Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Great Columns of Joliet

Driving around in the city of Joliet, I've always seen these sculptures on top of mosaic columns. There are around 42 columns in the city. It is part of a program created by a non-profit organization in Joliet called Friends of Community Public Art, if you want to know more about why, check their link here.

I sketched one back in June 2013, see it here. Today I went to sketch two more. Each column/sculpture represents the nature, history, culture and economical backgrounds of Joliet. The first one I sketched is called The Barn Owl and the Moon. The barn owl is native of the state of Illinois. The mosaics represent the plants of the wetlands in Rock Run Preserve. My husband didn't come with me this time, but a woman volunteer to pose for me for a minute to show a reference size.

The second sculpture is called A Informed Mind Can Make Better, it is in the Black Road Branch of the Joliet Public Library. I bet you wouldn't know if I didn't tell you this but here's a secret: the sketch of the bronze sculpture shows 5 books, but it has only four <well, we have been taught to embrace the errors that happen when sketching directly in pen and ink, right?> Every book has a carved word: Art, Democracy, Music and Science.
I have to mention again, that the public service here in the United States is outstanding. One can hold a book online, and if they don't have it on the library they will bring it from any library that has it available to the library of your choice for you to pick it up. I ordered already a book I want to read, The Great Columns of Joliet. Wonderful! I can't wait to read it.
The next sculpture, Spirit of the River, is located in Route 66 Park, next to the Des Plaines River. I sketched this one a week later, the same day I sketched one of the side attractions on Historic Route 66  that I posted later in this blog, you can see it here.
We had a break from freezing temperatures today, so I did this last sketch of this sculpture Tiller of the Earth in the parking lot of a school. The symbols represent the two main crops cultivated in Illinois. Soy to the left and corn to the right.

Although the temperature was only 55°F, my hands were numb and red. My drawing materials behaved so strangely due to the high humidity. One of the pans I refilled with watercolor paint yesterday was literally melting  causing a mess on my hands, and the wind was folding the page I was working on as if it was soaking wet. It was good day though because I finally, after almost a month since I started this series of drawings, I filled the spread pages of my moleskine.  




  1. I love your drawings and the words too!

    1. Thank you Barbara for taking the time to visit!

  2. I am an artist who lives in Joliet and I have always enjoyed these sculptures and mosaic columns all around town as well. I love your water color sketches of some of them - very nicely done!

    1. Thank you Rich, I do too like them a lot, it brings to the city a certain uniqueness.