Poetry – Clearing Fog


Sitting on the hill

I am this soil

Enveloped in fog

I think I will sleep

In waking there is warmth

My ears hear the morning sun

My pores open with receptivity

Finally the haze begins to clear

Like a stiff winged butterfly after metamorphosis

I am free.

The Sublimity Of Poetry


But now I see
it is the closest human language can come
to the language of nature and emotion.

Like an abstract painting
you project your own subjective experience.

Good poetry causes a resonant familiarity
and subtle knowing
interwoven with the blood of emotion.

Despite the seeming chaos of abstract painting,
ecstatic dance and abstruse poetry;
there is still an art to creating aesthetic composition.

Waves Of Positivity By Expressing The Beauty We See


I believe in giving people authentic genuine compliments/validation. I believe in listening to people and encouraging people to talk about emotions. I am a very curious person and love to hear people’s stories.

Over the years, I have found that compliments I have personally received have been like fuel to a fire of motivation and personal expansion. I want to give others that fuel. I want to inspire others to be confident, to be happy, to be passionate, to be uplifted, to be optimistic, to live life to it’s fullest. I try to see the best in everyone and I want to mirror back the positives. As happiness increases, waves of positivity spread.

I think about funerals and how people from far and wide come together and say all the reasons they loved that person. Incidentally, I think it is a shame that the passed person could not hear their praise. That they could not hear the positive thoughts other’s had internally but never expressed.

One of the things that gives me great joy is seeing people raise their confidence, their self-respect, their aspirations, their optimism. For people to be true to themselves.

Of course there are many false compliments (aka flattery) that veil ulterior motives and that is unfortunate. But I believe sincere and authentic compliments can be distinguished with awareness.

I only give compliments with honesty, authenticity, and integrity.

Here is a great video I found many years ago that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face…

Quantum Mechanics


The two most consequential things in the science of quantum mechanics begin to confirm what the oldest ancestors have always intuitively known.

#1 Quantum entanglement – when something has interacted with another and those two things are seemingly physically separated they are still quantumly connected. This was shown when when they split an atom and sending one part go in one direction and the other part in the opposite direction in a tunnel. When these two particles are kilometers apart, they changed the spin of one and the other simultaneously changed spin even though they were no longer connected. The physical implications is the proof that we can feel what other people are thinking and feeling at a distance … especially loved ones.
The “Intention Experiment” describes a study where they separated either a parent and child or two lovers in different rooms. They hooked up physiological sensors to measure heart rate, breath cadence and skin temperature. Then they showed a variety of images to one of them while the other sits in a blank room. Some of these images created an emotional reaction and it was found that the other person in isolation had a similar physical response as the person witnessing the stimulus. Evidence of interconnection and synchronicity. Perhaps Quantum Entanglement is the mechanism of action…

#2 The Double Slit Experiment – Researchers shot individual particles through two slits where each particle “chooses” either one door or the other. When this is done with photons in a laser beam we see two lines on a back screen beyond the double slit wall showing that each particle went through either one slit of the other. However when not observed the particles create an interference pattern on the back screen. An interference pattern indicates a wave traveling through both slits at the same time. Thus all potentials exist until someone observes it. As soon as a human witnesses or thinks something then a single reality results. Without observation, things exist as waves. With observation, things exist as solid particles. The implications of this means that the human consciousness has a direct effect on our reality. Giving gravity to the question: Does a tree fall in a forest if there is no-one there to see it?



Blood, Sweat and Art: Joseph Rastovich’s Metal Sculpture


Carolyn Henderson

Falling metal, flying shrapnel, punishing heat, blinding light, loud noises — it doesn’t sound like an artist’s studio, but then again, the making of Joseph Rastovich’s art doesn’t fit into a small space. The Kennewick artist, whose primary medium is fabricated sculpture in steel, designs wall art, furniture, and lamps, in addition to significantly sized public art pieces.

He started working with metal when he was 14 years old, after inheriting classic cars from both sides of his family.

“I had to learn metal work to fix these cars, and that quickly transformed into my art career,” Rastovich says. “I had a job as a dishwasher at a jazz and wine club during that time and spent my paychecks solely on metal working tools.”

Ten years later, Rastovich’s studio, which is primarily outside his home (“luckily all my neighbors like me and accommodate my unusual profession”), boasts a plethora of the specialty tools necessary for metalwork: welders, plasma cutters, air compressors, grinders, sheet metal roller, clamps, gantry cranes, vises, sandblasters, an oxyacetylene kit, and forklift among others. These are just the tools. Finding the supplies with which to create is another matter.

