It’s Over When I Say It’s Over!

We had an amazing season this year at the Holiday Market. It was hugely successful, and I want to thank all of you once again for your support.

The only downside? With our insanely busy Holiday Market schedule, Tom and I didn’t get much time to enjoy our holiday décor this year. So we’ve decided to pretend it’s still December while we continue to enjoy our beautiful Christmas tree and all the beautiful twinkling lights nestled in pine boughs throughout our home. It’s one of the perks of being an adult… no one is the boss of me, so Christmas is over when I say it’s over!

That being said, I’m already ordering framed prints, metal prints, and gallery wraps for the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show.  It may be freezing outside, but the show is less than two months away!

Tom and I no sooner returned home from Washington, DC, and we got right down to work, organizing what we had left after the Holiday Market and figuring out what we need to order for the Home and Garden Show in March. Which wasn’t exactly easy, considering my studio looked like a bomb had gone off.  (I wish I had taken a photo of it, because you’d see that I’m not exaggerating!)  We would come home from Market Square, go down to the studio, and pull more stock. Then we would put new items together that night and early the next morning before returning to the Chalet to do it all over again.

So obviously, organization was critical to keeping up and staying (relatively) sane. We organized and then organized some more. As a matter of fact, I’m still working on organizing my studio because soon I’ll be painting again!

I appreciate everyone who reached out to me with ideas for this coming painting season. I’m taking them all into consideration as I make decisions about 2022. Your ideas mean so much to me, and I appreciate your time writing emails and posting on Facebook. Thanks again for your input!

Meanwhile, if you happen to need a gift of art for any special occasion (or maybe a midwinter gift for yourself to brighten up your home?), you can find me happily painting down in my studio most days. Check out my website – www.lindabarnicott.com

I hope you have a fantastic week!

P.S. – Here are my girls getting a little homeschooling on their first Snow Day a couple weeks ago. You may notice Abigail in the back, swishing her hair back and forth. I do believe that child will be the gymnast in our family because those amazing neck muscles really get a work out, and somersaults are her favorite pastime!  Aria is growing up and acting all cool now (though she is still very sweet), while Autumn is so very innocent… but that girl has gumption! They are a real joy in our lives.

Farewell to Old Friends

There’s a saying that “the only thing that is inevitable is change.” This has been especially true for me recently, as I’ve said goodbye to a couple of cherished old friends.

Last week, John DeSantis, owner of the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show, died unexpectedly due to cancer. My history with John goes way back to the late winter of 1995.  I was just beginning my series of Kennywood paintings with my new publisher, Denny Oliver. One thing we did a lot of in those days was brainstorming about how to introduce our new series to the public, and we came up with the idea of exhibiting at the annual Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show. I had done a pastels demonstration there once in the early 80s, and in 1994, Tom and I ran into a prominent local art director there, who encouraged us to give the show a try.

Soon I found myself dialing the number of the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show, and as luck would have it, John DeSantis himself answered the phone. I introduced myself and was thrilled when he responded “I know who you are!” and when “Of course, you can join us!” followed shortly after.

John always had a huge smile and usually a big hug for me. Over the years (25 years as of 2020!), John afforded me many opportunities beyond the Home and Garden Show to showcase my work on TV, radio, and sometimes even decorating other spaces throughout the Convention Center. My career officially took off with that first show 27 years ago, and John would often introduce me to others who would in turn generate additional work for me.

Every January/February, I would attend the orientation/sales training meeting a month before the show opened.  It seemed as if every year we heard the same instructions on how to make a better presentation and the best way to reach our customers. The training always included plenty of newbies, and even though I pretty much had his speech memorized, I would always show up anyway, and every time was as magical to me as the first. And once again this year, I’ll be at that meeting, right in the front row, encouraging others as John encouraged me.

John DeSantis was a force of nature. He made the Home and Garden Show something spectacular, always evolving and growing.  With his passing, this year’s show will be quite emotional.  I am so grateful for all that he did, and I’m sure his family will continue to honor his memory by presenting a fine ten-day event.

Earlier this week, Tom was reading the news when he looked up and said “The Blue Streak roller coaster at Conneaut is on FIRE!”  Oh no, not the Blue Streak, the wonderful vintage roller coaster that was the subject of one of my favorite paintings!

