What’s New?

It’s full-on Home and Garden Show preparation time, and my living room and dining room are starting to look like a warehouse! We’re as busy as Santa’s elves in December, getting prints and giftware ready for the show. And like Santa himself, I’m making a list and checking it twice to make sure this show is epic!

Last week I asked if you had any guesses about what kind of new art gift I was creating for the show. I’ll have nearly 150 of them at the show for purchase. I hinted that it will show three classic pieces of mine, and you can hold it in your hand.

Well, here’s a sneak peek. It’s been a very long time since I’ve carried mugs. I decided to bring them back because I really fell in love with this design. Each mug holds a whopping 15 ounces! (More coffee? Yes, please!) They will be fully stocked in time for the show!

I’m also picking up another new line of art gifts tomorrow that I’m very excited about, but you’ll have to wait a little bit longer for that one. What I can tell you now is that you’ll love the color!

Because of the state of my house these days, it’s definitely not a good time to have company over for dinner. So instead we reached out to friends we met back in 1996 at the Home and Garden Show in the old Convention Center… you know, back when I was the only artist on the second floor, and my booth was inbetween the bathtubs and windows?

My friend and helper Sondra and I had stayed at the booth a little past closing time, and as we were wrapping up, a couple walking down our aisle stopped to talk to us. That was the day they acquired their first Barnicott painting, and since then, they’ve put together quite an impressive collection of my art.

Today Tom and I had the opportunity to visit their beautiful home. They’ve often mentioned how big their collection was getting; sure enough, it seemed like my art was just about everywhere but the furnace room! Their wonderful home is truly a reflection of their passion for life. I feel so honored and blessed to have known them all these years. They’re definitely the reason why I never leave a minute early from the Home and Garden Show, or any of my shows… because if I do, I might miss a dear friend whom I have yet to meet!

The Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show runs from March 3rd through March 12th down at the David L Lawrence Convention Center. Hope to see you there!

The First Sign of Spring In Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show is just over three weeks away, and things are already getting intense! I’m super excited that I’ve been invited to do an interview with KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live that will air on the first day of the show, March 3rd!

At this point, I’m one of the longest running exhibitors at the show as I celebrate my 27th year as an exhibitor. Just like last year, I’ll be in the same spot (Booth 3146/8) at the beginning of Artists’ Row. I’ll even be displaying some of my original paintings this year for the first time in over a decade. If you are a collector of original art, this is a great time to see the real deal!

The Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show at the David L Lawrence Convention Center runs from Friday, March 3rd through Sunday, March 12th. I promise you the joint will be hopping, and I’m not just talking about the Easter Bunny! I can’t wait to see you there!

Also, something new will be making its debut at my booth this year. I’ve been working on a special new art gift item that includes three classic pieces of mine that you can hold in your hand. Any guesses? Quantities are limited for now, but I’ll have over 100 of them at my booth available for purchase at the show.

Meanwhile, show preparations continue while I’m currently working on two painting commissions. I’m also sorting through ideas for my next Pittsburgh painting in 2023… but more on that later!

P.S. – Thank you for all the wonderful comments about our trip. It’s so tempting to jump on a plane and go back! Maybe I could be a street artist on the banks of the Seine? I know, I know, duty calls, and patience is a virtue. But I can dream, right?

Across the Pond and Home Again

I’m back in the States now, basking in the glow of the wonderful memories we made in the last two weeks. This was my first trip abroad, and it was everything I hoped it would be.

Tom and I were on our own (not with a tour), so we did a lot of exploring on our own to get a real taste of both England and France in the short time we were there. The architecture was spectacular, and the food was delicious! But Tom and I agreed that the best part was getting to know some of the people there. Whenever possible, with every personal interaction we asked their name and introduced ourselves. We loved hearing their accents, and naturally we hardly had to open our mouths before they knew we were Americans!

Even the weather cooperated with our plans – believe it or not, we only had about five minutes of rain the entire time we were in London and Paris.

Of course, visiting historic churches was on our to-do list! We attended Evensong at Westminster Abbey, a service that has been celebrated there for a thousand years. And in Paris we visited the beautiful 13th-century Sainte-Chapelle, marveling at the exquisite stained glass windows.

I couldn’t help taking a photo under UK Smile by a red phone booth. It seemed like the perfect way to represent my journey!

Here are a few of my impressions from my travels that I want to share with you…

England

  • “Mind the gap between the train and the platform” – this phrase is permanently stuck in my brain!
  • Steps everywhere! All the public restrooms were down a flight of stairs, and sometimes it was quite scary!
  • “Proper flat water” (What exactly is “improper” water?)
  • New buildings among some of the oldest buildings I’ve ever seen.
  • Energy amounts are listed under Nutrition Facts on the back of drink bottles.
  • Rarely does anyone talk on the Tube (subway).
  • London truly is a melting pot, with people of every nation and ethnicity.

