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: .

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:

What’s New?

I had an absolutely wonderful time last weekend exhibiting at Fort Ligonier Days! Earlier in the week, we were concerned about rainy weather, but except for a few sprinkles on Saturday, it ended up being pretty spectacular.

I loved seeing many old friends there, and I even was able to meet some of the re-enactors from the fort.  Miss Alex and Mr. Constantine stopped by and told a hilarious story of how he had to catch a runaway chicken. Very believable, right down to his grass stains on his cloak!

In case you missed it, I’ve made it a lot easier to build your own custom note card bundles, just in time for the 2021 Holiday Season.

Now you can select ANY TEN note cards for $24 – it’s up to you! You can order all Santa themes, select your favorite Pittsburgh scenes… or just mix and match.  Choose ten different cards with your favorite designs, or ten of the same design for a special event or holiday.  Just click on the note cards you want, and the website will build your bundle in the grid on the other side of the page.  Have fun making your selections!

Puzzles, Puzzles, Puzzles! Many thanks to everyone who has asked to be on the waiting list for my four new puzzles: My Hometown, Holiday Memories Under Kaufmann’s Clock, All Aboard with Santa, and Santa’s Woodland Christmas.  I placed an order for a new batch on Tuesday and hope to have them within five weeks – in plenty of time for Christmas gifts. They’re just the thing to help pass those long winter months!

Due to the limited number of puzzles available and because there isn’t a pre-order link on my website, if you’d like to get on the waiting list, please drop me an email at

Just let me know which of the puzzles you would like and provide your address and phone number so I can get in touch with you when they arrive.  Each puzzle sells for $35.00.

Despite the supply chain issues that have been such a problem lately, I promise you I won’t be raising prices this year. There are a few product lines that are being discontinued, and those items – primarily the candles and the handmade color metal pieces from Wendell August Forge – will be available on a first-come/first-served basis.  There may also possibly be an issue with my normal gold framing for the prints, and I’ll be looking for an acceptable substitute in the meantime.

The Bottom Line is… Shop Early!

Power to the Puzzle People!

Oh my goodness, what a week this has been! On Sunday I finished up a spectacular show at the Mt Lebanon Artists’ Market, and it couldn’t have been better! I am absolutely loving the shows this year. Everyone is so happy and very pleasant to talk to as they browse the artists’ booths. It’s always a pleasure to provide customers with something special for their loved ones (and just as often for themselves!).

For all of you who weren’t able to make the show, here’s the announcement for my cool new art collectible I unveiled there:

I had been thinking about how everyone was spending much more time at home since the start of the pandemic, and I read that board games and puzzles were selling like hotcakes. Then it occurred to me… why not create some puzzles based on my art?  I decided to give it a try it with two Pittsburgh scenes and two Santa Claus scenes.


Unfortunately, there was a long delay in the production of my puzzles because of COVID. Earlier last year, I had researched vendors who could make them, but no one was taking new customers, so I had to put that project on the back burner. I learned my lesson, and this year I started earlier.  I met the short window and was able to get my puzzles made.

But it came right down to the wire… they arrived on Friday night (three days ahead of schedule and just in time for the show)! I was delighted to see that they were well made and looked great.

I had started out with a small order of 64 puzzles, enough to make sure they were of high quality.  The Mount Lebanon Artists’ Market seemed like the perfect test market for the puzzles. I wondered “Will they sell? What will people think? And how many folks actually enjoy making puzzles?”

It turns out that I worried for nothing – my puzzles were a big hit! In fact, the Pittsburgh scenes are already sold out. I’m bringing what is left of the Santa Claus puzzles with me to Fort Ligonier Days this weekend. I’ve reached out to the company earlier this week about reordering, but I have yet to hear when they will be available again.  So for now, I’m not going to put them up on my website, but if you’d like to be added to the waiting list, please reach out to me via email,

Come see me this weekend!

I’ll be at Fort Ligonier Days on Friday, October 8th through Sunday, October 10th. My booth is located in the Loyalhanna Lot, about 1½ blocks down from the Diamond and right above the fort itself. Though I will only have one tent this year, you can find me at Booth 16/17.  Festival hours are 10 – 6 Friday and Saturday and 10:30 – 5 on Sunday. My booth will be well stocked with art and gift ideas for purchase. I hope to see you there!