“Unlike most artists, when I go to an art supply store, there effectively is nothing I can use,” Rastovich says. “Instead, I source my materials and supplies from industrial stores such as steel yards, welding supply stores, and industrial paint stores.”

The son of two artists — LuAnn Ostergaard, whose box mounted art prints are sold to private and corporate collections nationwide, and Michael Rastovich, an artist of multiple mediums whose resume includes creating a float for the Portland Rose Parade — Rastovich was “unschooled” for much of his educational career, an experience that allowed him to pursue creative endeavors with full focus.

“Curiosity and awe is the foundation of which intelligence is built,” Rastovich says.

“I was free to study philosophy, learn quantum mechanics, create music, look at great art, witness the running of a business, build things, and commune with nature.” The result, for him, is a 21st century Renaissance Man who not only has a passion about everything, but is extremely fit.

“It is a very physical profession,” he explains, one of the reasons he calls himself a metal wrangler, complete with signature cowboy hat, that is, when the situation doesn’t require a hard one.

“Everything is heavy. Before I bought my forklift, half my time was spent just moving steel plate with pry bars, rollers, and blocking.” And while the forklift has made certain aspects of his job easier, it still isn’t . . . easy. Because the work takes place primarily outside, Rastovich finds himself in all types of weather, ranging from 120 degrees to 0 degrees, from full, blazing sun to pouring rain and falling snow.

Rastovich sells his smaller work through galleries as well as furniture, gift, and jewelry stores throughout the Pacific Northwest. His larger, public works are installed in parks, schools, business districts and hospitals in the Tri-Cities, Spokane, and Tualatin, OR. He also attends select art festivals, including the Sausalito Art Festival in California and the Bellevue Art Festival, both prestigiously difficult to get into.

“At art festivals, I often admire jewelers because their entire inventory fits in a suitcase,” he observes wryly. “I have had shows where I needed to bring a forklift. But alas! I enjoy the scale and gravity of my work.”

Visual art, he believes, is like a static form of music, and like music, has the ability to bring forth powerful emotions in the viewer, from tears to joy, from quiet contemplation to the impulse to dance. It is his goal that his own art, large pieces or small, bring on a sense of awe and inspiration.

“I create art to provide relief from normalcy.

“What was a bare wall of insignificance becomes a reason to stop and slow down.

“What was empty space becomes a place for inspiration.

“What was a normal average day can be transformed into a power memory, when one encounters art.”



Poetry – I Walk In the Night Amongst Crisp Air And Grape Vines


I walk in the night amongst crisp air and grape vines.

Looking down upon the ground

the frosty earth glimmers and reflects the moon

as if standing on a fractal of the cosmos.

The still air and clear sky enable introspection and contemplation.

My moccasin footsteps entrain meditation and solace.

The future is the question and nature is the answer.

Steel Sculpture by Joseph Rastovich Chronicles 100-Year History of Tualatin


Ginger Moshofsky

“Lazy River,” the second of two art installations commemorating Tualatin’s centennial, was dedicated last Friday, Aug. 22, in Tualatin Commons Park.

Created by Joseph Rastovich, the 20-foot high sculpture has a curved shape to represent the Tualatin River.

When Rastovich found out that Tualatin was looking for a sculpture to celebrate the centennial, he had just one week to put a presentation together. The committee was impressed by his vision and design and commissioned him to create the piece.

Rastovich, 22, was raised in Portland surrounded by art; both of his parents are artists. He was unschooled every other year growing up, meaning he would go to school for one year, then spend a year schooling himself on whatever interested him.

At age 12, Rastovich became fascinated with quantum mechanics and learned everything he could on the subject. He fabricated his first steel sculpture at 14.

Rastovich explains what he loved about unschooling was he didn’t get jaded by learning and by people telling him what he had to learn. Instead, he followed his passions. “Passion is my word,” says Rastovich.

“Lazy River” is made of structural steel plate finished with industrial paint. On the sculpture are 32 icons representing the last 100 years in Tualatin’s history.Tualatin means “lazy river” in the language of the Atfalati, the region’s indigenous Native American people.

The sculpture took nine months to create and weighs about 4,000 pounds. It was installed on Aug. 6.

“My favorite part is forming the steel. I absolutely love organic curves, the organic form, the break from the straight linear world,” said Rastovich. “You can be more inspired than the concrete straight line.”

The sculpture was a gift from the Tualatin Arts Advisory Committee using funds raised through the annual art show and sale, Artsplash, and not by public funds. The committee commissioned two pieces of public art, “Lazy River” and “Dynamic Continuum.”

“Dynamic Continuum,” a bas relief mixed media mosaic, created by Lynn Adamo, was installed in the lobby of the Tualatin Public Library last December.

