Buckle Up!

I need to hydrate and get some sleep while I can, because my 2022 Holiday Marathon officially begins this weekend!

First, my final indoor show for the year is this Saturday, November 12th.   (You know, the show before the one where I remain perpetually cold for five weeks?) I’ll be selling at the Bethel Presbyterian Church for a holiday vendor show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The church is located at 2999 Bethel Church Rd, Bethel Park 15102. I hope you’ll come visit me!

I’ve added many cool gift options for my new-for-2022 paintings, and I’ll be fully stocked on Saturday with all my new ornaments, magnets, and prints. I will even have a limited supply of brand-new thirsty stone coasters. (Shhhh! No one else knows I have them!)

But, as they say, there’s no rest for the weary – because right after the show closes on Saturday, Tom and I will be heading downtown to begin setting up for the Holiday Market in Market Square. Can you believe it’s that time again? How did a year pass so quickly?

The truth is, I can’t wait! I created four new paintings this year, and they will all be available at the Holiday Market.

I’ll also have new puzzles at my booth on Saturday, including the latest design that just came in yesterday, “A Holiday Tradition.”

Last year my puzzle of Kaufmann’s Clock was the big fan favorite… so what better to follow it up with than the Horne’s Tree?

If you’re interested in a puzzle, please try to see me earlier in the season rather than later – my inventory is limited to what I can get before the holidays.

If you can’t make the shows (indoor or outdoor!), check out my new Specialty Gifts on my website https://lindabarnicott.com/product-category/specialty-gifts/ So far, the pillows have been very popular… I love them too! They’re so soft and cuddly! And all my new ornaments are now up on my website, https://lindabarnicott.com/product-category/ornaments/

Looking forward to seeing you during my Holiday Marathon!

What’s New for Holiday ’22?

Remember how last year I sent out a survey asking my newsletter readers to let me know what kinds of gifts you would like to see featuring my artwork? Well, I then started diligently researching gifts that I could stand behind. I looked for items that were unique and well made, with vibrant colors, both fun and functional (because that’s just how I roll!).
In the end, I approved four new products that are now for sale on my website. They’re made to order, so please note the must-buy date to make sure you get them in time for the holidays. I hope you love them as much as I do!
I even made an unboxing video of me opening this box of goodies. It felt like Christmas! You’ll even see one item that I didn’t approve of. I am very honest about how I feel where my art is concerned.
You can find all of the new items here: https://lindabarnicott.com/product-category/specialty-gifts/
But wait – there’s more!
This week, I updated my website with all of my new ornaments and made sure we’ll be well stocked and ready for you, my customers! Last week I introduced “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store.” These 2.75” round ornaments are amazing, and the colors are vivid and intense so that whoever you gift it to will be sure to enjoy them for years to come. They’re made of durable metal – so no worries about breaking them! Each one has a pretty red ribbon to hang from the tree, and did I mention they were light? These little treasures definitely won’t weigh down the branches.
Check out the new ornaments on my website: https://lindabarnicott.com/product-category/ornaments/
After missing two years because of COVID, “A Christmas Affair” is back this Saturday, November 5th at the John McMillan Presbyterian Church (875 Clifton Rd, Bethel Park, 15102) from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. I really love this show, and I’m so excited that they’re back up and running for 2022! There will be a ton of vendors and lots of good food. I will be in the same room where I’ve always been (Room 9/11) and will have all my new ornaments and new prints with me.
If you can’t make it to “A Christmas Affair,” come see me at The Small Business Holiday Gift Shop, a benefit for the Washington City Mission in honor of Dave Auld. It’s located at the DoubleTree by Hilton at Meadow Lands from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday, November 6th. There will be free photos with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., so bring the children!
One more thing… can you believe it’s almost time for the Holiday Market in Market Square?
I just received notice today that I will be in the same Chalet where I was located last year. Mark your calendars – the market opens at 11 a.m. on November 18th and runs every day (except Thanksgiving) right up to the last minute on December 24th.

Ligonier’s Shining Diamond

So after a whirlwind weekend creating last week’s new release, “Santa’s Merry Wink,” did I take a break from the studio? No! Instead, I turned my sights to a new painting for Fort Ligonier Days. Of course, there’s a story here to be told!

Last year at the Holiday Market in Market Square, I struck up a conversation with a gentleman where the topic turned to Fort Ligonier Days. I mentioned that I had been set up in the Loyalhanna Lot for over a decade, where I enjoyed listening to the reenactments and visiting with several of the participants in their “really put-together” outfits. I even told him about how (as I mentioned in last week’s blog) I would jump every time the cannons fired. Honestly, it got me every time. And I mean E-V-E-R-Y time!

He mentioned that he helps organize the parade every year and that he would like to see me up in the Municipal Lot off North Market Street. So with his help, I’ll be enjoying my new space in Booths 19 and 20 this year.

