Monet 040721

Fear and Monet’s Chateau of Antibes

4th July 2021 Dr.Beena

What a strange title? The above painting was art classwork with acrylic paints. We are familiar with paintbrushes. However, here we were asked to use a palette knife. I went into panic mode as I had no clue how to use it. I was struggling throughout the class.

Let me describe the painting of the Chateau Grimaldi of Antibes. Oscar-Claude Monet (1840-1926), the creator of Impressionism, painted the Chateau of Antibes. This painting is not as famous as other paintings like the Lilies. The Chateau located in Cote D’Azur in France is a popular tourist destination. So I was quite excited to paint this less known painting with a new tool.

When you use the palette knife, you need to use more paint and apply the strokes quite quickly. In Monet’s paintings, he loves to have a play with lights. Being a new skill, I was trying very hard to create that effect. There are some mistakes, but I was happy with the result.

 Monet’s life story revolved around fear, anxiety, and depression. He was close to his mother as she supported his career as an artist, but she died when he was sixteen. His father never approved of his painting career and even threatened to cut him off financially. In the art circle, his style of painting was unaccepted. He had immense financial difficulties. He lost both wives and his son at different points in his life. However, his greatest fear was the loss of his vision. Due to cataract formation, his vision started to diminish. He refused surgery as other artists had surgeries that failed. Hence they could not paint. He was unwilling to take that chance as he wanted to maintain “a little of these things that I love” rather than forgo painting.

Now to my fear/phobia. Of course, it is nothing compared to what Monet’s life had been. Many times, when we fear, it is often for some ridiculous stuff. My fear of the palette knife was due to my perceived notion that we paint using brushes. As I had no experience with this new tool, I feared that my artwork could fail. The thought of failure prompted my fear (atychiphobia). Hey, I learned a new word today. There are many types of fear, but I have only touched on the ones that bother me. By the way, sometimes fear is protective too.

Many times, I have observed people getting into a fear mode that is unwarranted.  Since the pandemic, I notice that more people live in constant fear. Have you observed that? Maybe it is the fear of the unknown. Yet, we know many who overcame the fear of heights, dangerous sports like paragliding or spelunking (US), or potholing (UK). Allan went spelunking when he visited Kuching. Maybe he can describe what it was like to take that adventurous plunge.

I have fear even going in a cable car. One of my pictures, “Hands to God in Ba Na Hills, Danang, Vietnam” depicts a beautiful place where access is only with a cable car. It is the longest cable car ride in the world. I could never fathom why people ever want to do crazy stuff to overcome fear.

I will share a story about an incident that gripped me with fear. One evening after work, I was driving when I saw a van lose control ahead of me and started to spin in the direction of my car. I thought this van is going to hit me before I could do anything. Instead, the van stopped few feet before my car. As there were no cars behind me, I moved to the next lane and drove on. I was shaking in my car. Later, I rationalized my thoughts and contemplated, “well, no harm happened to me nor the van driver.” All ended well. However, for those few seconds, I was consumed with fear.

Another obscure fear that I have observed is that many are afraid to express their true feelings for fear of rejection. As humans, we always wish to be part of society. It gives much comfort to belong. It takes enormous courage to be different. We read about many brave ones who stood up for worthy causes knowing the immense risks they take. Life is never easy. Facing our different types of fear takes courage. I have friends who fear leaving comments on this website. To them, I say, “do not fear my friend, as this site does not judge anyone.” Feel free to express your thoughts.

I hope to read more stories or thoughts, or experiences based on any of the paintings. Till the next time, happy writing. By the way, despite my atychiphobia, my picture turned out fine.  STAY FEARLESS readers. Some fears are protective, but we can work on those that hamper our lives and eliminate them. It is well to tell oneself that I do not need to have bungee jumping on my list to feel that my life is complete. 

6 thoughts on “Fear and Monet’s Chateau of Antibes

  1. Ah fear,

    Thats a great topic..fear of situations perceived by us so we can “fit in”..other fears that deal with life and death..fear of “not being enough”….something we create for ourselves..fear of the unknown etc

    I love the colours and the image of this happy you overcame your fear of using the palette knife to create this beautiful image.

    1. Dear Suchi

      There are more fears or phobias. Didnt want to bore readers just talking about fear that I have. Hahaha

  2. Looks like you are a very talented artist to be able to paint so well on a first attempt with the palette knife. Glad that you overcame your fear with determination. What a beautiful painting.

    1. Hi Vasanthi

      Oh no. There are lots of mistakes in there. Once you look at other palette knife paintings you can detect the mistakes. I am happy to have finished the painting. Painting needs practice and perseverence. Just like many stuff in life😀😀😀.

      Keep writing


  3. Hi Beena well well you got me fooled there! i thought the painting posted here was Monet’s! You have done a masterpiece yourself! Bravo
    I learnt a lot from your story here. Not only ab Monet but also the types of fears and what fears do to people. Thanks for a great piece of writing !

    1. Hi Nee

      Hahaha am glad as I too was educated about Monet after I did this painting. So we learn something new every time. Hope you can read some of the earlier stories and give your comments on them.


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