Tom’s Opening Day

Photo description: Tom Barnicott dressed in his Pittsburgh Pirates staff uniform.

This week was Opening Day for the Pittsburgh Pirates as well as the start of a new chapter for our little family. Tom put on his uniform for the first time on Monday and reported for his new job at PNC Park. His retirement didn’t last long!

Though the opener didn’t end the way we would have liked, Tom was in his glory! Of course, on his first day on the job, the game went into extra innings, so it was a very long day at PNC Park. But Tom didn’t mind one bit!

Thinking about him up in the Suite section talking to fans reminded me of when I painted, “Let’s Go Bucs at PNC Park.” When I painted Bill Mazeroski and The Great One, Roberto Clemente, I had a lot of help from the Pirates with gathering resources for the paintings. My dream, however, was to find the perfect view of the Park.

 

Tom and I went location scouting and decided that the top of the Renaissance Hotel would provide the ideal vantage point. We walked right up to the desk and told them about our idea. Not only were they most generous and helpful, but they even gave us the key to the Penthouse Suite! It was a gorgeous room with an amazing view, and we took tons of photos. It was a picture-perfect day!

(Fortunately there was no game that day, or PNC Park would have been full of people, and we would have been out of luck!)

The next Pirates game day found us parked in the Sixth Street Garage. We had a great spot overlooking the river and the Park, where I was able to take photos of the players on the field and some of the activity.  Dave Arrigo, the team photographer, also very graciously provided photos of the first Opening Day at PNC Park showing lots of activity both in the Park and on the river.

One of the parts of the painting that folks often ask about is how I painted the crowd. So how did I put all 38,362 people in the park as well as the players?

In my studio, I have all different shapes and sizes of soft pastels. Some are very soft, and some are very hard, including pastel pencils. To create the crowd in the painting, I grabbed as many of those pencils as in as many different colors as I could hold in my right hand. Then I simply picked up a color and made a few marks for each person (a little heavy, naturally, on the black-and-gold clothing).
Photo description: Tom Barnicott and Alyssa Stadelman, both in Pittsburgh Pirates gear, attend a game at PNC Park.

Tom has been a Pirates fan for as long as I’ve known him (and trust me, that’s a long time!). As it is for many other families, the home opener has always been a special time for Tom and our daughter Alyssa. So you might say that painting “Let’s Go Bucs at PNC Park” was a labor of love. And now that Tom’s living his lifelong dream of being a part of the Pirates organization, it’s even more significant to us.

Deck the Walls

This photo features some of Linda Barnicott's landscapes hung above a door.

As many of you know, moving into our new home has been quite a long and complicated project. Finally all the furniture and clothing and pots and pans are in the new space. But as an artist, a house doesn’t really feel like home to me as long as there are empty walls, and my pictures are sitting stacked up in a corner, hiding their inner beauty.

The thought of hanging all those paintings is very daunting – much more so than when we moved into any of our previous homes.

That’s because Tom and I have always lived in homes provided by the church, usually “midcentury” homes that were built in the 50s and 60s, and the style at that time was boxy with plenty of wall space. This house, on the other hand, is a beautiful pre-war (built in 1935) brick home with built-in bookcases, fireplaces, and stained glass windows. And speaking of windows, there are so many in this house that for the first time in our lives, we didn’t have enough wall space!

When we were first married, the lack of wall space didn’t matter so much because most of my work at that time was painting portraits. Those commissions went home with the customer, and we had little artwork of mine to hang. All we had on our walls back then were things we won from Kennywood (which we have lovingly kept all these years and still hang on our walls).

This photo features an old piece of art with the outline of a man and a woman. The text reads: "I'll be yours.. and you'll be mine... and forever I will love you."

But now it’s a different story… some might even say I’ve painted too much! Even counting all the originals I’ve sold over the years, there are more than enough paintings to hang and enough to occupy every spare inch of wall space.

So where to begin?

Well, remember this guy (my favorite model)?

This photo features Linda Barnicott's painting "All Aboard with Santa."

Lucky for us, he just happened to be passing through Pittsburgh and stopped by the house to lend me a hand. Of course, he’s really good with tools – after all, toy-making is his specialty. It was definitely the best (and earliest) Christmas gift ever.

With his help, Tom and I were able to hang each and every one of my paintings! When he was done, it felt just like Christmas all over again. Ever since then, as I walk around my home, I can’t help but smile. It’s amazing how much more it feels like home when surrounded by my art with everything in its place.

However, now I have a new problem… I’ve used every last bit of available space, so I guess now I’ll have to sell a few more originals before I can paint more. Can you help me out?