It’s been difficult to follow the sad news about the gradual dismantling of Conneaut Lake Park. I remember when I first walked alongside the Blue Streak, thinking how much it looked like The Dips at West View Park, which I had painted years earlier. Unfortunately, it seems that The Dips and the Blue Streak have something else in common – they both met a fiery end. But I’m glad I had the opportunity to paint this memorable coaster that was part of so many fond memories for generations of visitors.

As we enter into the new year, I pray that you have more joy than sorrow, more love that misunderstanding, and more faith than illusion. Take the time to appreciate the people in your life and the experiences you’re given.

Here Comes 2022!

First off, I’d like to wish a happy, safe, healthy, and prosperous New Year to each and every one of you, my faithful readers! Your support has meant so much to me and has helped me keep going through these last two crazy years.

So, speaking of crazy…

Since I last wrote to you, I closed down the chalet in Market Square with a lot of help from Tom, Britt, and Breann. Somehow we dismantled all our displays, packed it all up, and loaded everything in the van last Thursday night without any issues.

Then on Friday, Santa came to visit us and posed for a few pictures, and my grandgirls took turns sharing their Christmas wishes with him. They must think their grandma is a big deal if she can get them a private meeting with Santa! Christmas itself was a joyous day filled with family time, playing, and feasting.

With the Holiday Market behind us, Tom and I were sorely in need of some downtime, so we headed off to Our Nation’s Capital for a mini vacation to unwind. We found out there is also a Market Square here in DC, though it was not quite the same as ours. Every night since we closed, I have had dreams about the Holiday Market. I guess my subconscious hasn’t quite worked through it yet!

As we took in the sights in DC, we visited the Smithsonian Museums, and I couldn’t help but be inspired. I mentioned to Tom tonight that I can’t wait to get started painting new pieces when we get home… but first I have to get my messy studio under control!

So, while you’re relaxing, sitting back, and enjoying the holidays, could you perhaps give some thought to what you might like me to paint this year? And of course, please feel free to share it with me!  I’m always looking for new ideas and subjects for my work… you never know what might happen!

I pray that 2022 brings us all peace and joy.  Once again, I want to say “thank you” to all who supported my work throughout the holiday season.

Here’s to a blessed New Year to you and yours!

We Made It!

I’ve been wondering all year how the 2021 holiday season might play out. Given that pandemic issues are still with us, I was afraid the holidays this year might again be less than merry for me. Fortunately, it seems that my fears were groundless! I’ve been immersed in the bustle of the holidays, feeling the festivity and laughter of folks enjoying themselves as they explore the Holiday Market.

I even sang along with the beautiful Christmas music being played on the Market Square stage. Tom and I also found a new SXM radio station of holiday music from days of old. We listened to it every day on our drive into Market Square and every night on our way home. Those beautiful tunes had a very calming effect on my spirit at a time when life seemed so hectic.

Tom and I were so busy this season that it took us a week to get our tree up.  First, we bought a tree and got it home, only to realize it was, in fact, pretty much dead. The next day, we went out again and found another tree that was too big for our small living room, so we had to cut part of it off in order for it to fit. Then as soon as I finished putting the lights on the tree, half of them promptly went out. After another trip to the store, Tom put them on the tree this time. (I didn’t want to jinx it!) Now I’m thinking this tree may be my favorite of all time!

A friend of mine once suggested that I should pick a “word of the year” to help keep me motivated. This year, my word was “Gratitude.”

First off, I am so grateful to have all of you in my life and for how many of you I’ve heard from this year. It really did my soul good to see those of you who were able to make it to the Holiday Market. I’m also grateful for the good weather we had this year – there were only a handful of days when the weather didn’t cooperate – and for not having any other issues during our five weeks at the Chalet.

I’ve also been grateful for the chance to spend so much time with my husband, working as a team behind the counter at the Chalet.  We commented today how we both love interacting with people from all walks of life and hearing their stories. I’m grateful to all my helpers and to everyone else who helped provide me with everything I needed to make this season successful. This year’s Holiday Market has been by far my best show yet.

