We found Matisse living in a small house, with a magnificent, sweeping view beyond his vegetable garden. In one room there was a cage with a lot of fluttering birds. The place was covered with paintings, most of them obviously new ones. I marveled at his production and I asked him, "What is your inspiration? "I grow artichokes, he said. His eyes smiled at my surprise and he went on to explain: "Every morning I go into the garden and watch these plants. I see the play of light and shade on the leaves and I discover new combinations of colors and fantastic patterns. I study them. They inspire me. Then I go back to the studio and paint.
Source: This I Believe, 1952
Contributed by: Zaady