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on a cold bench, late

a dreaming man slumped, waiting

under a street light


  1. Love it! You always amaze me with new composition.

  2. Oh my gosh, Leslie! It’s amazing how you turned those greens into glittering light! I am just floored by the richness of the color in this. Pop a crown on his head and he could be a sleepy king! Beautiful!! πŸ˜€

    • Thank-you, Beth! I really wondered about the color in this one so I am glad you commented on the color. I don’t know enough about what I tried, here, to talk about it, as yet. Thank-you for following me. πŸ™‚

  3. The image and the drawing work well together to paint the portrait.

    • That means a lot to me, slpmartin, as I don’t consider myself a writer. I ventured out of my comfort zone. Thank-you.

  4. Love the colors! Love his sleepy face. Love the poem!!! Have a question however: was your intention for this painting to convey contentment? Because the image is very content, even radiantly so, but people sleeping on benches are often not that happy. What am I missing?

    • Thanks for asking, Alex. The reference I used for this was from wet canvas and I stared at him and stared at him. He brought about a multitude of people waiting. He could be a fisherman waiting for his boat. He could be waiting for his wife who is attending a meeting of some sort. I don’t know? He appeared content. I left it at that. Thank-you for saying something about the color because I struggled with that.

  5. a beautiful translucency in the colours which gives him an ethereal beauty, lovely work Leslie!

    • Thank-you, Rahina. It is my first attempt using watercolor this way and I’m holding my breath about this one being beginner’s luck.

  6. WOW! I say that with something like six syllables!!! The color is so vibrant and beautiful. The way you captured the light is amazing.

    • Thank-you, Linda. That means a lot. I was afraid I was on the border of pushing mud.

  7. Awesome.
    You even gave it a haiku.
    Do i see a new trend forming here leslie.
    that would be so cool

    • Thank-you ,Kokot. Can I still call you Kokot? I don’t know what came over me. I put “poem” in my tags because I really didn’t know if this was a haiku or not.

  8. three lines makes a haiku.’it seems that style.
    Seriously go for it.
    Artists never have to be limited to one area of expression
    yes, that names kind of been left behind hasn’t it.
    i just keep asking myself will that name prevent the real me from ever truly emerging.
    You can, but maybe a few months from now people will think who? lol

  9. What an interesting painting. I love the glow around the man, almost like a halo. Or like a street lamp is shining directly on him.

    My first thought was that while he may look like a poor man sleeping on a bench, he is in fact a very special person.

    Amazing how you captured that light. How Rembrandtesque!

    • Thank-you, Carol. You answered Alex’s question better than I can. It became, for me, not about being poor or homeless but just someone “waiting”. Thank-you for making my day with your comment!

  10. This is an incredible painting, Leslie. I second and third all the things that have already been said. Amazing translucency, and he looks like he has a light within him. The colors are rich and breathtaking and the draftsmanship is superb.

    Not to, you know, gush or anything, but I’m in awe.

    • Thank-you, Cindy. I’m blushing, here, as this was definitely a painting where I felt I was painting “without a clue”. I am working on another and it is slow going. It felt like I was letting the painting tell me where it wanted to go and I have rarely had that kind of feeling before.

  11. Neat Leslie – you have captured the glow beautifully – it is interesting that people have commented about the contentment. My first thoughts were about a homeless man and all the angst that goes with that, but when I looked again I also had a feeling of a contented man – with an angelic glow – in fact – yeh – waiting – great – thanks for this work.

    • Hi Stephen! Thank-you. Maybe there are contented homeless people, also. I recently read a book titled “The Glass Castle” and the parents, at the end of the book chose to live homeless. For those of us who are not homeless, I think it’s difficult to wrap our minds around that. I think that is why I began thinking of other people waiting while I painted this. I could not wrap my mind around it.

      • mmmm – there is a thought – it is difficult to understand for me – though, I must say, the homeless people I have met with seem to enjoy the freedom that comes with losing all the responsibilities.

  12. I agree with Carol about the halo glow. And I adore the greens and yellows. These are the colours that used to result from the combination of daylight film and artificial light. Yellow for tungsten, green for fluorescent light. Different white balances in digital photography do the same thing. I love that mixed light effect. It makes me wonder what is around him. His expression makes me wonder what he’s dreaming about. Something lovely I think.

    • Oh thank-you, Kirsty. I did not know that about the light. My sister called after reading the comments last night and said she saw the light like a halo, also. She felt it was as though it was wrapping around him and she never thought streetlight.
      In the reference photo there were chains stretched behind him and posts, like an area that was blocked off to foot traffic. Behind that was dark so I couldn’t tell if it was park or maybe a wharf area? Don’t know. I was intrigued with him and the bench so that is what I painted. It was a black and white photo so I had to make up the color and I liked that.

  13. This is very beautiful,dear Leslie!
    I like the colors that you use it and the expression of man!
    Thank you,dear friend!! πŸ™‚

    Enjoy your day!! πŸ˜‰

    • Thank-you, Alina! I have missed you! I figured you were studying, judging from one of your recent posts. Hope all is well! πŸ™‚ Happy Day!