This photo features Aria Stadelman, Linda Barnicott's granddaughter, drawing while sitting on the floor. Some of her other drawings are taped to the wall behind her. This photo features Abigail Stadelman and Autumn Stadelman, Linda Barnicott's granddaughters.

Finally, here’s a little update on the GrandGirls. As you can see Aria has been watching Grandma and Grandpa, and she’s creating her own artworks to deck the walls!

That’s A Wrap!

The image shows Linda Barnicott and her friends and family after the conclusion of the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show.

Time really does fly when you’re having fun, and it’s hard to believe that we’ve come to the end of another year at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show.

We have a tradition where every year after the last piece of art goes into the truck, we take an annual photo. The smiles on our faces reflect a job well done, another year’s show successfully put to bed… not to mention how exhausted we all are after loading up my entire booth into that truck!

It also makes me smile when I think about how lucky I am to have so much support from family and friends who help me with this massive task year after year.

Thanks to every one of you who helped make my 25th Anniversary at the show a big success. I’m not just talking about numbers – I’m talking about friendships, something you can never put a price on. Each day was filled with smiles and conversations that will remain in my heart for a lifetime.

Some of my biggest sellers this year were my new giclée 8 x 10s. I now have prints in that size for more than 20 of my paintings and at a good price for a high-quality print. (At this time, the giclée 8 x 10s are not available on my website and can only be purchased in person at one of my shows or my studio.)

The image shows Linda Barnicott's paiting of Mazeroski's Magical Moment, a painting of Bill Mazeroski during the 1960 World Series.

Another best seller this year was “Mazeroski’s Magical Moment.” My favorite thing about this painting is listening to the stories of folks who were children at the time of the 1960 World Series, especially the sparkle in their eyes when they describe what that memory means to them.

So now that the show is over, Tom and I have shifted back into “Move-In Mode.” That’s right… it’s been going on since January, and we’re STILL not 100% moved in! However, we’re making progress. I spent this morning hanging as many paintings in our living room as I could by 11 a.m. You see, today was the first time that I had scheduled clients to come to my studio/home to pick up their orders. Fortunately, everyone seemed to understand that we’re still in the process of making this Brentwood house our new home.

Once in a while, it’s fun to have a change of pace, and last Saturday, I presented a program for a women’s group at Hawthorne Avenue U.P. Church in Crafton. It was a lovely day, a lovely church, and a delightful afternoon.

It was the second time this year that I was invited to speak about my art at a local church. If you know of a group that is looking for a program like this, please think of me! I really enjoy getting out and about, especially at this time of year when there aren’t many shows.

Just have them contact me at 1-888-PITT-ART (1-888-748-8278).

Suddenly Spring!

This photo features Linda Barnicott, Pittsburgh's Painter of Memories, smiling next to her booth at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show.

Can you believe Spring is here? It may not feel like it outside, but inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, it sure looks that way!

Yes, it’s that time again… today is Opening Day of the 2019 Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show.

This year promises to be bigger and better than ever. In fact, the 2019 Farm to Table Conference is now a part of the Home and Garden Show, adding a whole new section – including live chickens!

I’ve spent the last few days getting the booth set-up for the show. Ready or not, the doors open at 10 a.m. this morning!

This photo features the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show booth of Linda Barnicott, Painter of Memories.

If you’ve been dreaming of Spring, I recommend a visit to the Home and Garden Show. It’s just the thing to cure your cabin fever.

The 38th Annual Pittsburgh Home and Garden show runs from Friday, March 1st to Sunday, March 10th, at the David L Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh. You can find me at Booth 3146-8.

The photo features the logo for the 38th Annual Duquesne Light Co. Home & Garden Show.

Celebrating 25 Years at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show

Linda Barnicott, Pittsburgh's Painter of Memories, poses in her booth at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show.

The first robin hasn’t appeared yet, and there’s still snow on the ground, but Pittsburghers know Spring is just around the corner when billboards for the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show start popping up. Opening Day is tomorrow!

It’s hard to believe that this year will be my 25th anniversary at the Home and Garden Show. It brings back so many memories of my very first time as an exhibitor… could it really have been a quarter century ago?

Linda Barnicott, Pittsburgh's Painter of Memories, poses with her painting "Walking in the Light of the Cathedral" when it was finished in 1990.

