“Have been having a real day of it one of the darn satisfactory really working up to the best ones that you seem to be able to accomplish very seldom. Stupid enough subject in a way a lot of still life things I worked into a good arrangement and then clicked into place in my head the way it has (like getting the focus just right in a camera) and the things came to life with fine balanced lines & planes and colour relations you never saw til you started. The idea in your head is the important thing, is as fine as any portrait or other subject.”—Cheney to Phelps Putnam, August 20, 1916, from Woodstock, NY
“We are amused and damn well amused by the canvas Mr. Cheney started yesterday P.M. and nearly finished in a coup de foudre ce matin. Calla Lilies it will be called in future monographs. A sea green pale background, white bowl, twisting, aspiring, very sexually inclined white lilies, each with a darting yellow pricker. A damn good job, if I do say so.” (1926) Later, he altered the background, painting it over black.