. She’s a good friend of one of my collectors, and he asked me to stop and say hi to her. Her colors really struck a cord in my soul… a lovely person and beautiful artwork.

We will be arriving home in time for the Fourth of July, and I’m already aching to get back in the studio to paint again!

I can’t wait to see how all of these wonderful experiences will enhance my work moving forward.

In the meantime, have a great Fourth!

Best of the West

Tom and I finally made it to Albuquerque this week, and I must say we have driven through some amazing countryside! We love the big skies, the beautiful clouds, and dramatic sunsets, not to mention the many nice people we’ve met in our travels.

We arrived in Albuquerque on Sunday night, though my workshops didn’t start until Wednesday. Five years ago, the last time I attended the IAPS conference for pastel artists, I visited the Los Poblanos lavender farm and took some fantastic photographs from their property. This piece was inspired by that visit. I spent about three hours getting it started, and I’ll finish it in my studio back home in Pittsburgh.

It was nice having Tom around to help carry my materials (of course, I overpacked!) to and from the workshop room. He also had to run out for 70% rubbing alcohol for my underpainting. I’m one lucky lady to have such an excellent “assistant!”

For the next three days, I’ll be taking more workshops with some incredible artists. Just being here is so inspiring… I can feel the creativity flowing through my veins!

Also, later today the “Candy Store” (where all the pastel vendors come with their homemade pastels and supplies for sale) will open for all of us to buy lots of goodies! Pastel artists can’t help themselves – they have to bring home some new colors! As they say on Star Trek, “Resistance is futile.”

After the workshop is over, Tom and I will be traveling home through more stunning landscapes (also known as “potential paintings”). Keep reading to follow our journey!

P.S. – Don’t forget to pre-order my new print, “Pittsburgh at First Light” before its release date of September 1st to receive 15% off the purchase price. Just enter the code FIRSTLIGHT15 when you check out. Click Here to Pre-Order!


On the Road Again!

I’m writing to you from the road as Tom and I are traveling out west for a painting trip. Instead of just flying into Albuquerque, we decided to make it a long-overdue official road trip!

Our first stop was Chicago and the Navy Pier. We arrived just in time to watch a spectacular sunset over this amazing city. Chicago, I never realized how beautiful your skyscrapers are… I’d better not stay too long, or I just might have to paint you!

Preparing for our journey, I spent a couple weeks getting all my supplies together for the pastel conference in Albuquerque. Being a studio painter and having a couple of thousand pastels at my fingertips, my biggest concern was choosing my 320 favorite pastels (harder than you might think!), cleaning each one, and then putting them in a working order in my new pastel box.

They do look pretty, don’t they? Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that when you put those sticks to paper you can create a 2-D version of a 3-D memory!

When I created my new painting, “Pittsburgh at First Light,” I also used five different styles of pastel pencils to get the fine lines and detail I needed for the city buildings. If you look carefully at the very top of a few of those skyscrapers, you can see even smaller marks that I made using a colored pencil to create the delicate lines.

I now have a pre-order page on my website where you can claim your own limited-edition print in advance of its official release on September 1, 2022. Until then, I’m offering a special price to my loyal subscribers. Just visit my website, and enter the code FIRSTLIGHT15 to preorder your print for 15% off the regular price.

Order yours now and save!

Want to watch me create the painting from start to finish? Follow this link:

The Making of Linda Barnicott’s “Pittsburgh at First Light”

Until next week from somewhere out west!

Best always,


P.S. – I’m going to have a number of new products that will be here in time for the Fall 2022 season. Some of them will be quite useful, some will be decorative, and others just for fun.

As we were packing for our trip, Tom called upstairs, asking if I was expecting a small package. Scratching my head, I went downstairs to find him holding a thin bag from a printer. We opened the package, and it was my first new product sample. I was so excited, I just had to take a picture for you!

Eventually, you’ll be able to order a phone case for your specific phone size. “My Hometown” is the first painting that will be represented on the new products, but we’ll definitely be adding a few other paintings for each new item.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this first sample!