Because I was young, inexperienced, and broke, I actually shared my booth with another vendor, Black Swan Gallery.  Booth rental that year was $1200, which seemed like a fortune to this struggling artist. I also had to come up with the cash ($800) to advertise my Home Show debut with smudgy black-and-white ads in the Sunday Pittsburgh Press. Sounds a little primitive, doesn’t it? But at the time, it was the most effective way to reach the most people, especially former Pittsburghers who now lived somewhere else and subscribed to keep up with hometown news.

It was a huge step to be striking out on my own, and participating in the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show was a big deal for me. I was nervous about making the investment, but I figured that my $1200 would buy me 10 days to show my art to over 300,000 people. I wrote the check, but not without a lot of anxiety!

Then (to my surprise) two days into the show, I realized I had already earned back my investment! I remembered being in shock, looking at Tom and saying, “How did that happen? We still have eight days left!” To me, that first Home and Garden show was when my career as a serious artist really took off.

How many of you go back that far with me?

The photo features the logo for the 38th Annual Duquesne Light Co. Home & Garden Show.

The show runs from Friday, March 1 to Sunday, March 10 at the David L Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh. You can find me at Booth 3146-8.

As I take care of all the last minute details, it’s been fun reminiscing over happy memories of Home Shows past, especially all the wonderful people I’ve met there. I hope you’ll come visit me this year and wish me a happy 25th anniversary! Everyone needs more art in their lives, right?

Let’s make this year as memorable as the first! See you there…

Making Wishes Come True

Linda Barnicott, Pittsburgh's Painter of Memories, hangs a large canvas reproduction of her painting "Waiting for You Under Kaufmann's Clock."

As an artist who owns her own business, it’s sometimes within my power to make someone’s wish come true. And on this Florida vacation, I had the opportunity to do just that!

During the holidays, I was contacted by a customer who was interested in purchasing one of my paintings. She wanted something to remind her of her Pittsburgh home while she was at her condo in Florida. Eventually she decided on “Waiting for You Under Kaufmann’s Clock” – she had fallen in love with it after seeing it on a new metal piece I had at the Chalet.

But there was one problem; the wall it would hang on was long and narrow, and most of it was taken up by an unsightly electrical box. The painting would have to cover the box completely.

Putting our heads together, we decided that a canvas gallery wrap might do the trick. So I was off to see Alex, my printer, with the dimensions. Alex was able to create a slice of the painting that included the clock and the streetcar that would fit perfectly within the space available.

I mentioned to my customer that because of the size and the delicate handling it would require, I would rather not ship it. I told her that Tom and I would be happy to deliver it right to her condo while we were in Florida. Hey, why not? It was a beautiful day to take a long drive, and besides, we could visit Riviera Beach, a place we had never been! It’s “all in a day’s work” for an art entrepreneur.

We had a great visit with their tenants, and we even got to see what the painting looked like up on the wall. Then we had some time to check out the beautiful beach.

Have I mentioned lately that I love my job??

Linda Barnicott, Pittsburgh's Painter of Memories, poses in front of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts sign.

We also paid a visit to the Mouse House on Tuesday to see the International Arts Festival at Epcot. Tom and I had a lovely day seeing all the beautiful works of art, listening to the musicians, and enjoying the special foods they prepared for the festival. Being surrounded by art and beauty was just what I needed to get my creative juices flowing. Which, as you can see from the picture below, was something I was really in need of!

Linda Barnicott, Pittsburgh's Painter of Memories, poses in a reproduction of Edvard Munch's "The Scream."

Though I didn’t intend this to be a working vacation, I did take the precaution of bringing along a few sketching supplies. Thanks to all the creative inspiration, I’ve been able to get a head start on the first drawings of my new Santa painting for 2019… Woodland Santa! So far, I like the feel of it.

And one more thing that’s a sure sign that Spring is just around the corner… my mind has been wandering to planning for this year’s Home and Garden Show. This year, it runs March 1st through 10th at the David L Lawrence Convention Center.

I think the vacation has done a good job of clearing my head, because something just dawned on me since I’ve been away… I thought 2019 was around my 23rd year for at the show, but my numbers were all wrong! It’s not 23 – this year will be my 25th Home and Garden Show!!

Yes, 25! A quarter of a century!

Now that I know this, I’ve decided there will be an ongoing celebration at my booth! In just a few weeks, you can come check it out.

Spring Is Just Around Corner

"Rose Garden," a landscape by Linda Barnicott

We’re only one month into 2019, and it’s already been a year of big changes for Tom and me. In the last few weeks, we have moved to a new home, Tom has officially retired, and as of this past weekend, we’re on a much-needed two-week vacation. All this in about four weeks! Not to mention planning and successfully pulling off a surprise retirement party with over 200 friends. So needless to say, I’ve been a little busy.