Buck Braden is the chair of the Tualatin Arts Advisory Committee and himself an established painter and artist. According to Community Services Director Paul Hennon, it was Braden’s leadership that led to the installation of the two art pieces.

“I think it was something unique and different, the ability to do all these little pieces, the icons, which represent Tualatin,” said Braden. “It has a contemporary look. I like the way it fits in.”

— Ginger Moshofsky


Sculpting Tualatin’s History Through New Art Installation


Caitlin Feldman
The Times (Pamplin Media)

After months of work, sculptor Joseph Rastovich helped place his “Lazy River” sculpture in Tualatin last week.

Standing 20 feet tall, the winding steel installation sits on the west side of Tualatin Commons Park and is most visible from Martinazzi Avenue between Tualatin-Sherwood Road and Nyberg Street.

True to its name, the sculpture’s distinctive shape was chosen to represent the Tualatin River, an integral part in Tualatin’s very existence. The shape also represents a mastodon tusk, which Rastovich wanted to include as another important part of Tualatin’s history. Covering the sculpture are 32 embossed icons, which further tell the story of Tualatin, past and present.

“The Tualatin Lazy River sculpture very much tells a story with all the icons and the abstract symbolism of the form,” Rastovich said. “Basically, it’s kind of like this static storyteller to tell people the history of Tualatin, where Tualatin is now and about the things that have gone on. It’s nice to be aware of what has happened in your local area.”

This sculpture is one of eight public art pieces that Rastovich has created since his first at age 18. Now 23, the artist has already been sculpting for seven years and doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon. He feels that public art pieces are an essential element of cities and wants to keep contributing his voice.

“Public art is really great because it creates a space,” Rastovich said. “Personally, I believe it increases the quality of life for the people who interact with the sculptures. It just creates monuments that are a break from the linear world of the city … They make people think. They can make people inspired to do different things. And they also, in many ways, help tell a story.”

To see Tualatin’s story as Rastovich sees it, visit his “Lazy River” sculpture at 7880 S.W. Nyberg St.



Kennewick Sculptor Completes Reach Arches


Sculptor Joseph Rastovich calls himself a metal wrangler. The work he does can be a little dangerous — sometimes because of the sheer size and weight of his creations.

The 22-year-old Kennewick artist’s latest project includes two 40-foot steel arches that welcome visitors as they enter the grounds to the new Reach center on Columbia Park Trail at the west end of Columbia Park in Richland.

Today is the Reach’s opening day. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The impressive 14,000-pound beacons can be seen by drivers on Highway 240 along Columbia Park as well as boaters on the river.

The arches are made up of 10 steel sections welded together, with the help of Kennewick welder Tim Hammack.

The criss-crossing arches represent the sun and are the focal point of a science-themed project started by a group of middle school students from Three Rivers HomeLink in Richland, said Lisa Toomey, CEO of the Reach center.

“They were working on a solar system project and the sun is the first piece in the project,” she said.

Sculptures representing the other planets in the solar system will be set up along the Columbia River, with Pluto miles away by the boat launch to the Hanford Reach National Monument near Othello.

Rastovich also said the arches act like a sun dial, casting shadows in the center of the sculpture at the summer solstice and equinox.

“I still have to install the sheet metal skin around the arches,” Rastovich said. “We had a little trouble in the beginning that delayed me getting done before the Reach opened. The skin will make the arches more cohesive and I should have that done within the next couple of weeks.”

An engineering error caused the delay. It took a few days to fix it before the arches went up in time for the grand opening this weekend.

Rastovich has a passion for big sculpture for reasons he doesn’t quite know how to explain.

“I started early, at age 14, making big sculptures,” he said. “And I asked my mom once if maybe I should make smaller sculptures, and she just said, ‘Go big. You’re good at it.'”

Both his parents, Michael and LuAnn (Ostergaard) Rastovich, are well-known artists. His dad is a sculptor and his mother a painter.

Joe Rastovich still lives at his parents’ Kennewick home, saving up to buy his own place one day, which he plans to build mostly by himself to make it eco-friendly and to continue his organic gardening.

There is nary a challenge he won’t tackle creatively, he said. When he was 14, he carved out his beloved grandfather’s casket.

He enjoys building, creating, soaking up knowledge and learning new things.

“I love working because life’s too short,” he said. “If I were a dog, I’d be a border collie, and if I was a horse, I’d be a draft horse because both of those animals are driven and love to work too.”

His current project is creating a 20-foot outdoor sculpture for the city of Tualatin.

To date, he has created eight pieces of public art around the Tri-Cities and beyond.