Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lenin in Fremont

4/17/13 Platinum Sepia ink, watercolor, Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook
If you look on the right side of my blog where tags are listed, you’ll see that I have one for memorials and monuments. Last summer when I visited Boston, I sketched several statues and other memorials, and those prompted me to start a list of all the memorials and monuments in my own hometown that I’ve hardly paid attention to, let alone sketched, and decided I would make a point of sketching them eventually.
Long on that list has been Vladimir Lenin, whose 16-foot bronze sculpture had been removed from its original installation in Czechoslovakia in 1989 after the revolution. Rescued from destruction by an Issaquah resident, the statue was installed in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood (not without controversy).
I mentioned my memorials and monuments tag because all the other statues I’ve sketched in that category have been erected to honor people or events. Given how often Lenin is “accessorized” in Fremont (in drag for the Pride Parade, with Christmas lights during the holidays, as John Lennon during the Solstice Parade, and the red paint on his hands), it’s hard to say whether the communist leader is being honored at the busy intersection of North 36th Street and Fremont Place. But in Fremont, anything can – and does – happen.
In any case, still inspired by this week’s Urban Sketchers Flickr group theme, “Oddities in Your Town,” I knew it was time to cross this statue off my list. In addition to the one I used today, I spotted a number of other convenient benches and standing areas around this intersection that would make Lenin a good subject for multiple sketches from various angles. A Lenin-themed sketchcrawl, perhaps?


  1. Lenin-crawl: Oh, yes! I'd be willing to devote an entire day (or maybe two.... how long would it take) to sketch all the weirdness that is Fremont!

    Good sketch and good idea to return to sketch from different angles and with different "adornments".

  2. Good stetch of the statue...and maybe we'll see other views too. I'll have to think hard for something to sketch for that theme. Have a good day!


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