France

  • Lots of bicycles everywhere!
  • Busy, just like NYC, where navigating the sidewalks is like playing chicken – no one wants to move out of the way first!
  • I failed at speaking any French, but they were kind enough to take pity on me and speak English.
  • History was everywhere in Paris, and the architecture was exceptional.
  • We had hoped to see Monet’s home and garden in Paris, but it was closed for the winter season. We had to “settle” for seeing the originals in the museum!
  • The Seine River was beautiful with all the riverboats and the vendors along the road.
  • I had crepes, and they were delicious!
  • Meals are very slow paced. Food isn’t just consumed, it’s celebrated. (Getting your check in a restaurant could be hard!)

It was inspiring, artistic, and certainly left us wanting more! Tom and I feel truly blessed that we had this chance. I hope it’s just the first of more trips to new and exciting places.

So returning to reality… today was my first day back in the studio. This week, I’ll be getting into the swing of things with my painting projects, not to mention getting ready for the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show that opens in just a little over a month!

P.S. – Check out my website, www.lindabarnicott.com, for gift ideas for birthdays, anniversaries, retirements… or just plain fun-to-gift pieces!

I See London, I See France…

During all those long, cold days at the Holiday Market, Tom and the girls and I had a lot of time to talk and dream dreams together. One topic that came up was travel. My oldest daughter Brittany and her friend have taken several memorable trips to Europe, and on a whim, I asked if they could find one that we might like…  and they did! A very reasonably priced trip, in fact.

So now Tom and I are leaving for a two-week European adventure in London and Paris!  I am SO EXCITED! We had always dreamed of visiting England, the home of Tom’s ancestors, and we decided the time was right to finally just do it. When I called our phone provider to get a travel plan for Tom’s phone, they asked if it was a vacation or a business trip. I said, “It’s a vacation, but I’m also an artist, so I don’t know… maybe a little of both?” I can’t wait to experience up close and in person those amazing sights that I’ve only seen in movies and on TV.

Then just as soon as we get back, it will be time to start getting ready for the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show in March. In fact, I’m already planning all the details. This will be my 27th year at the show! Am I getting old? (No – I’d rather think of myself as “well seasoned.”) Looks like I’ll be back in my traditional spot, which is Booth #3146-8. The 2023 show runs from March 3rd to March 12th at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center – less than two months from now! It may not feel like it today, but spring is right around the corner!

In other news, I have already accepted my last painting commission for 2023. I only take on a few private commissions each year because my focus is on painting new and different aspects of our beautiful city. However, I’m really looking forward to working closely with the families to create these new pieces, soft pastel paintings that will be around for centuries. (I don’t know about you, but that’s that part that boggles my mind!)

I hope you have a great week, and I’ll catch up with you when I return!

PS – I just picked up my framed original painting, “The Diamond Shines in Ligonier,” this week from my personal framer, Courtney-Laughlin Frame Studio and Gallery. Jamie and Kathy have closed the doors of their beautiful gallery as they move on to enjoy retirement and family. Jamie has been framing my original pastels since 1995. Though I’ll miss her remarkable talent, I’m happy for the both of them.

“The Diamond Shines in Ligonier” will live at my studio until it finds its forever home. Call, text or email if you know someone who is interested.

The Twelve Days of (Barnicott) Christmas

Happy New Year!

Here we are in 2023 with a whole new year ahead of us. I plan to do a lot of dreaming, planning, sketching, and painting. This year, I’ll be creating both commission work and fun Pittsburgh-themed paintings, and who knows… maybe even a new Santa painting for the holidays? I can’t wait to see what this year will bring.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were so beautiful this year! As you may know, the Holiday Market closed two days early because of the frigid weather. This gave us a couple of “bonus days” for more Christmas activities, and Tom and I have not slowed down since then.

Thanks to the extra time before Christmas, we were able to finish decorating, wrap all the gifts before Christmas Eve, and even go to two Christmas Eve church services. We actually had time to enjoy the glow of our Christmas tree and our decorations while listening to Christmas music, then wake up to watch our grandgirls open their gifts, followed by a wonderful holiday dinner.

In the last few years with the Holiday Market, we haven’t been home much in the five weeks prior to December 25th, and we miss out on a lot of holiday activities. So this year, we made a pledge that we were going to get out and make the most of all Twelve Days of Christmas!

The next day, it was off to the races! On the 26th, we spent the day and night bringing home all my art and gift items from the Chalet. And then once we get it all home, the fun really begins – putting everything back in its place!  Cleaning up the chalet always feels bittersweet, knowing that the excitement of having my own store and hanging out with so many old and new friends is over (until next time!).

