Name Droppings

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I am a big fan of talent. And it thrills me when talented people come into our studio to ask for our help in protecting and preserving the artistic creations they’ve made. We have had quite a few stop by our studio over the years.  They usually space themselves out but yesterday in particular it was like celebrity central around Home Video Studio.

It started out to be a relatively uneventful day when into our studio walks Key West artist/muralist/sculptor, Dick Moody, who also happens to blow a mean saxophone. We always enjoy talking with Dick who is never short on stories about his time on and off the stage with familiar names in the music and art world. Dick came in to get a live jam session he was a part of at the Green Parrot in Key West transferred over to a usb drive.

No sooner did he leave than we got a surprise visit from our old friend Colin MacLeod, the Celtic Fiddle Guru, who stopped in on his way to Singapore and Australia to regale audiences there with his unique style and inspirational message. He needed to get a number of his CDs duplicated so he would have something to sell after his appearances.

And to top the day off on a high note, we had an enjoyable visit from Canadian Country Music Juno Award winner, Glory-Anne Prophet who found some “lost” recordings of her late husband Ronnie Prophet who was a world-class, hall of fame entertainer. She presented us with a number of his 45’s and a mixture of his audio recordings to make a compilation CD for future enjoyment.

It was a red-letter day all around for us but, to be quite honest, most days here are. Because whether you are an international star or just a celebrity among your own family, your memories are special and you will always receive special treatment from us. You can rest assured that we’ll always give you the star treatment you deserve.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives, and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.

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A Stain On My Memory

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We get a lot of compliments on the stained glass windows that frame our windows in our lobby. And they are attractive. But I had nothing to do with them. These gorgeous custom-made artistic creations were left behind by the previous owner presumedly because they were made to fit this exact space.

I know this to be true because, to my surprise, a woman came into the studio a while back to transfer some tapes and recognized her design. Yes, she was the artist who was commissioned to draw the design that became these lovely stained glass windows.

She’s a local and a stained glass designer. Her father, now in his 80s if I recall the story correctly, works out of his garage and creates the glass masterpieces from her drawings.  She gave me her card but I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t do well with business cards. Most of them end up on the floor, tossed in a drawer or, I suspect, somehow drop through a wormhole into a 6th dimension. In any case, I can’t find the card and can’t remember the name of the company to give credit where credit is due.

So, stained glass designer, if you are out there in the blogosphere, drop me a line and remind me of your company name and contact information. I’ll make sure to pass it along to all the people who have been admiring your work.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio cassettes, photos, negatives and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.

One Degree of Separation

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Seeing as the Mount Dora Art Festival is continuing today (and will also end today so it is your last opportunity to come on out and enjoy fine art on display in our beautiful downtown district), I thought I would continue with my fondest recollections regarding some of the artwork my wife and I have collected over the years.

We have an unfortunate tendency to purchase first and inquire later so we have had a few surprises after we bring our artwork home and try to find out a little about its history. (See yesterday’s blog post.)  The painting displayed above was something we were able to acquire as the high bid at a local antique art auction.

I was thrilled to discover that I unknowingly purchased a little bit of Hollywood history (albeit indirectly related.) The painting was signed Gene Grant and, as it turns out, he is an American artist who was commissioned to provide the artwork for the movie “An American in Paris.” In the film, Gene Kelly portrayed a struggling American painter. The pieces he is shown working on or carrying around were provided by Mr. Grant.

As Gene Kelly is one of my favorite movie stars of that era, I was tickled to have one degree of separation between us.  I have a Gene Grant painting. Gene Grant worked with Gene Kelly. Boom. Winner.

I must have shown my enthusiasm too strongly because that Christmas, as my main gift, my wife bought us tickets to go see the Broadway musical version of An American in Paris. The tickets probably cost three times more than the painting. I fell asleep in the second act.

Here’s a photo of our artist Gene Grant in between the movie’s stars, Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.

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Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd

An Original Carol Burnett

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The Mount Dora Art Festival occurs this weekend (which is a fantastic event – if you’re in the area, please stop by and enjoy it.) But it always reminds me of the one time when I put my “artistic” foot down in my house.

My wife and I enjoy displaying original art in our home and, as an ex-art history major, my wife has made most of the decisions when it came to acquiring a new piece. Most meaning all… all but one. We were with a dealer who had a oil painting my wife fancied but it was priced a little high. She was bargaining when I spotted an oil that I liked even more than the one she was trying to buy. So I said, “How much for this one?” He was quick with the reply. “Tell you what, you meet my price, I will throw that one in for free.”

“Sold,” I quickly agreed before he could change his mind. I looked proudly at my wife who did not, at that moment, notice my pleased expression because she was too busy rolling her eyes.

On the way home with our possessions, I was giddy with the great deal that we made. She was a bit more subdued. So I dropped my ace card. “You may not have noticed, but my painting was signed by “C. Burnett.” You and I may very well be the owners of an original Carol Burnett.”

Again with the eye roll. “You don’t know that.” “Not yet,” I explained, “But I will soon find out.”

While she hung her painting in our dining room, I took mine to my office and propped it on top of my bookcase. And I began googling.

A few hours later, I sheepishly approached my wife.  “Well, we don’t have a Carol Burnett.” She looked at me. “So what exactly do we have?” “We have something that was apparently churned out by a Mexican production line. Burnett is not the name of the artist. It is however what one art critic suggested we could do with it… Burn it.”

I came home the next day to find that my Burnett was no longer in my office. It now occupies a space in our garage, propped up against the tool chest.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.

Drawing Woody

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I spent most of yesterday with a local artist who was building a legacy video. We had already captured his artwork to a digital form; yesterday was spent capturing his narration as he explained the backstory to each of his paintings. Once done, it will be a blessing for his family and for future generations.

It did remind me of the sad fact that I possess absolutely no artistic ability. Even stick figures confuse me and, when I draw them, they seem somehow grossly deformed. However, I do have a wild card to pull out if ever pressed into service. I know how to draw Woody Woodpecker.

I remember watching Walter Lantz, brilliant animator and cartoon creator, giving a crash course on TV on how to draw Woody and for some inexplicable reason, it stuck in my head.

If you go through my grade school textbooks and happen upon my doodlings, you will be sure to see Woody’s visage on page after page.

Below is a video of Walter and Woody. I don’t think this is the one I saw because my process to draw Woody is different. But I do remember Walter Lantz giving step by step instructions on how to draw his most famous character even while that same character offered critique from the very page upon which he was being drawn.  But memories are like that… subjective. I know what I remember… I just don’t know if it is true.  But I can draw that pesky woodpecker in my sleep so I must have learned it from somewhere.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call us at 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.