One More Announcement…

Check out my website for a new product that I’ve been working on for quite some time – my new Note Card Bundles!  Select any ten cards for $24 to create your own custom bundle. Order all Santas or pick your preferred Pittsburgh scenes. You can mix and match ten different note cards from your favorites or select all ten of the same image.  Just click on the first card you want, and it will build your bundle in the grid on the other side of the page. Have fun making your selections

It’s Showtime!

It looks like fall has finally arrived, and with it comes my busiest season!

Last week, I had my booth set-up at the Ebenezer Covered Bridge Festival, and I have to say it was another phenomenal show! To all of you who came out to see me, your support is much appreciated. It always puts a smile on my face and in my heart.

Next up is the Mt. Lebanon Artist Market this weekend on October 2nd and 3rd. My art booth (#214) will be located in the in the Academy Avenue parking lot. The closest address for your GPS is 620 Washington Rd., Pittsburgh 15228.  Show hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

This show always features exceptional talent, and every year I’m impressed by the beautiful creations of the artists who are accepted into the event. Also, the food trucks are really good and offer a diverse selection with something for everyone! Let’s pray for sunny weather, no wind, and a big turnout!

Now for some big news…

I’m releasing a new product line soon – it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for about three years, and it’s finally happening!  I’m very excited to tell you about it, but I’ll have to keep you guessing for just a little while longer.  All will be revealed soon!

P.S. – Looks like I was spotted along Route 6 in Northern Pennsylvania!

Years ago, I took a painting trip along Route 6 and created several pieces from beautiful towns and scenes along the way. Dear friends of ours were traveling and stopped at the Pennsylvania Visitors’ Center near Tioga near the New York border. They thought it would be fun to send me this picture, and I wanted to share it with you, too.  It was a delightful surprise!

“Evening at Ebenezer Covered Bridge”

Sending out a big thank-you to everyone who reached out to wish me well in the art workshop I attended last weekend. Your good wishes paid off in many ways! Quite honestly, I never know what I’ll learn when I attend a workshop, but gathering together with other pastel artists is always inspirational.

In my spare time, I worked on a new piece, hoping to finish it in time for this weekend’s upcoming show at the Washington and Greene Counties Covered Bridge Festival. It must have been all those creative vibes flowing – not surprisingly, it turned out to be the perfect time to be “in the zone!”  I finished the painting yesterday morning and rushed it straight to my printer. I hope to have it up on my website ASAP.

In the meantime, here’s “Evening at Ebenezer Covered Bridge” as a work-in-progress:

“A summer evening at Mingo Creek Park will inevitably bring you to the historic Ebenezer Covered Bridge. Whether by trail or winding road, experiencing this classic bridge with a gentle stream beneath it will take you back to a simpler time.” 

I love the tranquility of this early-evening painting, and I hope you enjoy it, too.

I’ll have a few of the 8” x 10” prints available at my booth this weekend. For those of you who are coming out to the show, keep in mind that it will be mostly “cash-only.” I know it’s inconvenient, but there’s a perfectly good reason for it!  Because Mingo Creek Park is in a valley, I’m usually unable to connect to the server required for credit transactions. The good news is that there’s an ATM set up there for your convenience.

The Washington and Green Counties Covered Bridge Festival runs Saturday and Sunday, September 18th and 19th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  It’s a lovely show with lots of vendors and great food and entertainment. Come out and see me and spend a lovely day in the country… and maybe even take a walk along the rocks and dip your toes in the creek! I hope to see you there!

Art Runs in the Family

I grew up in a very creative family. My father was a Jack-of-all-trades, and our family is full of musicians and artists.  For most of them it was a hobby, though there were a few who were able to make it a profession. I, of course, received the art gene and have been blessed to fulfill my childhood dream of making a living through my art.

Many family members of the younger generation have also found ways to express that gene and make art a part of their lives.  Brittany has discovered her inner artist since the start of COVID.  I cherish each and every one of her creations, though I have to keep telling her that I’m not saying her doodles are good just because I’m her mother!  My younger daughter Alyssa is a schoolteacher and a wonderful mom, and she too has been exploring her artistic side. She enjoys creating décor for her classroom and sketching just for fun.  My nieces, Amy and Laura, were homeschooled, and they developed their art talents with beautiful renditions of life, love, and faith.

Laura and her little family are off on a new adventure, and her art is the road that will help lead them there. Their dream is to adopt a child from the foster care system, and they’re hoping to find a girl between the ages of 6 and 10. Their son Riker is very excited about the possibility of having a sister to share his life.  They’re a loving family, and I have no doubt they’ll be the perfect home for some little girl.

