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!