First stop in our travels was the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron, Ohio – a highly recommended holiday attraction.  It was a fantastic experience seeing this fabulous mansion and its grounds all decked out for the holidays.

Next we were off to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden here in Pittsburgh. So many visitors to my Chalet mentioned that after their visit to the Holiday Market, they were heading to Phipps to see the lights.

The next day, we met our best friends in Hershey to take in the Hershey Sweet Lights together.

After driving home on Friday last week we had front row seats for dinner at Con Alma, a jazz club in downtown Pittsburgh.

Saturday night, we finished our whirlwind week at Dazzling Lights, a remarkable display of creativity and beauty at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden on Pinkerton Run Rd.

And of course, throughout the week, we’ve enjoyed driving around, seeing people’s homes decorated for the holiday, and listening to the traditional music that truly means Christmas for us.

Now that it’s over, of course I’ll miss the excitement of gathering together with family and friends. But as Charles Dickens once wrote… “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”

Thank you all who stopped by the Chalet this year and purchased my work or ordered by phone or online. I deeply appreciate your support and your fellowship.

May your new year be full of joy!

Christmas or Groundhog Day?

Right now, I’m sitting here taking a break from decking the halls at the Barnicott Studio and Art Gallery (aka my home). As we decorate and light our Christmas tree, I’m wondering (like I do every year!) how the season has passed by so quickly. I’m humming “Silent Night” and basking in Christmas joy.

This week was, in some ways, a tough one. I started to feel like I was in the movie “Groundhog Day” – like I was living the same day, over and over. And did I mention I was tired? I even woke up one morning and told Tom that I felt like I had “hit the wall,” as runners say. But I know those feelings of being overwhelmed are just that… feelings.

Really, though, the holiday season is my favorite time of year. Visiting with the folks who come down and shop at my Chalet, helping those who have ordered online, and spreading holiday cheer brings me tremendous happiness.

What I love best about the all-day/everyday part of the Holiday Market is looking into the eyes of the people on the other side of the counter and listening to their stories. It’s talking to a customer on the phone and hearing their enthusiasm. Or working with someone through emails to get just the right gift for someone special. For me, Christmas is all about sharing kindness and creating/nurturing relationships, savoring the smells and tastes of the season, and feeling the fresh air (even when it’s cold!). And most important of all, being together with those we love.

So although my tree is only half-done, presents still not wrapped, and no cookie-baking in my future, I am filled with pure delight thinking about my Chalet and friends old and new –including those I have yet to meet during this holiday season.

This week a dear friend of mine sent me a photo of how she displayed my painting, “Santa and the Greatest Gift.” The print, beautifully and simply framed, is displayed on her kitchen counter. As soon as I saw this photo, I started humming “Silent Night” again!

As we move into the final week before Christmas with all the hustle and bustle, I’m finishing up preparing my last mail orders. I’m still bringing new pieces to the Chalet every day to make sure shoppers can check off their gift lists for loved ones, co-workers, and friends.

If you’re in town, stop by! I’d love to see you!

Have a great week and enjoy every moment. I know I will!

The Perfect Thanksgiving – Turkey and Art!

Happy Thanksgiving!

First off, I want to express from the bottom of my heart the gratitude I have for all of you. It’s so fulfilling when I hear that you read my newsletters and follow me here and on social media. Being a minister’s wife, community has always been so important to me. I just hope that my art – and my antics – bring you joy every now and then.

So to say “Thanks for Everything” this holiday weekend, I came up with some exclusive offers, just for you, my loyal readers. Because not everyone can make it downtown to see me, I’m offering specials for both in-person and online shoppers.

For Online Shoppers 

As you know, the cost of shipping has gone up considerably. Many times I’ve actually had to pay more than the shipping price listed on my site (but that’s okay, because you’re worth it!). So this Thanksgiving weekend I’m offering FREE SHIPPING for orders over $100.00.

I’ll also include a little gift with your order – two free Christmas cards from my popular Santa Series (a $10.00 value) to send out to your loved ones or associates. Just use code THANKFUL22 at checkout.

Looking for a particular print, design, or gift item? Check out my website at www.lindabarnicott.com

For In-Person Shoppers

Purchase any four color metal ornaments here at my Chalet, and you’ll receive a fifth one free ($19.00 savings!). Also, for every two boxes of Holiday cards or note cards you purchase, you will receive an extra box free while supplies last ($24.00 savings)! Just show me this email to receive your gifts.

This Thanksgiving Gratitude Sale runs from Black Friday through Cyber Monday at midnight… Happy Shopping!

I have been blessed to be able to fully stock my color metal ornaments this season, with nearly 40 paintings to choose from. I’m so grateful to be able to share with you the abundance of gifts I have received. If you come down to the Holiday Market in Market Square this weekend, I would love the chance to thank you in person!

PS – Happy Thanksgiving from The Grandgirls!

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!