‘A Conversation about Life’ (2000)

'A Conversation about Life' oil painting by Susan Wellington

Here’s a painting I did in the year 2000 I think. It’s called ‘A Conversation about Life’ and was never exhibited as it was so different from my other paintings at the time.  I wanted to do big landscapes then because I loved the way you could immerse yourself in a big painting. This one’s about 7 feet wide and it was the only one I did.

Originally I saw the painting in my imagination in purple and yellows and it evolved from there. I worked on it on and off for about a year.  It managed to survive a flood in my flat, as well as boiling hot weather, which is kind of apt as it has that kind of dramatic flavour.

Basically it depicts a woman and man in an imaginary landscape. To balance the apocalyptic coldness of the landscape I wanted to bring more warmth and sensitivity into the painting by details such as the flowers. The colours around the woman are warmer too. She is surrounded by a cocoon of cosmic warmth and light. The mysterious man reaches out and is about to enter this space and say something.

The emphasis in the painting is on colour and it’s saturation (chroma) to tell the story. Chinese landscape painting is an influence too, especially in the more bird’s-eye view of the river (which is pink) on the left side of the painting. Basically Chinese landscape painting is about the balance of yin and yang. My painting is about the balance of the feminine and masculine.

‘To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist.’ 




  1. I absolutely love the color palette in this one. The ghostly hues and washed-out appearance are possibly a testament to this piece’s history. Wonderfully detailed for such a large scale, which is something I’ve always appreciated. It seems as though some artists believe the size of a piece should somehow make up for the amount of content – which is certainly not the case here! This is large scale AND full of subtlety and nuance. Incredible work! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Thankyou mediaudio I’m glad you like this painting as it’s a favourite of mine. It’s kind of unique colourwise amongst my paintings. I always imagined it large. There are actually not that many landscapes in really large format and I saw one of Brett Whiteley, an Australian painter once, and I thought I must paint some large landscapes as you can lose yourself in them. I’ve done 2 this is one. The other’s called Galada Tamborre.

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