Another topic we talked about at the Chalet was how happy they were with the look of the new Diamond (Ligonier’s town square) and that it would make a really nice painting. He sent me a few photos of some of the holiday decorations that they put up around the bandstand as well.

As I often do, I let the idea percolate in my brain all year. But even after the whirlwind painting of “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store,” followed immediately by “Santa’s Merry Wink,” I found out that The Muse wasn’t done with me yet.

Last week, Tom and I drove up to Ligonier to take some new photos of the detail around the square, and I matched them up with other photos I took last January. Though the original pastel isn’t very big (9” x 12”), I asked myself, “What if?” Could I paint a piece with so much detail in less than a week? Well, once again, I didn’t come out of my studio all week except to see my beautiful grandgirls.

Looking over the photos, I decided to include the wooden cut-out carolers because they reminded me of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” one of our family favorites. I also included the lovely shops that graced the background and the majestic Town Hall with its bell tower. I added the moon and lots of snow to make it sparkle. I even added something extra that you won’t see in the prints – a special treat for whoever purchases the original… a luminous pastel that adds a subtle, pretty shimmer to the snow.

Allow me to introduce my latest painting, “The Diamond Shines in Ligonier.” It’s available as a limited edition of 50 Artist-Enhanced Giclees (17.25” x 23”), as well as an open-edition 12″ x 16″ giclee print. Follow this link to order https://lindabarnicott.com/product/the-diamond-shines-in-ligonier/.

I’m excited to show you all my new paintings and new art gifts for the upcoming Holiday Season! For those of you who come out to see me at Fort Ligonier Days this weekend (October 14-16), I’ll also have new ornaments of all four of my 2022 paintings, including “Pittsburgh at First Light.”

Fort Ligonier Days is a big deal, and it just got a little bigger! Come join the fun and visit me at Booths 19 and 20, across from the YMCA!

Looking forward to seeing you there!


Am I an Overachiever?

No one has ever accused me of being an overachiever before, but I think I may be in danger of becoming one this year. Though I just released my latest painting, “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store,” it gave me an idea for another new painting that I couldn’t get out of my head. So I went right back into the studio.

As you know, I put our famous Santa in toy form in the S.W. Randall display window in “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store.” So I started thinking… “Why not do one more Jolly Old Elf painting?”

Well, last week, I rang up Santa and asked him if he would mind posing for me one more time. On Thursday, I flew up to the North Pole, where Santa very kindly welcomed me into his beautiful Christmas home, full of light and holiday splendor. And there we took on the challenge of creating “Santa’s Merry Wink!”

Poor Santa had to wink at least 200 times just to get the one perfect photo… and considering my lack of photography talent, it wasn’t all that perfect. But as the basis for an artwork, it was definitely good enough.

Sometimes inspiration is like a tidal wave, and that was the case for “Santa’s Merry Wink.” I printed the photo on Friday afternoon and started painting on Friday night. I finished the painting on Saturday night, refined it on Sunday, then dropped it off at the printer on Monday.

On Tuesday, I showed up at the studio to work with my printer to tweak the print to get it just right. But when I saw it for the first time, I knew that wasn’t going to be necessary, and I exclaimed, “Alex – it’s perfect!”  I thought he was going to cry. I’ve never said those words to any printer! Alex is just that good, but I think the way the painting came together was destiny.

You can get a better look at it on my website — https://lindabarnicott.com/product/santas-merry-wink/. . It’s an open edition and matches the size of my companion prints in the Jolly Old Elf Series (9” x 12” image size). It will also be available to the public for the first time along with “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store” at Fort Ligonier Days, October 14-16.

The originals for both paintings are still available. If you’re interested, send me an email or call 1.888.748.8278

Speaking of Fort Ligonier Days – I have a big announcement! I have been “promoted” up to the Municipal Lot, just north of the bandstand. I will be in Booth #19-20. As you can see in this photo, I’m standing in what will be my space with the YMCA just behind me. I’m glad I won’t be in the lot right next to the Fort this year… I used to jump every time the cannon fired!

I hope you can make it to see me in Ligonier next weekend. I would love to see you and show you all the fun new paintings I have to share this year!


Introducing “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you will consider adding this colorful, and charming painting to your collection. Check it out at https://lindabarnicott.com/product/santas-favorite-toy-store/ and order your print today!



Sneak Peek – “Santa’s Favorite Toy Store”

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

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

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

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

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

“Santa’s Favorite Toy Store” will be unveiled at the Mt. Lebanon Artist Market on October 1st and 2nd. Follow this link for more information about the show: https://mtlebopartnership.org/events/mount-lebanon-artist-market/

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

Remembering “The Immaculate Reception”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Distracted By Shiny Objects

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

And… there is a ton of news!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“First Light”/Last chance at 15% off!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where the Toys Are

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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