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:


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.

The Finish Line is in Sight!

Can you believe Christmas Eve is only 9 days from now? Before we know it, Santa’s Big Event will be upon us.

Somehow despite our hectic pre-Christmas busy-ness, Tom and I managed to schedule a day to play hooky from the Chalet down in Market Square to indulge in a festive new tradition – cutting down our own Christmas tree.

We decided to try cutting down our own tree for the first time last year. It was really pretty, but we thought it was maybe a little too small. So this year, of course, we had to overcompensate, and perhaps we overdid it a bit.

We had to cut a whole foot off the bottom and trim the top, but we finally got it to fit. Now we can sit back and enjoy the beauty of our tree as well as the satisfaction of a job well done. All is right with the world!

Isn’t shopping for the holidays a little like that?

First, you have to find the time to go shopping. And then it seems so intimidating… such a large task! We’ll never get it done! So you buy a little here, a little there – and then all of a sudden, you’re finished. Once that’s off your plate, you’re entitled to just sit back and enjoy the holiday beauty all around you, guilt-free.

I would be happy to help you achieve that state of holiday bliss that comes when you know your shopping is finished! My art and giftware make unique and personal gifts for everyone on your list. I’ll even personally sign each and every gift for your loved ones. White elephant gifts, office ornament exchanges, and special gifts are my forte!

I have tons of ideas for you. I’ll be at my Chalet every day for the next nine days. And if you’re up for a Sunday drive this weekend, I’ll be at Wendell August Forge in Grove City from 11-3 signing my work there.

I ho-ho-hope to see you soon!

Look Who’s Hanging Out in Market Square!

Pittsburgh Steelers legends Franco Harris and Joe Greene visit with Linda Barnicott at the Holiday Market in Market Square.

Despite the long hours and cold weather, one of my favorite parts of the Holiday Market is people-watching … looking out from my Chalet to see folks sharing the holiday spirit, shopping, and enjoying hot chocolate and live music.

At this time of year, Market Square truly feels like the heart of the city. Folks from all walks of life gather here to enjoy the Holiday Market. People not only from the many neighborhoods of the Pittsburgh area, but from many different cities, states, and even countries as well.

What do they have in common? I think it’s our love for each other and for this special season of joy, and I see it here every day. I may not be “Home” much lately, but being here in Market Square fills my heart with joy.

I just love hearing from people after they have received my art as a gift – it’s like the happy ending of a story… and who doesn’t love a happy ending?

This week I received a thoughtful email from Diane Cox, who asked me to send a print of “Meet Me Under Kaufmann’s Clock, Too” to her sister. What she said warmed my heart so much that I asked her if I could share it…

“My sister received her print yesterday. We had laughed and reminisced about our connection to Kaufmann’s clock. Thank you for making this nostalgic trip in time possible through your artwork! And thanks for putting the streetcar in the painting. Another Pittsburgh memory for our family.”

I also wanted to share a beautiful photo I recently received from JP Diroll, a dear friend who happens to be a very talented photographer. Here, JP is helping his little daughter hang one of my ornaments on their tree as she celebrates her first Christmas.

Pittsburgh Photographer JP Diroll and his daughter hang up a Linda Barnicott Christmas ornament on his tree.

The highlight of my week, however, involved a very special visit from an old friend. Franco Harris dropped by the Chalet this week, accompanied by his friend Mean Joe Greene (who in real life doesn’t have a mean bone in his body!).

Franco wanted to purchase a signed print of my painting “Franco Harris – The Story of the Immaculate Reception” for his friend, Joe. I came outside the Chalet to get a photo with Franco and Joe, and as you can see, I look awfully small between these two legends – big guys with even bigger hearts.

"Franco Harris - The Immaculate Reception Story" features Steelers legend Franco Harris in one of the most iconic moments in Pittsburgh sports history.

So as we were looking at the print, I said “Joe, let me tell you a little about this painting.” Joe asked, “Now what can you tell me that I don’t already know?”