So busy in fact, that last night as I was sitting in the car waiting for Tom to run an errand, I realized that I had forgotten a very important meeting!

The Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show has an annual meeting for exhibitors about a month before the show begins to help gear up for the event. This year I was so distracted that I almost forgot – for the first time in 23 years!  Leaving poor Tom at the church to pack up all by himself, I hurried into town and made it just in time for the two-hour meeting.

A photograph of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, site of the Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show

As I walked through the Convention Center to the third floor, I looked around at all that vast, empty space, remembering all the years I’ve brought my wares here and set up for this show. I pictured the dark cavernous space full of booths, with people walking the aisles looking for ideas to improve, decorate, or make over their homes… or maybe catch a cooking demonstration or pet a rescue dog. I remembered the joy I felt every year, meeting new people and being reunited with old friends and customers.

Driving home after the meeting, I was feeling nostalgic about my 23 years as an exhibitor at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show, and also feeling inspired, as I dreamed about the upcoming show. That was when I realized that I was on autopilot, halfway to my old home in Bethel Park instead of my new home in Brentwood.

My mind may be a little preoccupied right now, but I when I sit down to paint this year, my heart and soul and mind will be focused. And if you need help finding the perfect piece of art, whatever your needs, you can be sure I’ll be listening!

So we may have just experienced a Deep Freeze, but Spring is just around the corner. Tom and I are grateful for being able to take a little break for now before we have to start preparing for the Home and Garden Show – the first sign of Spring in Pittsburgh. Can’t wait to see you there!

Linda Barnicott's granddaughter, Aria, paints at the Pittsburgh Children's Museum.

P.S. – Tom and I recently took our granddaughters to the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum. Aria’s favorite place is the Painting Room. Sometimes she paints with her right hand, sometimes with her left… this could be interesting!

New Year, New Home

Linda Barnicott, Pittsburgh's Painter of Memories, will be moving her studio to Brentwood in February 2019

Have I told you that I’m moving? Now that the holidays are over, I can think of little else! On the 23rd of January, we’re moving the whole Barnicott operation – not just our personal home, but my studio as well – to our new location in Brentwood.

Though preparing for the big move has been a lot of work and perhaps a little stressful, I have to say it’s still very exciting.

The reason for the move is that on January 31st, Tom will officially retire from the church after 36 years of ministry. Of course, he’ll never truly leave it behind. When you’re called to the ministry, it’s a lot like finding your passion as an artist – your calling is always a part of you. But in the months and years ahead, Tom will have more freedom to explore the other aspects of who he is as a person. I’m really looking forward to sharing this next chapter of life with him.

Tom Barnicott, husband of Linda Barnicott, spends time with his granddaughter, Aria, at the Children's Museum.

Tom once told me that one of his fantasies has always been to work for the Pirates. That didn’t surprise me at all – he’s a lifelong baseball fan.

I remember once coming home and scrolling through the messages on my answering machine (you know, those boxes they used to have before voice mail was invented? The ones that sat next to your phone and blinked when you had a message?). I saw that I had a call from a “Nelson King,” but not being a native Pittsburgher and not really a sports fan, the name didn’t ring a bell.

Mr. King wanted to come to my studio and get advice on putting together a lithograph of his work to sell. I returned his call, and we agreed he’d come over that Thursday. When Tom came home that day, I mentioned that a fellow by the name of Nelson King was coming over. Tom clutched his chest as if he were having a heart attack! “NELLIE KING!!!???” he yelled… “I’m canceling my meeting, and I’m going to be right here when he comes!”

That’s right… my “Mr. King” was the beloved Pirates announcer (and former pitcher) Nellie King, one of Tom’s boyhood idols.

So needless to say, when I started my project with Bill Mazeroski, Tom was over the moon. Each time we got together with Maz to sign a set of prints, Tom was practically glowing. You might even say visions of peanuts and Cracker Jack (which, in fact, I put in his stocking this year) danced in his head…

Not many of the Maz signature prints are left, and sadly, several were destroyed in our last move (which is why I’m hand carrying every single piece of art to our new home). However, I have about 50 left with his signature and HOF01, which stands for Hall of Fame 2001. When they’re gone, they’re gone, so if a signed Mazeroski print is something you may want to give (or receive!) this year, this is the time to get one. 

Once I get settled in at our new home/studio, I’d love to have you stop by! If you’re in town, just give me a call and come visit. Being right on Brownsville Road in the middle of Brentwood is exciting, and there’s plenty of parking.