Today is our last day for the season in Market Square. It’s not too late to pick up a few last-minute gifts… or maybe just stop by to say hi as Tom and I hit the home stretch! We’ll be working tonight right up to 9 p.m., then the fun begins as we have to break down the whole chalet and bring home anything that’s left.

Wishing you all Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart…

May your holiday be blessed with the love of family and friends…

May joy fill your hearts…

And may the Spirit of Christmas continue to live in you throughout the coming year!

Will the Real Linda Barnicott Please Stand Up?

Ho-Ho-Ho!  I feel as if I’ve been playing the part of Santa’s helper at the Holiday Market today as I help folks pick out that perfect gift. But lately there’s been a lot of mystery about this Linda Barnicott person and who she really is. I may even be getting a bit confused myself. Which Linda Barnicott is the REAL one?

Just since the start of the Holiday Market on November 19th, there has been quite a bit of confusion about who I am.  Someone thought I was Tom’s mother (Tom thought it was hilarious to call me Mom all evening)!  Others thought I was my daughter’s sister, Santa’s wife, or even Santa’s daughter.

Then, the other night while I was away from my booth, someone got my work confused with that of a famous Pittsburgh photographer. The funny – and exasperating – part was that no matter how hard Breann (my amazing helper) tried, she couldn’t convince her that my prints were paintings, not photographs.

I also recently had the opportunity to feel both young and ancient within just a few hours. One nice person told me that I seem to be “aging backwards,” which was great for my ego.  But then I heard a gentleman tell his wife that I had been painting “forever.” And worse yet, someone thought I was deceased!  As far as peoples’ perceptions of me go, I think I’ve heard it all.

Nonetheless, the best part of being at the Holiday Market is visiting with so many friends (new and old) and hearing their stories about what my art means to them. Some tell me about their memories of the places I’ve painted, and some tell me about what my art has meant to their loved ones. I feel truly blessed when folks those stories share with me, especially at this time of year.

When I’m not talking to my customers, it’s fun to watch the men, women, and children in their colorful holiday apparel who come to Market Square to enjoy a festive outing.  I love watching ornament exchanges, excited children anticipating seeing Santa, and holiday shoppers carrying their packages. The lights and music and laughter ringing through the air makes nights in Market Square magical in the holiday season.

Why not be a part of what’s becoming a Pittsburgh holiday tradition? Come on down to Market Square in Downtown Pittsburgh!  The Holiday Market is open seven days a week at 11 a.m., and I’ll be there every day until December 23rd.

I would love to see you!

What’s New at the Chalet?

Can you believe it’s already December? As I write this, I’m sitting in my Market Square Chalet in downtown Pittsburgh, surrounded by the beautiful sights and sweet sounds of the holidays.

The show is really extraordinary this year. The Square is filled with local folks and their families as well as people visiting from around the country – and even from around the world.  In fact, I met a nice young lady from Russia who is attending college at Indiana University. She asked if I had postcards, and I cheerfully replied, “Why, yes, I do have postcards!” (I couldn’t wait to say that!)

We had a delightful chat, and she picked out four of the eight postcards from my new collection. Before she left, she smiled and told me she was going to let everyone she writes to in Russia know that she met the artist who painted these pictures.

With sales being brisk so far, there are already a few items that are sold out. The puzzles are literally flying off my front shelf, especially “Holiday Memories under Kaufmann’s Clock.” If you are interested in purchasing any of my four puzzles ($35.00 each), hurry down to the Chalet.

Check out the latest addition to my 2021 product line – Art on Tote Bags! For the time being, they’re only available at the Chalet. Right now, I only have ten bags in stock, available on a first-come/first-served basis; however, within the next week or two, they’ll be available to purchase on my website.  The bags are made from a really nice fabric, imprinted with the image of “My Hometown” on both sides, and feature bright, colorful gold handles. They’re $36.00 and would make a fun gift!

As the holiday season is flying by, I want to make sure you know how much you all mean to me. So many of you have stopped by the Chalet to say hello, and some of you have shopped with me. To those of you order online because you can’t make it downtown, I also would like to say ‘thank you!’ I am truly grateful for all of you. I hope that in some small way, I’ve made your holiday season a little brighter.

Semi-Famous Again!