I proceeded to give him some of the behind-the-scenes details of the painting, like…

  • How Franco and I were text buddies during the process of creating the painting. We were always texting back and forth about some tiny detail, like whether the color of his wristband was exactly right.
  • The reason I added Frank Sinatra and Myron Cope to the painting was because they were Honorary Generals in Franco’s Italian Army.
  • How I had originally placed the Game Ball in Franco’s hand as he returns to the locker room in victory… but I didn’t know they actually had lost that very important ball that day!

It was a lot of fun hanging out that evening with Franco and Joe and their lovely families. I’m in awe of how they were so giving of themselves, happy to spend time with their fans, smiling, shaking hands, and taking picture after picture with anyone who asked.

It just goes to show, you never know who you might run into in Market Square. Come on down and say hello!

Happy Holidays!

Special Visitors at the Chalet

Greetings from the Chalet in Market Square! … pretty much my home-away-from-home until December 23rd. With the frosty weather this week, I’m really glad I invested in some Arctic-grade long underwear! But one of the things that bring some sparkle to all those long cold days is the wonderful visitors who come to see me there.

First, of course, The Jolly Old Elf himself has been visiting with children in his Market Square Santa House, and he stopped by on his break to say hello. I have a feeling he just likes looking at all those paintings he’s in!

Then just yesterday, the Penn State Lion was passing by my chalet, and he practically flipped out when he saw the painting of Old Main on the top shelf. He couldn’t stop hugging me and thanking me for the memories it brought to mind. The video crew he was with even interviewed me about the Market!

But the most meaningful, heartwarming visit this week was with a young man named Michael.

It was a busy day at the Chalet last weekend, and I was signing art gifts for one of my customers when I noticed a young man looking in from the other side of my counter. When we made eye contact, he asked, “Ma’am, are you the artist?”

“I am,” I replied.

Michael explained that he had served in the Marines, and he’s now newly married and living in Boston. He was visiting with his Pittsburgh family for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Years ago,” Michael said, “you gave me a free magnet because I was in the service. I brought that magnet with me when I was stationed overseas. It reminded it of home through all my deployments. Even in Afghanistan, it kept me thinking of home.”

“I just wanted to say thank you.”

I think my heart swelled to three times its size that day – to think that a little magnet of my painting, “My Hometown,” meant so much to this young man that he made a special effort to thank me.

It’s people like Michael who serve on behalf of those who don’t have a voice, who just want to have a normal peaceful life. I was happy to have the opportunity to say “Thank you, Michael, for putting your life in danger so that others may be free.”

So this holiday season, take a few moments and let someone in your life know how much a small gesture meant to you. You may just make their holidays a brighter, warmer time… like Michael did for me.

Have a great week, and if you’re in town, please stop by the Chalet and say hello!

P.S. – Treat yourself to an old-fashioned Christmas!

My daughter Brittany will be representing the Barnicotts at this year’s Christmas at the Village at Old Economy Village. We are participating for the first time with my paintings and gifts at this lovely show.

Take the family to experience a German Christmas of the 1800s with candlelit pathways and decorated buildings. You can even visit with Belsnickel – Santa’s Pennsylvania Dutch cousin!

Christmas at the Village will be open to the public from 2 to 9 pm on Saturday, December 1st and Sunday, December 2nd from 2 to 7 pm.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Chalet!

Thanksgiving is that wonderful time of year when I kick back and remember how grateful I am for all of you.

Every one of you has brought great joy into my life! Just knowing that you read my blog each week and you’re interested in keeping up with my family and my art career means so much to me. You are the reason I paint, whether it’s our beloved Pittsburgh, familiar landmarks… and of course, the Big Man himself, Santa.

So for this special holiday weekend – and that includes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, up until midnight on Cyber Monday – I’m hosting a sale on my website.

Anything and everything on my website is 10% off this weekend, with the added bonus of Free Shipping on orders over $100.00. Just enter the code GRATITUDE when you order.

P.S. –‘Tis is the season to be grateful for family and friends! Happy Thanksgiving from the Barnicotts.

Here We Go!

And so it begins…

We found all of the decorations. Then we bought a few more.

We boxed up hundreds of prints and giftware pieces, loaded them in the van, and brought them downtown.

All day long, we hung paintings, filled up my displays, and made sure everything was in place.

