Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Secrets of “Coasting Through Kennywood”

People ask me a lot of different questions about my art, but the one I get the most is "Which one of your paintings is your favorite?"

In fact, I do have a favorite… one very special painting in my own private collection that will never be for sale!  It’s called “Coasting Through Kennywood.” Why is it the one piece that means the most to me?  Because there are three personal stories related to that painting that make it the one that is closest to my heart.
  • Back in 1997, I’d been painting Kennywood for three years.  After two years at the Grand Victorian Festival, admiring the view from my tent on the corner by the bridge, I decided my next Kennywood subject would be painting the Jack Rabbit and the Racer coasters from a viewpoint across the lake.

    I loved that view because once upon a time, Tom and I stood there on that bridge in the summer of 1977 on our first real Pittsburgh date.  As we looked into each others’ eyes, I told him I’d had dreams about us getting engaged and married.  In one dream, the engagement ring was a gaudy plastic ring from a bubblegum machine!  In the other dream, we tried to get married at a Justice of the Peace, but a couple coming out suggested we go to a church because they felt that being married by a judge was so impersonal.

    Tom just gave me an odd look, and without saying a word, walked away. I was crushed!  Obviously my hints didn’t work… did I blow it?  Later he told me that he was actually trying to get up the guts to ask me to marry him, and I just surprised him a bit!  (Of course, there was a happy ending!  He was able to get the courage to ask me later – about five minutes before my flight back to Philadelphia the next day!   :)
  • Another fun story about this painting is that when I sketched it out, I drew the old-style aluminum boats, as those were the ones used back when we were dating.  The number 22 on the front-and-center rowboat is also very significant to us.  At that time, ours was a long-distance romance, and Tom was visiting me in New Hope, PA, where I was working on an art project.  One day we visited a little ice-cream shop we found in the woods, and when Tom received his change, we were shocked to see the number “22” written on the dollar bill.

    Why was that so surprising?  At age 20, Tom sold shoes back home at South Hills Village, and his sales number was 22. He had a habit of writing “22” on the bills he earned from sales on any given night.  Somehow this bill had miraculously found its way back into his hands all the way on the other side of the state at a little ice cream shop in the woods on our very first date!  So that’s why I immortalized #22 on one of the boats in my painting.
  • The third story is about the people in the painting.  As I often do, I put some of my favorite people in this painting.  The folks in boat #22 are best friends and actually modeled for me on a picnic bench in their backyard with an old broom and a broken hoe for oars.  Also, Tom and the girls are front right – it may not be easy to recognize them, but I did the best I could, considering the small size!

I hope you enjoyed my story!  We’re down to the wire as I close down my studio to pack for our move.  But did I mention that I’m still painting?  I may even have something new to show you next week!

Best to you,


P.S. – For the first time in 19 years, I will NOT be at Kennywood's Celebrate America next month.  Unfortunately, the first day of the show, July 1st, is our Moving Day.  

I will, however, be appearing at the Westmoreland County Arts and Heritage Festival (aka Twin Lakes) on July 3rd through 6th from 11 to 8 pm.  Stop by and see me at Booth #94!  I promise I’ll have lots of new stuff to show you!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Huddling with the Steelers

Hi, it's Linda!

I can’t wait to tell you about the extraordinary experience I just had at Heinz Field with Franco Harris!  

Wednesday night, I filmed an episode of the KDKA-TV show, “Steelers Huddle” in front of a live audience… there was even a band!  Bob Pompeani and Chris Hoke were also there, and we all talked about my painting, "Franco Harris - The Immaculate Reception Story."  

The crowd cheered and clapped when I mentioned how important the fans – all of you – are to Franco, and how he wanted to make sure that the fans were included in the painting.  Franco also wanted to make sure that the painting would be affordable for anyone who would want to invest in it, so we created options at all pricing levels:  On my website,, I’m offering:

·         Postcard sets at $19.95
·         Lithographs at $39.95
·         Limited-edition artist proofs (hand-signed by Franco himself) at $250.00
·         Artist-enhanced limited-edition giclee prints (hand-signed by Franco) at $600.00

I hope you’ll watch me with Franco and my other co-stars on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (November 30th) at 11:30 PM on KDKA!  I will be live tweeting that night as well. So don't forget to follow me on twitter @lindabarnicott.

Best to all of you,


P.S. I will be at 2 PPG all day today, Friday, November 22nd, for Light Up Night. Beginning Saturday, you can find me at the Chalets in Market Square every day until December 23rd. I am close to the walkway to the PPG skating rink. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Out and About – A Very Artsy Weekend

A good time at The Pink Pamper event
On Saturday night, I appeared at The Pink Pamper event (a women-helping-women fundraiser) at Macy's in South Hills Village Mall, where I signed my new Kaufmann's Clock piece from Wendell August Forge.   Once again, W.A.F. has done an amazing job creating my artwork on metal!  I also introduced my new ornaments for Christmas 2013 – Three new Pittsburgh ornaments and three new Kennywood ornaments will soon be available on my website,
This weekend I also enjoyed the perfect weather (always great for an outdoor show!) and visited the Shadyside Arts Festival , where I’m thinking of exhibiting next year.  I was impressed with how many national artists were participating, and several of the artists were local friends and colleagues.

