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On the far side of creativity

Artist, photographer and creative writers will show at an art salon why their work is exceptional


by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: GARY RANDALL  - In this dim-moonlight time exposure, a person attached a small piece of steel wool to the end of a string, ignited it and twirled it over his head in a circle. The sparks flew for about 30 seconds, and the rest of the 10-minute exposure brought out the details of the mountain and stream.When Sandy artist Lori Ryland plans an art salon in her gallery and studio in downtown Sandy, she knows how to put together a blockbuster.

On the roster for this month’s salon, called The Artist Edge, are four of the best at their creative endeavors: Renee Ugrin in wood block printing, two-time author Edward DeVito, world-class photographer Gary Randall and perennial favorite writer and reader Stevan Allred.

The three-hour salon will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, in Ryland’s gallery and studio, 39110 Proctor Blvd.

For more information, visit loriryland.com.

Renee Ugrin

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: RENEE UGRIN - After the ink has been rolled onto the carved block and the paper pressed onto the ink, the paper is carefully removed from the block and allowed to dry.It might not be totally accurate to identify Ugrin as a naturalist, but she comes close to the usual definition.

“I have always been interested in our relationship to the land,” she said, speaking about how people can interact with the earth.

She talks about the “quiet grandeur of the wilderness” and how it distresses her when she sees “the waves of construction blanket the hillsides, remove the trees and erode the topsoil.”

While her work observes these drastic changes in the environment, it also records “the beneficial and beautiful components of the natural world that should be part of our everyday life.”

UGRINUgrin’s work is mainly in painting and printmaking at her Damascus studio, but she also enjoys handmade books.

Her work includes images of landscapes and plant life that represent the Pacific Northwest.

For more information, visit reneeaugrin.com

Edward DeVito

At Sunday’s salon, DeVito, a resident of Rhododendron, might briefly describe his first book, “The Woodstock Paradox.”

He’ll explain for those who aren’t familiar how this historically accurate novel found its way onto his computer screen and finally onto the shelves of bookstores.

DeVito is likely to talk about his relationship to the original story about Woodstock and how parts of it parallel his life.

He’ll also read from and sign copies of his newest novel, “The Woodstock Paradigm,” a science fiction time-travel story partially set in Sandy, and talk about how it grew from his first novel. He very likely will describe some of the work necessary to write a book that predicts local and world events years in advance (while he was writing the novel).

To make accurate predictions, he will describe how he relentlessly pursued information on the new Sandy High School one year before it was built, talking with Principal Tim Werner and construction site Superintendent Brogan Adams. He also had Scott Maltman and Matt Gist approve a draft of a future basketball game.

That research also included a call to Rex Putnam High School to be certain the uniforms he described were correct.

DeVito also will describe how he had a retired Army master sergeant review some chapters for accuracy when he wrote about future encounters on a military base, and how he talked on the telephone with Stephanie Schmidt, a waitress at The Boise Stage Stop in Idaho, about a future Christmas-Eve scene in the book. DeVito had never been at the restaurant, but discovered through the phone call that he had envisioned the building’s environs accurately.

“I was delighted to find the images of the holiday decorations among their antique floor displays that were in my head had been spot on,” he said.

At the artist salon, DeVito will describe how he created a plausible tale — even a fantasy with a young, time-jumping protagonist — while always guessing what will happen in the future.

For more information, visit woodstockparadox.com.

Gary Randall

Randall couldn’t get a better introduction from Ryland — also an accomplished photographer — than to hear her say Randall “is doing some really exciting things with photography up on Mount Hood.”

A sampling of Randall’s works will appear on the big screen in Ryland’s gallery, thanks to a high-definition projector.

Of course, Randall, who lives in Brightwood, will be there to explain how he was able to produce such amazing photos without the aid of software manipulation.

Randall is known primarily for his fine art landscape photography, but he also applies his artistic techniques to portrait and architectural photography. He’s also a teacher and guide.

“I am a licensed guide,” he said, “and have permits to conduct classes and workshops in the Mount Hood National Forest and the Columbia River Gorge.”

Randall says he has been a photographer at some capacity, hobby or profession, throughout his entire life.

For more information, visit gary-randall.com.

Stevan Allred

Allred, of Estacada, is a writer, editor and publisher who will demonstrate that he loves to read and write short stories.

Besides being one of the favorites at The Artist Edge salon, Allred has been the featured host of the annual Writers Night, presented by the Estacada Arts Commission.

At Ryland’s gallery Sept. 29, Allred will read from his newest book, “The Simplified Map of the Real World,” published by Forest Avenue Press.

The book is a collection of 15 short stories that are linked, but span time and generations in a fictional Oregon town, across the river from Milo McIver State Park.

In the book, filled with humor, readers are likely to find people who resemble their family, friends, neighbors and maybe themselves.

Allred will sign copies of the book, Ryland said.

Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Allred is editor and publisher for Redcat Press.

For more information about Allred’s work and his newest book, visit stevanallred.com.