      • I’m fine,dear friend!! πŸ˜‰
        What about you?
        It’s nice of you to think to me! πŸ™‚
        Thank you!

        Have a wonderful day!!

      • I’m fine, TOO! πŸ™‚

  14. He has character to boot! Very nice work. I like the glow of the street light around him.

    • Thank-you, Jay! I don’t know where that streetlight came from. This was truly an experience of the painting telling me where to go.

  15. Very nice work, Leslie! Great light and mood in this one.

    • Thank-you for the visit and the comment, Frank. I am totally enjoying your work and travels on your blog!

  16. Your manipulation of color and light always amazes me. You’re an amazing talent and thank goodness you’re willing to share it with us!

    • Thank-you, Ryan. You know I can “DITTO” that back to you. Your portrait of the girl is so COOL!

  17. Wow Leslie, the expression of the man and the lighting from street light is just amazing. I really like how the light reflected from the man’s coat and his face. He make’s me feel sleepy already.

    • Thank-you, Francis! It almost looks like he’s snoring, doesn’t it?

  18. love everything here well done!

    • Thank-you, John, for your visit and your comments. I was just visiting your site and love your haiku. I can’t comment as there is no place for wordpress to do so on your blog like others I’ve visited. I will return to read even more. The one I really liked was the scaffolder and the bird! πŸ™‚

  19. Love the ‘dreaming’ colours in this one Leslie! Is the painting of a real person? it’s quite lovely πŸ™‚

    • Welcome home, Lynda, and thank-you for the comment. The painting is a real person from somewhere. I found it on wet canvas (a site for artists). The reference is in black and white so I made up my own colors.

      • Aw I forgot to say well done on the Haiku Leslie πŸ™‚ He looks like he is dreaming about heaven or a higher place – escapism, the colours reflect this.

      • Thank-you, again! πŸ™‚

  20. leslie,

    this is a beautiful haiku complementing your equally splendid watercolor painting. figures and words lived in perfect harmony. great!

  21. Amazing! The posture and colors in this painting are incredible. The poetic lines supplement the painting very well. Thanks, Leslie

    • Thank-you, Adam. πŸ™‚ I just had to give a few lines “a go” as I have become a little bit of a poetry admirer of late!

  22. Very impressive Leslie I love the mixture of colors and the shades…great art work.

    Hope your having a wonderful day Leslie, here is a kindness card from me and you may pass it along to other friends including me πŸ™‚

    Have a great weekend and keep on been creative πŸ™‚

    • Thank-you Alonso for both the comment AND the card! That made my day!

  23. I can almost see his dreams. wonderful.

    • Thank-you, Richard. Just saw your new painting of the stream. Loved it!

  24. This is beautiful. Interesting colors that contribute to the peacefulness of the subject. i do hear him snore !!

  25. Lovely, I love your page, just beautiful πŸ™‚

    • Thank-you, Marinela. I consider that high praise as I have just visited your site and found it absolutely fun!

  26. Hi! You really paint good when it comes to everything! I like this. Is it only from your imagination? I was really amazed! You really have talented hands!

    • Hi Martha! Thank-you for the comment. I could not imagine this. I have to work from a reference or the real thing in life. This was from a photo reference from the Wet Canvas reference library. It is a free site set up for artists to use. Check it out!

      • Oh πŸ˜€ Thank you for telling me that site πŸ˜€ I sure will check it out πŸ™‚

      • You are welcome! πŸ™‚

  27. The comments left by all those before me, are of themselves, great reading in their broad mentions of color, mood, artistry.
    What you’ve conveyed is a stripping of judgment and assumption. His face says more than his situation.
    A beautiful painting Leslie, and lovely sentiment in poetry.

    • Thanks, Bonnie. That’s it….this guy really took me past homeless.

  28. This piece is so sensitive – it’s like it’s a painting of the man’s soul rather than his physical presence.

  29. I like this. Love those puckered lips. Makes you wonder what he was dreaming about. My favorite part of the piece is the aura effect. He glows. Sigh. I love visiting here. So good to be back. πŸ™‚

    • Argh! I forgot . . . senryu (non-nature haiku)!!!!!! Very nice.

      • Thank-you, Yousei! It’s nice to have you re-visit. Thank-you for telling me what I wrote. I read so much of yours and others that I think this just poked on through. It is a senryu?

  30. Good Morning Leslie πŸ™‚

    There is something about this I really like, it evokes a response.

    Maybe it is the peaceful pose of a man in this journey of life who paused under a street light for a rest.

    I relate to this picture.

    • Hi Ichabod! πŸ™‚

      I think you are right!

      I related, also. It was more than just him sitting there. While I painted it, my feelings and thoughts brought up a myriad of circumstances we find ourselves in and my picture became less and less detailed. It has been fun to listen to what people say about this painting and who they think he is. I do believe there is a part of you in this painting. πŸ™‚

  31. Beautiful and impressive Leslie!

    Marinela x

    He repeats to himself all the time
    As his face wrinkles and hands are cold
    β€œI wish I could be young again
    And have no regrets as I grow old”

    Copyright Β© 2011 Marinela Reka

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