Laura is selling her artwork, with 100% of the proceeds going to fund the adoption – canvas prints, framed prints, posters, tapestries, t-shirts, notebooks, and more! I hope you’ll consider one of them for your home or as a gift.  If you know someone who might like her work or would want to support their journey toward finding a daughter, I would be grateful if you would help spread the word.

I love my niece’s art!  My personal favorite is the Family Tree Print (as shown in the poster above). I hope you will also enjoy Laura’s work.  Just follow this link to check it out –

As for me, I’m just beginning to work on a new commission piece. I only take a few commissions during the year, and it will feel good to be painting again.  I’m also looking forward to announcing some new fun items of my own… coming soon!

P.S. – All my granddaughters are now officially one year older! Aria is now 5, and the twins Autumn and Abigail have reached the advanced age of 3! And (this is the big and)… they all started school last Friday!!! Oh my, get out the tissues!

Seems Like Old Times

The Barnicott family just had an amazing weekend at Picklesburgh on the Seventh Street Bridge in downtown Pittsburgh. Maybe it’s because we’re so out of practice, but it seemed like more of a marathon then our typical show. Nevertheless, we were delighted as countless old and new friends stopped by to say hello and to browse and purchase my work.

We quickly sold out of a brand new item that I created especially for Picklesburgh – two exclusive Picklesburgh stickers. One was “Pickle Fun in Pittsburgh,” and the other was simply the giant pickle balloon that I painted in “The Pickle is Back!”
Who knew stickers could be so much fun?  Many customers bought them to decorate their notebooks or laptops, and one fella said he bought it to add to the “art gallery” on his refrigerator!

The vendor next to me had a fabulous display of painted fruits and vegetables and also sold stickers. She said she had actually been selling them for some time, but for the last year and a half, her stickers have been selling like crazy! So you may see more stickers at my shows in the future…just for fun!

Picklesburgh was my first show in such a long time, and I am most grateful for the opportunity to get back out there and have face time with people again!

Mark your calendars! 

My next show will be Saturday and Sunday, September 18th and 19th at the Washington & Greene Counties Covered Bridge Festival. My tent will be set up at the Ebenezer Covered Bridge located in Mingo Creek County Park. More details to come!

Just a heads-up: As we move into the coming holiday season, I will be selling out of some favorite gift items. More on that soon. So if you’re looking to get an early start on your holiday shopping, visit the “Collectibles” section at

Santa’s Book of Good Children

After doing quite a bit of traveling lately, Tom and I stayed home last week, and I pretty much lived at my easel. I can tell I’ve been putting in long hours in the studio because my house is falling apart just a little bit more each day. With Tom helping out once again with our grandgirls, this house doesn’t stand a chance! (But my garden still looks beautiful – priorities!)

I am very close to finishing “Santa’s Book of Good Children.”  It’s funny… after completing ten paintings in the “Jolly Old Elf” series, I have painted Santa so many times that now it almost seems like Number Eleven is painting itself!

When I’m laying in the facial features, I always use hard pastels. There are many brands of pastels that I use in every painting; from hard pastels that put on a thin layer of color, to very soft pastels that feel buttery when applied.  Each time I returned to the easel, I would re-draw until everything was in its place.

One of my favorite parts of creating this piece has been painting the fur. I keep a Viva paper towel in my right hand and wipe the chalk after each stroke to keep it clean. It takes a little longer, but the end result makes the fur look real and soft.

As I was thinking about this composition, I realized it would make my job much easier if I borrowed some of the items that are shown in the painting. So a few weeks ago I met up with Santa John (the Jolly Old Elf himself), and he was kind enough to lend me his wonderful leather-bound Book of Good Children and his Santa Claus ring that he often wears during the holiday season. As I worked my way around the painting, I painted the ring on his hand and placed the beautifully made book on his lap. It was really helpful to have both of these items sitting right next to my easel to capture their detail.

Stay tuned for the completed painting!

Greetings from Lake Erie!

Have you ever wished you could find a special place where you could go to relax… and just be? Maybe a place that is not too far from home and is comfortable to live in? Well, Tom and I believe we may have finally found that place for us. Not far from Geneva-on-the-Lake is a cute little cottage that is just our size. We were there at the end of April for a few days, and this week we returned, and it was as great as we remembered it!

