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.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas -- for Western PA Grads

Welcome to the second installment of "Holiday Gift Ideas."  Today, I thought I would focus on the paintings that may interest those of you who are or who have Western PA Grads.  I have created multiple pictures over the years of local collegiate institutions.
University of Pittsburgh
One of my first city of Pittsburgh paintings focused on the iconic Cathedral of Learning on Pitt's campus.  This beautiful, unique building provided great inspiration for one of my favorite paintings.  If you look closely, you will see a man in a yellow jacket without an umbrella.  This is one of my husband, Tom's, first appearances in my paintings.
I spent a great deal of time on this painting.  So much so that my daughter, only 4 years old at time, referred to the Cathedral as "mommy's building" every trip into Oakland.  Little did we know, that 18 years later, she would be completing her grad work at Pitt and would have a class or two in the Cathedral. 

"Walking in the Light of the Cathedral" is available on my website.
One of my other favorites is "The Glory of Heinz Chapel," a painting of Pitt's popular on-site chapel.  There are approximately 1500 events scheduled at the chapel every year and many Pitt grads have held their weddings at this location.  This painting is available in prints, giclees, or note card form.
Penn State University
Penn State grads are some of the most loyal, enthusiastic people when it comes to their alma mater.  When I finished my painting of Old Main, known as the "Heart of the Lion," it was immediately a best-seller. 

Tom and I spent four overnight trips taking pictures of the area.  I took pictures from every angle at every time of day trying to find the right composition.  Thankfully, I was at State College right before they took down the two Elm trees in the picture, they're a beautiful addition to the painting and allowed me to add some depth. The full moon was put in to offer some balance.

Almost everyone painted in "The Heart of the Lion" is an alum of Penn State (the only exceptions are my family and a couple friends).

This painting is still available in print, giclee, and note card form.

The Heart of the Lion

Duquesne University

Located in the heart of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University is beautiful.  The college has a rich Catholic tradition, making their Chapel a focal point of the campus.  "Chapel on the Bluff" features many Duquesne grads (along with my family, of course) and some of the University staff. 

Whenever I meet a Duquesne grad, they can always seem to pick out one particular person.  If you look at the man in the front left corner of the painting, dressed in green, that's Father Kealy, a beloved professor at the University.

Chapel on the Bluff

That concludes the latest installment of "Holiday Gift Ideas."  Please feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or questions. 

I hope you and your families had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Light-Up Night!

Tonight is Light-Up Night in Pittsburgh!
Come visit me at 2 PPG Place.  I'll be there all evening!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Holiday Market...a new Pittsburgh tradition

This year, I will take part in Peoples Gas Holiday Market, a collection of local, national, and international vendors selling Christmas decorations and gift ware in Pittsburgh's Market Square.

The event will run from November 24th to December 23rd, from 11AM to 8PM.

Needless to say, this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.

I have never had a show of this magnitude before.  The Duquesne Light Home & Garden Show has always been my most intense show, and it's only 10 days!  I've done the Home Show for a number of years now, and pretty much have a routine down.  I'm hoping to pull some of my experience at the Home Show for the Holiday Market.

I find myself facing the issue of staffing, figuring out what to do when there are multiple shows at the same time (and there will be), and deciding on inventory.

Pittsburgh has never done anything like this before.  The concept is based off of the Christkindlesmarkt which began in Nuremberg, Germany in 1545.  Since then, it has spread to many European cities, and, more recently, to the US & Canada.  The most popular (in North America) is based in Chicago and has been held annually since 1996.

Here's a picture of Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt in 2009:

This photo was taken by Roland Berger
Chicago's Holiday Market offers approximately 60 food and non-food vendors offering a wide variety of holiday gifts, decorations, and foreign cuisine.  Their market is a template for Pittsburgh's and hopefully ours will be equally as successful.  I'm so excited to see how this event will grow.

And it is going to be quite the undertaking.. Small, German-style chalets will be built to house each vendor.  The little buildings will have three walls, and an open storefront.  Holly and lights (not to mention that amazing, light filled Christmas tree they've been putting up in Market Square the last couple of years) will decorate the square. 

