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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012 8 years ago

Chris Jepson: O'beauty, cuff me now!

Humans throughout history have endeavored to have beauty in their lives.
by: Chris Jepson Staff Writer

“We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting.” – Kahlil Gibran

My sister, Saint Sandra Once of Socorro, recounts a wonderful story of a herd of wild African buffalos that each day traveled from where they rested at night to savannahs of grass they grazed upon during the day. At the close of each day they could go directly back to their place of rest but consciously opted to go out of their way, up a rather long hill that overlooked a valley, where they paused to watch the beauty of the setting sun.

The human observing this choice believed that these wild creatures had a sense, an appreciation for the beauty of this world such that they intentionally sought it out. I particularly like this story because it illustrates the power of beauty, that it is such a prevalent feature of life (our universe) that its recognition (relevance) is observed in lesser mammals. Humans throughout history have endeavored, regardless of circumstances, to have beauty in their lives.

It is the rare human environment that has no personal examples, no individual expressions of what constitutes the sublime (beauty) for that person. I prefer Botticelli’s “Primavera” over, say, an Edgar Leeteg-like black velvet Elvis, but that merely illustrates the personal nature of beauty. My mother could be a bit judgmental in this regard, that an affinity for “lowbrow” art (a velvet Elvis, for example) indicated that that person’s taste was all in their mouth. Haha! Love that Mom.

While in Ashville, N.C. this past summer I visited the Grovewood Gallery adjoining the Grove Park Inn. The Gallery offers an exceptional presentation of fine American craftsman. I viewed furniture covered with fabrics created and produced by Mary Lynn O’Shea. Absolutely stunning. I was the equivalent of a lumbering water buffalo dumbstruck by the beauty of an African sunset. Only it was gorgeous fabric.

One thing led to another. I contacted Mary Lynn O’Shea, spent approximately 55 days visiting her website (, ordering and reordering fabric samples, talking extensively with the Vermont artist, and ultimately selecting four patterns for a chair and ottoman I had reupholstered at Decorative Home Interiors (DHI) in Maitland. DHI is owned by Terry and Nadine LaLonde, and is located at 9205 S. U.S. Highway 17-92. They offer extensive lines of fine fabrics, and do marvelous work that I cannot recommend highly enough. Give them a call at 407-339-4432, and tell’em Chris sent-cha!

“The aesthetic experience is a simple beholding of the object.... You experience a radiance. You are held in aesthetic arrest.” - Joseph Campbell

In my newly reupholstered chair I will be … sitting during my next experience of aesthetic arrest. O’beauty, cuff me now!

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