"A Snowy Evening at the Benedum"
Finally, I want to share a special story with you… last week, I received a phone call from Jean, whose son had found my artwork on the Internet.  Her birthday was coming up, and her family wanted to buy her one of my original paintings of a memory they all shared with her and her husband.  Each year, they would travel downtown to the Benedum as a family and see the shows.  This created a lifelong love of the theater, and now they share this love with their children.  Jean was thrilled to take home this one-of-a-kind painting and hang it in a space where she will enjoy it every day.
My originals are very special to me.  Though there are many prints of the Benedum, there is only one original.  They are vibrant and alive, with a look all their own.  I often tell clients who visit my studio, "My originals get to live here until they find a happy home."

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Home Show starts today!!

The Home & Garden Show starts today at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The show runs from March 1st to March 10th -- and I'll be there the whole time.  My booth number is 3146.

After the whirlwind that was the Holiday Market, this show should be a breeze. Right?

Make sure to stop by and check out all of my new items. I'm most excited about my two all new sports pieces.

For you Penguins fans, I have an one of a kind original Sidney Crosby portrait. This painting will not be available in print form, so it will be gone before you know it. I've wanted to paint Sid for a while now, and I'm very happy with how it turned out.

Franco Harris signing the first batch of prints

And Steelers fan, make sure to pick up your copy of "Franco Harris - The Immaculate Reception Story." This piece captures the thrilling moments surrounding the 1972 play that would go down in Pittsburgh sports history forever. And each painting is signed by Franco Harris!!

I'm really excited about the next 10 days & I hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Back from my winter hiatus!

Hi everyone!

I apologize for the long period of radio silence.  December (and even some of January) took me by surprise.  Usually my holiday season is busy, but previous years have been nothing in comparison to this year. 

The Holiday Market, Kennywood, the Franco Harris painting all happening at the same time led to some crazy (but amazing) times.


But now I'm back, and will strive to post as regularly as possible.  I look forward to sharing the experiences of the past two months with you. 

I'm working on a couple of posts right now -- I really want to share the whole Franco experience with you as well as delve into some other details surrounding my work.

Thanks for following me and, as always, please leave any comments or questions.

Monday, December 3, 2012

10 must see websites for pastel artists

Today I want to focus on the business side of the art industry.  I have been so lucky to have the resources to grow my business and continue to paint while helping to provide for my family.  I would like to pass on some of those tips and resources to you.

A lot of my contacts and resources are local, so I tried to pick some that are across the board.  If you are interested in a list of local Pittsburgh resources, leave a comment below.

1. BNI International - I started the list with this organization because it has been such a large influence in my business life.  BNI is a group of entrepreneurs who meet weekly and pass along referrals and tips.  This organization has helped me develop my business and networking skills.  And I have made some great friends along the way.

2. Wild West Online Productions - I previously included some commercials that were produced by this company.  In addition to having great insight on social media, Wild West also creates websites -- they created my website design, and I'm very happy with it.

3. Professional Artist - This magazine is formerly Art Calendar.  Some great articles, resources, and calls to artists.

4. Pastel Journal - Another magazine website, part of the Artist's Network site. They have a good many blogs to follow: The Artist's Network blog, Pastel Journal blog, Richard McKinley's Pastel Pointers blog, Watercolor Artists blog, and Holiday Gift Guides.

5. Richard McKinley - This is another link for all you pastel artists out there.  I've had the honor of attending some of Richard McKinley's workshops.  He's amazing!  And a very good teacher.

6. Mabef Easels - I've been using Mabef most recently for painting outdoors.  When I start my landscape paintings, the beginning stages are developed onsite.  These easels have been great for that environment.

7. Central Art Supply - Located in Medford, Oregon, Central Art Supply is a great resource for, well, art supplies.  Not to mention product lines endorsed by Richard McKinley.

8. Dakota Art - Pastels, pastels, pastels.  They have so many choices - soft pastels, pastel pencils, paper for pastels.  It's one of my favorite sources.

9. Vista Print - I actually discovered this site through a non-profit that I am involved with.  It is a great place to get cheap invitations, posters, business cards, and a lot more.  I would suggest that you definitely invest in some business cards.  It will ease networking.

10. No BS Marketing - I have been attending No BS Marketing meetings for the past 2 years, and during that time, my art business has definitely taken off.  They have taught me a number of ways to increase my online presence, effectively reach out to my customers, and grow my business.  Check it out!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Holiday Market begins!

I'm here in Market Square for the very first day of the People's Gas Holiday Market!

Here are some pictures of what's happening today.