Partying with Pittsburgh’s Pickle People

The completed version of Linda Barnicott's newest painting "Pittsburgh Parties at Picklesburgh"

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day…

I know rain is good for the flowers, but enough is enough!

For me, there’s an upside to all this wet weather. It keeps me indoors, and that means more painting time to finish my latest pastel piece.

But before I get into telling you about my new painting, I’m going to share a little bit of personal history…

Anyone who has met me in real life knows that my teeth are… let’s just say they’re somewhat more front and center in my face than is the case for most people. My husband says he married me for my smile (yes, I’m a lucky woman!).  As an adult, my “unique” smile is somewhat of a trademark, part of my brand. However, back when I was a kid in grade school, those teeth really got in the way.

The first thing I remember wanting to be when I grew up was a ventriloquist. I thought I was so talented because I could talk without moving my lips! Unfortunately, my teachers didn’t agree, and off I went to speech class to work on my m’s, p’s and b’s. Sadly, my original career goals were not to be, so I went with my second choice and became an artist instead.

Fast forward to the present… As I was finishing up my latest painting, Tom and I were going back and forth about the title, experimenting with some word play using the words Pittsburgh and Picklesburgh. Maybe it was because of all those speech therapy classes, but I was fixated on all those “P” words – partying on the Clemente Bridge, pickle eating contests, pickle ice-cream, pickle drinks, and of course, Pittsburgh Pride.

Suddenly, it came to me — “Pittsburgh Parties at Picklesburgh!” Not just a title, but a pretty good tongue twister as well.  As my dad used to say, “Try saying that three times, fast.” If I had pursued my first career choice, I definitely could!

I have to say that the process of working through this painting was a lot of fun. I started by heading downtown to do a little research, getting an idea of what I wanted the painting to look like and what l wanted to include. In the end, the final composition included the Clemente Bridge, the Heinz Pickle, Downtown Pittsburgh in the background, and of course, a crowd of vendors and Pittsburghers who are crazy about pickles!

(So crazy, in fact, that Picklesburgh has been named America’s #1 Specialty Food Festival for 2019!)

Once I had my composition in mind, I started with a sketch, which I then transferred to museum pastel board and did a quick watercolor wash to set the stage…

A sketch and under-painting of Linda Barnicott's newest painting "Pittsburgh Parties at Picklesburgh"

Then I completed it in pastel chalks…

A progression of Linda Barnicott's newest painting "Pittsburgh Parties at Picklesburgh"

Can you guess what my favorite part of the painting is? If you guessed the giant pickle, you’re right. I feel like it jumps right off the canvas!

Picklesburgh runs from July 26th to July 28th, and I’m excited to say that I’ll have my booth right in the middle of the Picklesburgh action. I’m even creating some new awesome gifts and prints just for the occasion.

If you’re interested in the painting or prints, just email me at I’ll be sure to get back to you and let you know the details.

Perhaps I should promote it as a pastel painting of Picklesburgh, Pittsburgh’s positively perfect pickle party…possibly in perpetuity?