This week I exceeded Andy Warhol’s predictions – I had a full 30 seconds of fame on KDKA’s “Pittsburgh Today Live” with Michelyn Hood!  This is the second year in a row that she’s stopped by my booth to see what’s new. Mikey loved all the great gift-giving ideas she found in my Chalet. She was especially enthusiastic about my new puzzles and commented on how much fun they would be to put together!

We’re off to a fantastic start at the Holiday Market this season. Since the show began last weekend, things have really been hopping!  I think folks are making up for last year by getting out and about to shop for the holidays… and perhaps to buy a few things for themselves. There have also been a lot of out-of-town visitors who are picking up some special memories to take home. It’s always such a pleasure to hear their stories and how my work reminds them of happy memories.

If you can’t visit me in Market Square over the holiday weekend, here’s a little something to help you celebrate! I’m running a special holiday offer on my website (www.lindabarnicott.com) with FREE SHIPPING for orders over $100.00. To claim your discount, enter the code Turkey21 at checkout. This free shipping offer is good until midnight on Cyber Monday. So if you can’t make it down to Market Square in person this weekend, here’s your chance to shop from the comfort of your home without paying extra for shipping.

Don’t forget – my puzzles, color metal gifts and candles all have limited quantities available, so shop early for the best selection!

From today until Thursday, December 23rd, I’ll be downtown every day. This year, Holiday Market hours are:

  • Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Can’t wait to see you there! I am so grateful for each and every one of you.

Chalet Countdown!

 “It’s that time of year when the world falls in love/ Every song you sing seems to say, ‘Merry Christmas, may your New Years’ dreams come true!’”

“The Christmas Waltz” – Frank Sinatra

Don’t you just love holiday music?  That song honestly describes just how I feel right now. I think I’m truly at my happiest this time of year – as we say in my family, “all the way down to my heart.”

So after weeks of planning, stocking up, and setting up, I think I’m finally ready for this year’s Holiday Market.  The Holiday Market has definitely become my favorite show because there’s so much to love about it… being immersed in the holiday spirit… meeting many new friends and being reunited with old friends… and of course, hanging with Santa, who collaborated with me in creating my “Jolly Old Elf” series that gave a huge boost to my career.  Besides, all those long days in my little Chalet with family and friends are a great bonding experience – not to mention learning to dress for cold weather and developing resistance to frostbite!

It’s all good! No wonder I’m feeling festive already!

The Holiday Market officially opens on Friday (November 19) at 11 a.m., with Light-Up Night on Saturday.

My new puzzles and postcards arrived just in time to kick off the season. Also new for 2021 is a tote bag with my image of the Incline on it.  (More on that next time!)  In addition to lots of new items, I’m also well stocked with fan favorites. And as always, I’ll be happy to personalize or sign your gifts of art for you.

My beautifully decorated wooden chalet sits on the corner in Market Square closest to Starbucks. We’re surrounded by other chalets featuring wonderful gifts from local makers as well as artisans from around the world. The air will be filled with holiday music and holiday cheer!

Come down to Market Square and enjoy the holidays with me!  As an extra incentive to get you to visit in person, I’m offering a special deal at the Chalet on FRIDAY ONLY – take 12% off anything in my Christmas Shop. This offer is good anytime on Friday… just show me this post to claim your discount.

And for those who can’t make it downtown this weekend, I’m having an online sale on my website, www.lindabarnicott.com.  Just enter the code HOLIDAY at checkout anytime from now until midnight on Sunday.

Can’t wait to see you at the Chalet!

Puzzles and Postcards and Prints – Oh My!

It’s been quite an exciting week here at the Barnicott Gallery/Studio/Art Warehouse!

First, the much-anticipated art puzzles I was telling you about have arrived – just in time for my show at Bethel Presbyterian Church this Saturday in Bethel Park… not to mention the opening of the Holiday Market in Market Square in Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, November 19th!

Four different paintings are available in puzzle form – “Santa’s Woodland Christmas,” “All Aboard with Santa,” “Holiday Memories Under Kaufmann’s Clock,” and everyone’s favorite, “My Hometown.” Each puzzle is 1000 pieces and measures 20” x 28.” They will make perfect gifts for the holidays!

For those of you who are already on the waiting list, your orders will be filled first. For everyone else, it’s definitely better to order sooner rather than later – only a limited number of puzzles will be available this holiday season.