Our New Home/Studio
3211 Brownsville Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15227
(as of 1/23/19)

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Though the holidays are my favorite time of year, I still look forward to settling into my normal routines again when January rolls around. As I attempted to get back to my painting yesterday, I had a lovely moment that I’d like to share with you.

Our granddaughter Aria, who is all of 2 years old, was at our house for a few hours yesterday, doing what she usually does – playing, running around, and making a lot of noise. I had slipped away to my studio for a few minutes to get some painting done on a commissioned piece I’ve been working on, when the door opened, and Tom and Aria came in to see what I was up to.

Aria put both hands on her mouth and exclaimed “Oh my!” and smiled. She climbed up into my lap, and then we proceeded to pick up the pastels. Aria took great pride in telling me what some of the colors were, and Tom captured the moment in a photo.

Another special moment happened when a customer stopped this evening to pick up a piece I had framed for her. The frame is about 11 x 14 inches and holds a 5 x 7 image of one of my most popular Pittsburgh paintings, My Hometown  — the iconic view from Mount Washington with the Duquesne Incline.

Just below the painting is a cut-out oval in the matting with a saying that reads:

“You never really leave a place you love. Part of it you take with you, leaving a part of yourself behind.” 

I don’t know who was responsible for that saying, but I love it, and I’ve been using it for many years. It’s a perfect way to remind someone of home when they leave Pittsburgh.

Then on the back of the painting I wrote about a special memory of Pittsburgh and wished her a happy retirement. I signed the glass for her in gold, the signature shimmering in the light. (You can even clean the glass with glass cleaner and it will never come off!)

If I remember correctly, I’ve been signing my work with a gold pen like this for about 26 of my 30 years of painting. At the Chalet this holiday season, many customers asked if it would cost extra for me to sign my art. I just smiled and said “Of course not; it’s my pleasure.”

Would you like to give a special gift in the coming year to someone you care about? Someone who’s celebrating a wedding or a birthday? Someone who’s retiring or moving away? If so, I hope you’ll consider a piece of art that will last forever, a timeless reminder of Pittsburgh memories.

In 2019, I’ll be celebrating my 30th year of painting Pittsburgh! If you’ve given or received a piece of my art in the last 30 years, would you mind sharing a brief story about what it means to you or to the recipient? Even better, send a picture of you and the art piece; with your permission, I’d love to share the stories on my website.

As always, thank you for your constant friendship and support!

We’re Outta Here!

Linda Barnicott, Pittsburgh's Painter of Memories, packed up her chalet at the Pittsburgh Peoples Gas Holiday Market after a great season.

Looking back, it seems those 38 days in Market Square passed in the blink of an eye. But we were still pretty pumped on December 23rd when we emptied the Chalet, packed up the van, and took our traditional final “that’s a wrap” picture. We are done!

So what happens next?

Every year in the aftermath of our hectic holiday season, Tom and I often wonder…who received a gift of my art? Did they like it? What did they think when they saw the painting?

Well, this year I got some idea when I happened to receive an email entitled “Happy Customer,” so I couldn’t wait to read it! It was from a woman named Denise, who wrote:

Linda,

Last Christmas my son purchased the print of Consol Energy Center at your booth in Market Square. He was in Market Square again this past Sunday and was at your booth with Ally, his girlfriend. Alex was telling Ally how neat it would be to have the prints of PNC Park and Heinz Field. Much to his surprise, those two prints, plus the print of the Civic Arena were waiting for him under the tree on Christmas morning.

He was so excited!!!!! He was wondering how I could have possibly known that he wanted those prints and that I had time to get them under the tree. (I purchased the prints during your open house in October.)

Thank you for using your incredible talent and bringing so much joy to us all through your artwork. Those prints will keep Alex’s memories alive forever.

I had a huge smile on my face as I read this. First, I was thrilled that she had attended my Trunk Show – she had bought those two prints long before Christmas! Also, I was pleased that her son had visited my booth with his girlfriend and shared his wish list. And finally, I was grateful that Denise thought enough to write it all down and share it with me.

In the Spirit of the Holidays, I want to remind you all how grateful I am for you and for the blessings – big and small – of the season. If you read my last email, you know I’ve been very fortunate this year to hear so many heartwarming stories at my Chalet… stories that will bring me joy all through the year in 2019.

From all of the Barnicott family to all of you -- have a happy and healthy New Year.

Finally… from all the Barnicott family to all of you – Have a happy and fulfilling New Year! Let’s make 2019 the best year yet.