Thursday, August 9, 2007

Map of Provincetown

I had a pleasant conversation tonight with John Henry Dickson who has innovated a very unique map of Provincetown businesses. It's absolutely incredible the density of small business in Provincetown. At the risk of misquoting Thoreau, I remember him describing Provincetown as a place where people "lived by their wits." I always took this to mean that Provincetown is a place where you have to create your own opportunities, since there is little established year round industry. These days there's not a big fishing fleet, there's no more whaling, there's no commercial agriculture that I'm aware of... but there is small business. John Henry Dickson's small business is mapping out where everyone else's small business is located and then figuring out how to graphically display it, and of course figuring out how to make money doing this. You can view last year's version at . At some point he'll update the website with this year's version.

New in the store: the face table is back. This is a really cute 3 drawer table that with knobs for eyes and a mouth... it's the kind of thing people would see, then call a year later to order it because it had really stuck in their mind. It's from France and was discontinued by the importer for a while but now it's back in new colors! see it at our web-site: Face Table

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Franny Golden and her new show Etudes

My pleasure today to work with artist Franny Golden putting the finishing touches on her new art show "Etudes" featuring 30 paintings from Cape Cod, France, and Turkey. "Etudes" Art Exhibit at Littgle Gorgeous Things--Provincetown Store and Art Gallery

She is also in town teaching "Putting it All Together: A Drawing Workshop" and "Color as Composition: A Painting Workshop" at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

This is our third season representing Franny in Provincetown and I can say without reservation "I adore this woman." She is an adventurer, a thinker, a gracious host, and a driven painter who seems compelled to articulate in color and form what she is thinking and living.

The current show has some work from her time living in Turkey. She writes:

"Turkey has obviously influenced my painting and, to a certain extent, facilitated a more abstract direction. I am a walker, a transportation maven. So it was difficult to miss much -- sounds of soprano voices, smells of grilled food, untold textures, saturated colors, flowing patterns. And gold: lots of it!”

"In addition to the process, there is the repetition of form, color and gold paint. Almost certainly some forms are archetypal--probably personal statements about being a woman. (Although it is difficult to articulate such a statement, it is something I feel.) The hues, the forms, the gold are, as well, manifestations of Turkey; the sphere, the dome, the arch are clearly architectural--ubiquitous here. The sphere has also come to symbolize the abundance of profuse, volumptuous fruit, as well as the hot, relentless sun."

"Academically--intellectually--I want to take these forms and use them as color. And take these colors and use them as form. It is critical to work both of these elements at the same level, on the same picture plane; to work elements as intervals, as in music--or even in mathematics. Hopefully, then, the harmony, the motion--and the necessary tension--will work indivisibly toward an expressionistic composition."

Much of the show features work from her recent winters in France:

"It is mostly in winter that I go to France--to my village in Gascony.”

“Nearly every village has a lively weekly market where merchants begin to set-up before day light. In the southwest of France, where I have my village house, various market villages have had the same market day since the Middle Ages.”

“Certainly, I am inspired by the market place--that ancient ritual of swapping and trading and haggling and pot-latch that is the universal activity in these places. It is the socializing, the shapes and saturated hues of the fruit and vegetables and pastries and fish and fowl and game… and the artistic arrangement of these. By 1 pm, what remains are odd bits of produce and beautifully designed colorful labels on pine boxes. I often rummage these remains for pieces on which to paint.“

“My painting in France is also inspired by the sensual , flowing wrought iron works, entrenched in Medieval history, the impassioned language and the voluptuous landscape.”

“In the afternoon, I often set out on foot, or on my bicycle, wearing a vest with many pockets well stocked with art supplies and pencils. When I find inspiration, I stop and draw a scene which I can later finish in the studio with additional paints and materials.”

One wall of the gallery features works from her "Out of Context" series:

“As a portrait artist, there are a number of great paintings that I’m obsessed with-- particularly certain figures in those paintings-- I feel as if I want to crawl inside the painting and somehow hug or grab that persona--“

“--in these paintings I take a figure from a great painting out of context and work and work it until I have reached almost an abstract state-- until I’ve said what I have to say.“

These "Out of Context" portraits include "Miss Van Buren" originally painted by Thomas Eakins, The Dwarf and the Infant Princess originally seen in "Las Meninas" by Diego Velasquez, and the younger Bellelli from "The Bellelli Family" by Edgar Degas.

OK, enough... come see the show. The reception is on Friday August 3 from 7-9 PM. All welcome. For more on Franny Golden visit her website or her blog at

Saturday, July 28, 2007

To Be of Use

Welcome to our new blog. We will use it to share tidbits of news about the store and other items of interest to staff, customers, and artists.

Here's a poem I loved by Marge Piercy. Marge is a Wellfleet poet and author who you can find out more about at her website . This poem, "To Be Of Use," makes me think not only of my favorite employees who are there again and again, uncomplaining, when jobs that are not fun need to be done, (thanks, Erhan!) but also of those workers around the world who create so many of the items we sell here in the store.

It helps me remember how many hands have "touched" each product both literally and figuratively before it is finally received as a gift-- from the raw materials to the actual manufacturing to the marketing, to the wholesalers, shippers, and sales reps, and finally to our store employees carefully unpacking, pricing, and maintaining inventory in good condition while it waits for to find a buyer... such a chain of hands working to bring you even the tiniest item.

Thanks for reading-- Ian

To Be Of Use - by Marge Piercy

The people I love the best
Jump into work head first
Without dallying in the shadows
And swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
The black sleek heads of seals
Bouncing like half-submerged balls.
I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
Who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
Who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
Who do what has to be done, again and again.
I want to be with people who submerge
In the task, who go into the fields to harvest
And work in a row and pass the bags along,
Who are not parlor generals and field deserters
But move in a common rhythm
When the food must come in or the fire be put out.
The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
Has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
But you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
And a person for work that is real.
-Marge Piercy

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hello Gorgeous!

We're located at the very tip of Cape Cod, right on the harbor in Provincetown, Massachusetts, USA. Our store starts in a cobblestone courtyard on Commercial Street and meanders back to the water through seven gallery and retail spaces, until you reach our beautiful pier in the harbor.

We have been in business since 1995, working to grow and improve each year. We represent more than 100 local artists, and also sell products from businesses and artisans around the nation and the world.

Our goals are excellence in service, selection, design, and a fair price. We believe there's something special about each item we sell.

We appreciate your business, and guarantee your satisfaction, since we would like to keep you as a customer. We admit we may have not reached perfection, but we definitely mean well! We strive to work by the Golden Rule, to treat customers, suppliers, employees, and artists as we would like to be treated.

If you have visited our store, you know that we have "something for everyone," with prices ranging from $1 to $50,000. We are not afraid of either the sophisticated or the cute. Only a fraction of our inventory is shown on this website, so if you were in the store and saw something that is not shown here, please email us at and we can get you a picture and more information.

In 2004, we dedicated one of our spaces as a fine art gallery. In the summer season we change the featured show every few weeks, and each show has a celebratory "opening" reception where you are invited to meet the artist.

We find value in our work as one part of a long and peaceful supply chain stretching around the globe from artisan and worker to gift giver and receiver.... won't you please join us in this beautiful work.