"Femme au chapeau" was inspired by a stroll through San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, where a small portrait by Matisse stopped me in my tracks for what it said about women in the twenty-first century, though it was about a woman transitioning into the twentieth. I almost didn’t attend the exhibition "Monet in Normandy" because I was never a big fan of Monet’s water lilies. As I strolled through the rooms I was surprised by a mounting sense of deja vue. In about the third room, I realized that my painter father had idolized Monet. Here were the same brush strokes I had watched him apply when I was a child, the same seaside landscapes. The Normandy coast looks a lot like southern California’s. I was moved to consider the ground – literal and painterly – Monet was breaking in his early work.