Lake Erie has a lot in common with Barnegat Bay (where we went on last week’s trip).  At first glance, Lake Erie looks like a salt-water ocean (though I miss that salt scent in the air), and there can be large waves sometimes and none at all at other times, depending on the day. Both places have beautiful sunsets and give me a peaceful feeling. Being near the water is something so familiar to me that it’s truly is a part of who I am.

Something else “familiar” is coming soon… something rather jolly, in fact! If you’re thinking “Wait, didn’t the ‘Jolly Old Elf’ series end in 2019?”, well… you’d be correct about that. I finished the last painting that year, and in 2020, I wrote a book about it. If you received one of the fifty limited-edition books, you may even remember a bookplate inside the cover with a pen-and-ink drawing of Santa in a very familiar pose.

So, your next question might be, “Why are you painting another Santa?” I’m so glad you asked!

Last year, my book in the end was delivered much later than expected (just two weeks before Christmas), in the midst of the COVID crisis, combined with the Post Office problems that were going on at that time. I still managed to sell over 100 books, which I think was pretty good under the circumstances.

Now that everything is starting to open up again, I plan to give my book a better launch this holiday season and will focus on getting the word out. My plan is to bundle the book and the new print together at a reasonable price. I’ll also sell the print separately for those of you who have already bought the book. The new print will measure 9 x 12” – the same size as the five existing “companion” prints.

In all honesty, I have to admit I’ve missed painting that Jolly Old Elf! He let me borrow his Santa ring to add to the sketch, and I also borrowed his Book of Good Children. (Santa says that there are no bad children. That’s why it’s not a “Naughty and Nice Book!”)

As you can see, I’ve already gotten started on the new painting – I loved painting the fur and the holly on the hat. My plan is to include a Christmas tree with old-fashioned candles on the branches of the tree to light the room. Keep watching, there will be more updates soon!

It’s a Shore Thing…

We’ve been getting out and about quite a bit lately, making up for lost time. Last week, Tom and I decided it was a good opportunity to revisit my hometown roots, and we made an impromptu trip to New Jersey. Back in the day, from the time I was 9 until I got married, I spent almost every weekend except for the winter months at the shore. Together with our family and friends, we stayed in boats that my dad had bought or ones he built himself.

The Tradewinds was the biggest one he built, a 38-foot cement-hulled sailboat. I was 12 when my dad finished this boat and launched it. Believe it or not, a ferro-cement hull is lighter than a steel hull!  I painted this painting of it sometime in the 1990s. I’m not giving a specific date because – if you look closely – you will see that the year I signed it was… “199___.” (Oops! We may never know when I actually painted it…)

Spending time at the marina at Cedar Creek, New Jersey, such an important place in my childhood, was very good for my soul. Breathing in the sea air and hearing the sea gulls and the shrouds on the sailboats in the wind brought me peace and a yearning to stay. How lucky I was to have this special place to escape to when life got crazy growing up.

Last week, I also had the opportunity to meet up with the famous Rick Sebak of WQED! Because he’s the star of my new painting, “Remembering the O,” I felt it was only fair to present him with a framed print. Rick was gracious enough to model for me, and you can see him emerging from the “Dirty O” holding a bag of leftover French fries.  It was the first time he had seen the painting, and I caught his “WOW!” moment in this photo just as he was unveiling it, fresh from my framer, Lee Heckman.

I also gifted him with a copy of my first picture book, The Jolly Old Elf – Santa Claus Paintings by Linda Barnicott. I kid you not, he put it right up to his face to peek over the top, just like Santa did!  I told Rick he would make a great Santa!

Rick and I met in his editing office at WQED, which was filled with wall-to-wall books and tapes. From the minute I walked in the door, I knew I was in the presence of greatness! At the time of my visit, he was actually working on a clip from an interview with August Wilson back in 1989. His office down the hall reminded me of a combination library and museum (or perhaps an artist’s studio?), with books and resources and memorabilia from floor to ceiling.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?  I truly appreciate all the wonderful experiences I’ve had and all the memorable people like Rick Sebak I’ve met along the way.

P.S. – (You can order your own print of this gone-but-not-forgotten Oakland landmark at

P.P.S. – In one week, we’ll be Halfway to Christmas – a great time to order a copy of my first picture book, The Jolly Old Elf, for your Jolly Old Self or someone you love…