Imagine this with small shops and even more decorations.

The Golden Glow of Pittsburgh's Light-Up Night

It should be absolutely beautiful.

In addition to the vendor chalets, Mr. & Mrs. Clause will have their own house.  Children are welcome to come visit and get their pictures taken with Santa.  Local choirs, carolers, and dancers will perform throughout the festivities featuring Pittsburgh's very own.

But how to staff this giant event?  Right now, I've been recruiting friends and family to help out during the show.  My daughter and one of her roommates are going to spend their free-time working at the Holiday Market.  Many of my friends who have helped at shows here and there over the years are stepping up and taking shifts.

I'm so lucky to have all of them.

With more than one show happening at a time, I will have to split my time between the Market and the other shows.  Most likely, I will have others cover the Market while I meet those customers who attend the shorter, single day shows.  Hopefully this will allow me to meet and greet as many of you as I can.

The other major question, inventory, has posed a unique problem.  I'm juggling framers, printers, and suppliers to make sure all of my paintings and gift ware is represented at each show.  I will have to prioritize on what items should be at which show. 

Some shows don't require as many items.  Based on previous experiences, I'm trying to decide which shows usually sell large paintings and which shows require smaller gift ware items.

Not to mention trying to make sure nothing runs out! 

As I write this post, I've had to take a couple of calls to answer questions on this very topic. 

The Holiday Market is just a little over a week away (ah!).  I'm both excited and a bit nervous, but I know that no matter what, this will allow me the opportunity to meet more customers and here more stories about your Pittsburgh memories.

Hope to see you there!

P.S. - don't forget to leave comments and check back in to see how everything's going on this new adventure.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I'm on Twitter!

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that I'm now on Twitter... @LindaBarnicott

I will tweet show locations, news, blog posts, and much more.  I hope to be able to connect with all of you.

Holiday Gift Ideas -- for the Pittsburgh Sports Fan

Christmas is fast approaching, and I thought I would pass along some ideas for Christmas gifts for your family, friends, and co-workers.  Every year, I know I struggle coming up with something for everyone, so here are some ideas for all those Pittsburgh Sports Fans in your life..
I have spent a lot of time consoling my husband on the fate of his beloved Pittsburgh Pirates over the years. 
So why not give your Pirates fans a reminder of the good old days? 
I have created two large paintings of Bill Mazeroski and Roberto Clemente, two of the greats.  The Clemente painting can be paired with the 8x10 portrait entitled "Reflections of Roberto." (I'm actually going to write a post detailing my process throughout working on both the large Clemente painting and the portrait. So stay tuned!)

Remembering Roberto Clemente

Reflections of Roberto

The great thing about the Bill Mazeroski prints is that he signed every single one.  He was amazingly generous with his time. 

When I first met Bill and his wife, Milene, they told me that their favorite part of the painting was the celebration panel at the bottom.  This was because when they met for their first date, they met under Kaufmann's Clock (which is included in that panel).  They actually owned a copy of "Meet me Under Kaufmann's Clock" before I even met them!

Mazeroski's Magical Moment

Speaking of "Consol"-ing (I know, I know, terrible pun), what about those hockey fans lamenting the potential loss of their season?  Cheer them up with a hockey inspired Christmas.  I have painted both the Civic Arena and Consol Energy Center. 

Hockey Fever at Mellon Arena

Pittsburgh's New Home for Hockey

For Pittsburgh Steelers fans, I have a special surprise.  However, you'll have to wait a little bit longer before I can officially announce it. 

In the meantime, check out my painting of Heinz Field.  I wanted to capture the total Steeler football experience including the crowds, the rivers, and the cold (sometimes stormy) Pittsburgh sky.  This image is also available in card, mug, and magnet form.

Game Day at Heinz Field
That wraps it up for the first addition of Holiday Gift Ideas!  Pair any of these suggestions with game tickets, jerseys, t-shirts, bumper stickers, or bobble heads and I'm sure you'll be able to check off a couple of gifts from your to-buy-list.