Why all the hard work? Because today is Day 1 of 38 days of holiday cheer at the annual Holiday Market in Market Square! The soft opening tonight (Thursday, November 15th) is mostly unadvertised. It’s sort of a dry run to make sure everything is in working order and the lights and decorations are ready for Light-Up Night on Friday (and of course for every day and every night after that until December 23rd).

Not many people know about the soft opening, so it won’t be nearly as busy as it will be tomorrow on Light-Up Night. Today’s your chance to enjoy the Holiday Market without the crazy Light-Up Night crowds that will be downtown on Friday.

Come visit me at my Chalet in Market Square today between 4 and 8 pm! You’ll not only avoid the crowds… but if you need more motivation, I’ll also take 15% off any purchase! Simply print out this blog post and present it at the Chalet. (The discount is available for today – November 15th – only.)

That’s right – everything that is in my chalet today is 15% off!

Not in town? Not a problem! I’m offering Free Shipping today for online orders. The banner is waiting for you on the main page of my website – check it out at www.lindabarnicott.com. Better hurry though – the free shipping offer ends at midnight on Thursday, November 15th.

I’d be happy to help you with your holiday shopping list. Hope to see or hear from you soon!

P.S. – If you think Santa looks excited about the Holiday Market, you should see Aria. She is all dressed up in her pink sunglasses to come downtown and visit Grandma’s chalet!

P.P.S. – Abigail and Autumn Update: Both babies are thriving and are still totally adorable in my completely unbiased opinion.

Ready or Not… Here Come the Holidays!

It seemed like Fall was playing games with us this year, and the leaves took forever to turn. But finally the fall foliage has arrived, filling our world with a plethora of beautiful colors. I was afraid we would miss out on that this year with all the unusual weather.

And now another sign of the changing of the seasons is coming our way…

It’s hard to believe, but in just one week, it’s time for my longest (and favorite) show of the year – the Pittsburgh Holiday Market in Market Square!

As they do every year, the Market will have a Soft Opening on the day before Light-Up Night. This year, that date is Thursday, November 15th. (Yes! That’s less than one week away!) Though it won’t be advertised, the Market will be open from 4 to 8 pm that evening. The reason for the soft opening is to test the lights and make sure all the bugs are worked out before the real Light-Up Night festivities begin.

Not many people actually show up because not many people know about it. So I’d like to invite you, my favorite customers, to join me downtown for a Soft Opening Jump Start Sale at my Holiday Chalet!  I’m offering a straight 15% off everything in my Chalet for my readers. Just print this email and bring it with you to my Chalet next Thursday between 4 and 8 pm. You can find me near the live stage.

What if you’re busy that night or out of town? I’ll save you the travel time and gas by offering Free Shipping on everything on my website for one day only – from 12:01 am, Thursday, November 15th, until 11:59 pm that night. Taking advantage of the one-day-only online free shipping isn’t quite as good as being there, but close enough! I’ll be happy to personalize your gifts if you just mention it with your order.

Many of you have asked about Santa’s schedule for the Christmas season. Listed below are the dates he will be at the Santa House in Market Square. Please bring your kids, your cousins, your nieces and nephews, your neighbors, your friends, your parents and grandparents, and especially YOURSELF and have a fun time together! If you purchase any of my Santa paintings, he may even be able to sign them.

11/17/18:             4 – 8 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
11/20/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
11/21/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square

11/24/18:             9 – 11 am, WPXI Holiday Parade
11/24/18:             4 – 8 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
11/26/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
11/27/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
11/28/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
11/29/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square

12/1/18:               4 – 8 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/3/18:               12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/4/18:               12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/5/18:               12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square

12/8/18:               4 – 8 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/10/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/11/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/12/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square

12/13/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/15/18:             4 – 8 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/19/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square
12/20/18:             12 – 3 and 4 – 7 pm, Santa’s House in Market Square

Before things get rolling at the Chalet next week, I have one more pre-holiday show on Saturday (November 10) at Bethel Presbyterian Church  in Bethel Park. I will be there in the auditorium from 9 am to 3 pm. If you’re in the neighborhood and want to check out a great craft show, please stop by!

Have a great week! I’m looking forward to seeing you or hearing from you this Holiday Season.