Heartless was a title to disguise the real obsession: a need to say blue and orange a hundred ways, ways that would turn them into conversations about light and memory; because, in memory's light, cadmium red-orange is the pulse under her skin, the tender skin of what became, of all things, the kneeling figure, perhaps my mother cradling—me?—while, yes, go on, her lonely sister says—"heartless." But then there is the blue, the ultramarine, not dredged up from the deep but waiting, a big blob on the palette, to lure us all: mother, aunt, the artist, into a conspiracy—with orange. What a way to paint a picture!
—from Dorothea Tanning: Birthday and Beyond. Exhibition brochure. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2000.