This year I’ll also be offering several new cards on my website as part of my Note Card Bundle. Now there are even more options to collect note cards with familiar scenes that mean so much to you! Check out the full collection at https://lindabarnicott.com/product/notecard-bundle/

But wait… there’s more!

Brand new postcards of eight of my paintings will be available for the first time at the Holiday Market. These aren’t the note cards I’ve always had, but a new product – actual postal send-through-the-mail postcards! Every year at the Holiday Market, there are a few people who ask about postcards. I tell them I have note cards, but they just say “no thanks” and explain that they collect the postal kind, like the ones you send to family and friends when you’re on vacation. I hated to disappoint them.

Then last month Tom and I returned to Ligonier for a fall outing, and Cindy from the Sweet Shop asked me if I had postcards of my painting “Silent Night in Ligonier.” I immediately knew this was going to be my next project!

I’ll have the puzzles and the new note cards and postcards at the Holiday Market, but please feel free to contact me over the phone or email if you’re interested in any of the above.

Meanwhile, my home is starting to look like a warehouse as we gather everything together for the show. But I really don’t mind; it’s all part of being a working artist, and I love it!

Just a reminder – I will be selling out some of my product lines this season. This includes my 100% soy candles and all of my color metal pieces such as ornaments, coasters, and mint and sandwich trays. Bookmarks, keychains, and Santa plates are also being discontinued.

Selection is limited to existing stock, so if you think you might want any of these before they’re gone forever, check them out on my website – it’s now or never! www.lindabarnicott.com

I can’t wait to play Santa’s Helper this year and help you pick out some perfect gifts to make Christmas even merrier!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Soon!)

There’s a special November tradition in the Barnicott family… and if you listen ever so closely come the First of November, you may hear the sounds of Christmas floating through the air.

Since Tom was just a lad, November 1st was their “official” first day to start listening to beautiful holiday music. When we started a family of our own, we kept that festive tradition of reflection and anticipation.

It’s also around November 1st (with the holidays right around the corner) that Santa shares his calendar with me every year so that I can share it with all of you. Though his spare time this time of year is pretty limited, he still comes to visit with the children of Pittsburgh at the People’s Gas Holiday Market and the Heinz History Center. This is a perfect opportunity to have your family photographed with the Jolly Old Elf himself, whom I’ve painted many times.  So if you have your children’s photo with Santa as well as one or more of my paintings of him on your wall, doesn’t that make him the real Santa by default?

(Scroll down to the end to see Santa’s 2021 Pittsburgh Holiday Season schedule.)

And speaking of Santa, my 2020 book, The Jolly Old Elf: Santa Claus Paintings by Linda Barnicott, is going to be reprinted in a few weeks; I have only a few remaining from the first run.  Last year I published a short run of the book, but with the pandemic we weren’t able to accomplish everything we wanted to.

One of the fun parts that I didn’t get to share with you last year was when Santa and I teamed up with some very talented people (including my daughter Brittany) to create a promotional video for my new book.   Santa and I had a wonderful time recounting our memories of creating each painting in the series. You could hear “Lights… Camera… Action!” throughout the evening, as it literally took hours to get enough good footage to develop this two-minute video!

Here’s the link to the video: https://youtu.be/gU9C8CkNXDo .

I want to make it as easy as possible for you to get your copy this year, so I’ve created a pre-order page on my website. Order now for Christmas delivery.

Also, don’t forget – I’m discontinuing my color metal pieces and candles this year. Orders will be fulfilled from existing stock on a first-come, first-served basis.

In the meantime, I’ll be at the Bethel Presbyterian Church Holiday–A–Fair on Saturday, November 13th from 9 am to 3pm. The church is located at 2999 Bethel Church Road, Bethel Park, PA 15102, and you can find my booth in the auditorium.

Can you believe it’s almost here??? I’ll be opening the following week on Friday, November 19th at the People’s Gas Holiday Market in Market Square in Downtown Pittsburgh. The Market is open every day until December 23rd.  If you’d like to come see me in person, I’ll be in the same location as last year (near Starbucks), where I’ll be happy to personally sign your purchases.

P.S. – Here’s Santa’s schedule of appearances at the Holiday Market and Heinz History Center for 2021: