The Light at the End of the Tunnel (Vision)

The print of Linda Barnicott's new painting "Pittsburgh's Tunnel Vision" is created.

I have exciting news! After many long hours in the studio, my new painting, “Pittsburgh’s Tunnel Vision,” is finished!  With the Big Unveiling coming up in just one week, there was no time to sit back and relax.  The very next morning after finishing the painting, I headed off to my printer’s studio to make the prints.  Alex and I worked together all through the day, making sure we got the night sky and all of the reflective colors just right.  But that wasn’t all that had to be done on a tight schedule.  There were so many moving parts that had to come together before next weekend – including certificates of authenticity, brass plates for the frames, sending the image files to different printers, and then shipping the prints off to the framer.

Alex Patho, printer, works on Linda Barnicott's new painting "Pittsburgh's Tunnel Vision." Alex Patho, printer, works on Linda Barnicott's new painting "Pittsburgh's Tunnel Vision."

After all was said and done, our hard work paid off, and “Pittsburgh’s Tunnel Vision” is all set for its big debut at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show next Friday (March 6) at 10 a.m.  As usual, you can find me at Booth #3146-8.  If you’re thinking of attending the show, make sure to stop by and say hello!

If you’ve been reading each week, you’ll remember I promised a special deal for my faithful readers…  so while I was working with my printer and occupied with all those things I mentioned above, I had my IT team working on one last detail.  I had them create a special offer page on my website – if you order a print of “Pittsburgh’s Tunnel Vision” between now and March 5th, you’ll receive $25.00 off each print… and did I mention FREE SHIPPING?  Visit https://lindabarnicott.com/product/pittsburghs-tunnel-vision/ and simply add the code PRESALE at checkout to claim your exclusive discount.

In my description of the painting on the presale page, I called it the “Grand Entrance into the city.” I chose those words very carefully – now that my Jolly Old Elf Series is finished, I feel like “Pittsburgh’s Tunnel Vision” is my own grand (re-) entrance as I return my focus to painting my hometown. Judging from the positive feedback I’ve already received, I couldn’t have chosen a better place to start than painting this iconic scene. I hope you all enjoy the view!

It’s never a dull moment for me, as I now turn my attention to Home and Garden Show set-up week.

See you at the Home Show!

I’m In The Zone

This image is an in progress image of Linda Barnicott's newest painting. The image features Linda Barnicott painting.

Today is one of those rare winter days in Pittsburgh, beautiful and sunny.  Too bad I’m “In The Zone” – holed up here in my studio and obsessed with my new painting.  Since I last wrote to you, eating, sleeping and everyday life in general have been on hold. I’ve hardly looked up from my painting to notice the weather or anything else. For all I know, we could be in the middle of a blizzard!

I call it Being In The Zone because when I’m painting, I inhabit a creative dimension where time doesn’t exist, at least until I’m reminded that many hours have passed since the last time I ate or slept or took a bathroom break… and I also forgot to make dinner, pay the bills, and order supplies for the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show. As you can tell from my photo, I have my nose to the grindstone – and I love it!

This image is an in progress image of Linda Barnicott's newest painting. It shows a number of downtown Pittsburgh buildings, a barge, the Fort Pitt bridge, and the river. This image is an in progress image of Linda Barnicott's newest painting. It shows a number of downtown Pittsburgh buildings and the river.

So here’s the latest on my progress on “Pittsburgh’s Tunnel Vision.” As you can see, it’s really coming along.  Painting the bridge has been especially intense – not only is it the focal point of the painting, but trying to get all the “hide-and-seek” spots between the different parts of the structure has been challenging.  What do you think so far?

There’s already been a lot of excitement around the painting, and it’s not even finished yet! Believe it or not, the original painting has already been sold.  A Pittsburgh expat (former South Hills resident) who has always loved that magnificent view from the Fort Pitt tunnel asked to purchase it after seeing only the sketch, the underpainting and a few buildings. I’m truly honored and will do my very best to justify his faith in me!  I pray that when it’s finished it will be a piece he’ll be proud to own.

I’m hoping you will also be happy to own a print of “Pittsburgh’s Tunnel Vision.”  I’ve already heard from quite a few of you who would like to pre-order the print once the painting is completed.  Details should be available by this time next week.

For those of you who want to claim your print now, look for a special pre-order offer before the unveiling at the Home Show on March 6th.

And while we’re talking about saving money, watch this space!

The Life of an Artist

This image features Linda Barnicott's granddaughters, Abigail and Autumn (age 18 months), drawing together on a sheet of paper.

People often ask me what an artist’s life is like… questions like where do I get my ideas?  And what does an artist do all day anyway (other than hanging out in Parisian cafes while wearing a beret)? Do I paint every day? And if so, how much?

As an independent professional artist, how I spend my days depends entirely on the season.  I’m likely to spend the most time in my studio in the Spring, which is when I create a lot of my new paintings.  Summertime is my big season for outdoor events and art fairs, then September kicks off my busiest time of the year with fall festivals and holiday shows (sometimes multiple shows each week), which of course lead up to my big event of the year – the Holiday Market in downtown Pittsburgh. So once Labor Day hits, not much painting gets done. In fact, I always say, if a painting’s not finished by November 1st, it may never get done… the holiday season is so crazy with shows, events and keeping up with orders, I rarely get any studio time.

Then once January rolls around, all I want is some downtime. However, this year that just wasn’t in the cards.  I got a few days to recharge, and it was off to the races again.  There was the usual inventory, paperwork and all the year-end stuff… but then it was time to get back to my favorite part of being an artist, dreaming again of painting – and of course, focusing on the build to the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show!

The image is the logo for the 39th Annual Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show.

That’s right!  In Pittsburgh, who needs a groundhog to tell us Spring is on its way when we can just look around and see the Home & Garden Show billboards? I’m already counting down to the big move-in at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, just a couple weeks away. The dates of this year’s show are March 6th through the 15th, and as always, you can find me at Booth 3146-8.

Believe it or not, this will be my 26th year as an exhibitor!  I still remember those early years when I was the only artist on the second floor amongst the windows and hot tubs and Amish sheds. Now there’s a whole section just for artists, and I have a double corner booth, front and center at the beginning of the artists’ aisle.  Since I’ve been there since the beginning, you might say I myself am a Home and Garden Show “original!”

Speaking of originals… I’ve been working all week with my soft pastels on my latest painting of the view from right above the Fort Pitt Tunnels.

As promised, here’s an update on my progress.  I’m happy to say it will be ready for unveiling in time for the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show!

This image features a close up of one of the downtown Pittsburgh building's in Linda Barnicott's newest painting. This image is an in progress image of Linda Barnicott's newest painting. It shows a number of downtown Pittsburgh buildings, a barge, and the river. This image is an in progress image of Linda Barnicott's newest painting. It shows a number of downtown Pittsburgh buildings, a barge, and the river.

So what do you think of the title, “Pittsburgh’s Tunnel Vision”?  As you know, I’ve wanted to paint this scene for many years, and I’ve always referred to it in my mind as “Tunnel Vision.”  Then, last week Tom and I were playing with different title ideas, and lo and behold, a dear friend also referred to it as Tunnel Vision…  so it looks like it was meant to be.

The Home Show is going to be here in no time, so I’d better get off the computer and back to the studio!

Have a great week!

Tunnel Vision

This image features Linda Barnicott and her husband, Tom.

Sorry I’ve been off the radar for the last couple weeks – I’ve been very busy doing Artist Things!  Also, Tom and I took a much-needed four-day weekend break to recharge.  We visited Pennsylvania Dutch Country and stayed in the lovely old town of Strasburg at the historic Limestone Inn, built in 1786.  It’s almost like having a time machine!

Yet as much as we appreciated the time away, I still couldn’t wait to come home and get started on my new painting.  As you may remember, I recently asked my readers for suggestions for a subject for my next project.  I loved hearing your thoughts, and I got some excellent ideas for new Pittsburgh paintings.  In fact, some of you touched on an idea that has been percolating in my mind for some time now… a scene that I’ve wanted to paint ever since I first started painting Pittsburgh.

So here’s how I came up with the idea for my new project:

As you may know, Tom and I started out in a long-distance relationship. On my first visit to Pittsburgh in 1977 (our first Pittsburgh “date!”), Tom picked me up at the airport.  We drove along the Parkway toward Downtown past green rolling hills and farms, and I had no idea what was on the other side of that tunnel.  Tom (probably intentionally) never gave me a hint that I was about to experience that first-time visitor “wow” moment.

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about…

As we emerged from the dimness of the Fort Pitt Tunnel, instead of more trees and hills, I found myself immersed in an incredible panorama exploding in front of me – a cityscape of steel and bridges and rivers shimmering in the sunlight.

Sometime later, after I had become a “real” Pittsburgher, the tunnels were under construction.  It was a perfect opportunity to go out there and take a few photos, but for some reason I didn’t take advantage of it.  I always regretted it, and I’ve been thinking about painting that scene ever since.

Flash forward to 2019… just a few months ago, a photographer friend of mine, Emmanuel, was showing me some photos on his phone, and he happened to have one with the exact view that I’d been imagining painting for all those years.  I have to tell you, I got goosebumps! I’m not sure I’ve ever hugged anyone that hard.

From that moment, I knew what my next painting would be.  Emmanuel sent me several photos from his shoot from the top of the tunnels, and I’ve been able to combine different elements from his work with my own twist in the final composition.

This image shows three separate photos of Linda Barnicott's new painting of Pittsburgh: a sketch, the underpainting, and a close of up of one of the buildings

So suffice to say, I’m hard at work on this project, and I’m hoping to be able to share the finished painting at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show next month. (Yes – more reliable than the groundhog, the Home and Garden Show – March 6 through 15 at the David L Lawrence Convention Center – is the true sign that Spring is coming to Pittsburgh!)

I’m starting a list for pre-orders, so if you’re interested, please email me at linda@lindabarnicott.com

After Santa…What’s Next?

This image shows Linda Barnicott's original painting "All Aboard with Santa" above the mantel in her home.

Welcome to Makeover Week at the Barnicott household!

With original paintings departing for their new homes and the need to create some order in my chaotic studio and store room, my focus has been on redecorating and reorganization for the new year.

Two big holes in my home gallery opened up this week – my original pastel painting of Heinz Field is vacating its space above my mantel and leaving for its new home in Florida, and the original “All Aboard with Santa” is also on its way to its new owner.  So now a big decision had to be made – choosing from my other existing originals to fill those empty spaces.  For one of them, we decided the honor would go to “Pickle Fun in Pittsburgh” (painted in July 2019), my tribute to Picklesburgh.

This image shows Linda Barnicott's original painting "Pickle Fun in Pittsburgh" hanging on the wall in her home.

Over the weekend, Tom and I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and tackled the project of organizing the terrible mess I left behind in my storage area over the holiday season.  Candles, prints, and ornaments (and a lot of other things) were literally piled up everywhere, and empty boxes were literally stacked to the ceiling.  Walking through my studio and stock room was a really claustrophobic experience – it felt like the walls were closing in (because they literally were).

Tom is always understanding – he realizes that I need to go through a “nesting period” before I can paint again.  It took a lot of hard work and the better part of the weekend, but now my studio, stock room and storage areas are all nice and organized, which means I’ll be back to work in the studio again very soon.  Of course, that means I have to decide on a subject for my next painting.

Here’s the problem…  for the last five years, my primary focus has been on my (now complete) Jolly Old Elf Series, which has been a highlight of my career and one of my most successful projects.  So after Santa, what’s next?  I want to turn my attention back to painting Pittsburgh in 2020, and with so many potential subjects and themes, I can’t decide where to begin.  There’s so much to paint and so little time!

So my question for you, dear readers, is this – what would you like to see in my next Pittsburgh-themed painting?  Is there a particular place in our town that has special meaning for you or simply brings you joy?

Send me your ideas for my next Pittsburgh painting – I would love to hear your suggestions!

But Wait, There’s More!

This image features Linda Barnicott, her husband, and granddaughters posing with Santa Claus.

With just a few days to go until the New Year begins, I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season!

The Barnicotts have had an especially delightful Christmas this year… especially compared to last year, when Christmas was still a work day for Tom, and poor Autumn spent the night at the hospital. But the best part this year was when we were gifted with a visit from Santa Claus himself on Christmas Eve.  Santa was kind enough to make an unscheduled stop (in the daytime!) on his busiest day of the year, and Aria was beyond excited that Santa actually came to Grandma’s and Bop-Bop’s house.  Naturally, we all had to pose for a picture with him to prove it!

If you look in the background, you’ll see one of Santa’s portraits over our mantel as well.  In January, that original painting will be going to a new home with one of my collectors. I’ll be sad to see it go… guess I’ll just have to paint something to take its place! (Fortunately, I’m an artist, so I can do that, right?)

This image provides information about Handmade Arcade's Winter Market in Market Square taking place December 28-31 from 11AM-6PM each day.

But before I go back to the studio again – and for the first time in the history of the Holiday Market in Market Square – we will be opening our Chalet doors one more time tomorrow through New Year’s Eve. From Saturday, December 28th through Tuesday, December 31st, we will be open for business from 11 am to 6 pm each day under the banner of Handmade Arcade!

Not only are there four more days to enjoy the festive Holiday Market, but for me personally there was an added bonus – this was the first year I didn’t have to break down the Chalet on Christmas Eve… so I was actually awake for the holiday!  Maybe that’s another reason this year felt like the perfect Christmas?

It means a lot to me that so many of you stopped by during the holiday season to purchase artwork or just to say hi. Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.  May 2020 be your best year yet!

Happy Holidays!

Linda

What’s My #1 Holiday Best Seller?

This image shows Santa Claus standing inside Linda Barnicott's chalet at the Peoples Gas Holiday Market in Market Square, Pittsburgh

Here we are already on December 13, with Christmas just 12 days away.  It has been a real pleasure to visit with so many people at my Chalet in Market Square, from my loyal readers who have been with me through many holiday seasons to new friends and fans… some of whom were just wandering through Market Square, and one of my paintings caught their eye, triggering memories of times gone by.  One of my favorite things about this season is hearing stories about how my paintings remind you and your loved ones of heartwarming memories.

Can you guess which one of my paintings (and its associated giftware) was my biggest seller in 2019? You’re probably thinking it’s one of my paintings of The Point, or maybe a Kennywood scene, or maybe a sports-themed piece… but you would be wrong!

In 2019, my best-selling image was “Hills is Where the Toys Are,” starring Pittsburgh Dad!

That’s right!  I painted a big box store, and people love it! The Hills print and candle get a great reaction from folks as they browse at the Chalet … one sniff of the candle, one glimpse of that iconic Hills sign, and they say it takes them right back to the old days with popcorn and Icees and picking up the Christmas layaway.

This image features Linda Barnicott's new painting "Santa's Woodland Christmas"

The runner-up, however, will not surprise you at all!  Prints and gifts of “Santa’s Woodland Christmas,” the final painting in my Jolly Old Elf series, have been flying off the shelves (and walls).  Visitors to the Chalet have commented on the lovely shades of blue (a departure from the usual Christmas red and green), but especially how they love the happy little critters in the scene.  (Check out the cardinal sitting on the reindeer’s antler!)  In fact, Santa himself stopped by to see me at my Chalet this week to say hello and to admire his latest painting!

I still have two of the “Santa’s Woodland Christmas” 12 x 16″ metal pieces available, as well as prints of all sizes, candles, ornaments and magnets.

The image shows a close up of Linda Barnicott's new throw blanket featuring her painting "Shhh!" Santa Claus is holding his bag of toys while standing beside a Christmas tree.

Speaking of Santa, I’ve had so many compliments on my 2019 limited-edition Shhhh! Santa throw blankets, especially when people see it in person.  Only a few are left, and once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.  So if you or someone special would love this warm and snuggly art blanket, don’t wait!

And of course, the Chalet is well stocked with my ornaments, magnets, 8 x 10″ prints and more.  I’ve been selling a lot of the Heinz Field prints and gifts this year, still a fan favorite, and one of mine as well – in fact, I have the original in my home gallery.

Finally, if you’re in need of corporate gifts, teacher gifts, grab bags, or what have you, I’ll be here in Market Square until Christmas Eve!  As always, I’m happy to sign my prints and gifts on request and personalize them for you or the recipient.

This image shows Linda Barnicott standing in front of her chalet at the Peoples Gas Holiday Market in Market Square, Pittsburgh.

So I hope you’ll consider one of these best sellers as you finish up this year’s holiday gift shopping!

PS – If you’re thinking of ordering online, my Postal Elves have informed me that 9:30 pm tonight (12/13) is the deadline for guaranteed Christmas delivery through the USPS.

PPS – Though you can still order them, artist-enhanced giclee prints require an extra step in preparation and therefore aren’t available for Christmas delivery.

Second Annual Studio Trunk Show and Open House – This Weekend Only!

This image shows information about Linda Barnicott's 2019 Studio Open House and Trunk Show on November 15, 16, 17, 2019.

Holiday shopping can sometimes be a chore… but there will never be a better way to shop than at my Second Annual Holiday Trunk Show!  This is my event with the most intimate setting – here in my own home studio – with light refreshments, big savings, and good company.  If you’re in the Pittsburgh area this weekend, you’re invited to drop by for art, food, conversation, and a painless way to take care of some holiday gift shopping… all kinds of happiness!

To get ready for the big event, Tom and I have been turning our home into a winter showcase. We have been having fun decorating and setting up. We would love for you to come see it!

Linda Barnicott's husband, Tom, constructs a bin for her Second Annual Studio Open House and Trunk Show taking place November 15th, 16th, and 17th

Tomorrow (Friday) is Preview Night, my biggest sale before the holidays, where you can take 20% off anything in the show. That’s right… everything from magnets to original paintings and anything in between (excluding my Super Savers, which are already marked at 40% off).  You’re welcome to stop by anytime between 7 and 9 pm.

On Incentive Saturday, I’m offering percentage discounts – the more you spend, the more you save! Show hours are 10 am to 1 pm.

Finally, the fun day, Mystery Sunday… Last year was a hoot! Each visitor gets a card, and no one goes away without something special. Try your luck this year and see what you will receive!  Come visit us any time between 12 and 3 pm.

An image of Linda Barnicott's living room set up for her Second Annual Studio Open House and Trunk Show.

My dream is that this year’s Trunk Show will be as successful as last year’s.  Our family sure had a ton of fun, and we would love to make this an annual Barnicott tradition.  So please come on over to my Trunk Show this weekend for fantastic art and gift bargains, good company, and yummy snacks.  You may even learn to enjoy holiday shopping!

Happy Holidays!

P.S. – New location this year in Brentwood – plenty of on-street parking!

3211 Brownsville Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15227

RSVPs encouraged (but not mandatory) on my Facebook page!

Studio Trunk Show and Open House… This Weekend Only!

This image shows information about Linda Barnicott's 2019 Studio Open House and Trunk Show on November 15, 16, 17, 2019.

My Studio Trunk Show and Open House is back!

Last year I held an event where I invited my subscribers and customers to come visit my studio/home gallery… and with deep discounts and special sales of my artwork and giftware to boot! The feedback from the attendees was so positive (and I had such a fantastic time hosting it!) that I’ve decided to make it an annual event.

This year’s Open House event will take place at my new home/studio in Brentwood on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 15th-17th.

Items for sale will include everything from originals, prints, and gifts to one-of-a-kind pieces, including some of my “odds and ends,” and even “scratch and dent” pieces!

There will be something new each day… and here’s what you can expect:

Friday (November 15) is Preview Night.  From 7 PM to 9 PM, you can take 20% off any and all merchandise in the show – INCLUDING ORIGINALS!  (Excludes pieces already discounted as “Super Savers.”)

Saturday (November 16) is Incentive Day.  Come visit and browse from 10AM to 1PM to take advantage of percentage discounts – the more you spend, the greater the savings!

Feeling adventurous? On “Mystery Sunday” (November 17), I’ll be featuring unadvertised Mystery Specials that won’t be announced until the day of the show.  Stop by between 12 PM and 3 PM for some amazing deals!

I’m so excited about my Second Annual Trunk Show and Open House! Hope to see you there…

RSVP on my Facebook page!

The Big Reveal(s)

This image features Linda Barnicott posing in front of her new murals at Forbes Hospital

Yet another action-packed week as the holiday season gets underway…

This week marked the final chapter of an art commission that I’ve literally been working on for years. Remember the Forbes Hospital Project? The one I used to mention but couldn’t share much about it because I was sworn to secrecy. I was commissioned to paint five panels that told the story of Forbes Hospital, its history and its people, and Monday evening I attended a celebration at Forbes Hospital in Monroeville for the great unveiling!  I was really excited but so nervous, as I was asked to get up and speak about each of the panels as they were revealed.

In this image, Linda Barnicott points out different features of her murals lining the walls of Forbes Hospital in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

Today I received an email from the hospital that meant so much to me:

“I told you I would drop you a note in a few days to provide some feedback.  I am happy to say that I have heard nothing but rave reviews!!!  There has been so much excitement and conversation outside my office and many of our staff have poked their heads in to let us know how wonderful it is!  Employees are commenting on the beautiful pastel colors, the talent of the artist to sketch to such likeness and they seem to really like the story that it portrays.  I hear laughter and “I remember him… what was his name?”

Thank you for your passion and dedication to this project, Linda.  You did an amazing job!”

So now that the hospital project is put to bed, allow me to update you on another big project of mine that I’ve been teasing for a while…

This image features Linda Barnicott's new painting "Santa's Woodland Christmas"

Speaking of Big Reveals… “Santa’s Woodland Christmas” is finally finished!  Soon it will be available for sale on my website, but in the meantime, I wanted to show you how well it turned out. I hope you like it as much as I do!

At this time of year, I don’t have much time to relax. This weekend, I’ll be out and about for holiday shows.  On Saturday, November 9, you can come see me at the Holiday-A-Fair at Bethel Presbyterian Church in Bethel Park from 9 am until 3pm.

Then on Sunday, November 10, from 11 am to 4 pm, I’ll be joining Wendell August Forge in Grove City, showing my art and gifts to help them launch their holiday season.

One of my newest events – one that was very successful last year – my Second Annual Open House/ Trunk Show is scheduled for the weekend of November 15-17 here at my home Gallery-Studio in Brentwood. (Final details on that soon!)

And then… hard to believe it’s almost here already – just a few days after that is Opening Day for the 2019 Holiday Market in Market Square on Thursday, November 21!

It’s a crazy time of year, but I love it!

I love painting memories that bring happiness to your heart, and I hope you’ll want to share my art with your family and friends in this holiday season and the coming year. I’m always happy to personalize each and every gift and sign and date the art to help make it extra special.

So as you’re making your Christmas or Holiday gift list, I hope you’ll stop by one of my shows to say hello and allow me to be of service to you.