Who Cares For Art Home Page
Student Home Page

Track: Inquiry

Ideas and Images Journal Assignment

This journal assignment should demonstrate your ability to:
· Identify various sources you can use to get ideas and images for your art.
· Ask questions about how artists work with ideas and images for their art.

· Identify experts who can help you search for answers about where artists (and others) get ideas and images.

Selecting an Artwork
Choose several artworks, either locally or anywhere in the world that you think are important. That is, choose artworks you think should be taken care of for the future. Before you select one artwork as your focus, be sure you can find sources of information about that artwork or the artist who made it. In addition to Art Links, your school library, local library, and local museum are possible sources for information.

Record the sources of your information, whether they are in print or are electronic. It is very important to give credit to your sources. Do not quote even a phrase without setting off the phrase in quotation marks and crediting the original author or source.

Getting Started
Below is a list of topics about how artists get ideas and develop images. Lesson One explains these topics as they apply to the art of Luis Jiménez. These topics will be more meaningful to you if you can apply them to an artwork that you think is interesting and that you'd like to learn more about.

A. Sketches and Preliminary Drawings
B. Childhood Memories
C. Art in the Family
D. Art Influences
E. Planning with Others
F. Theme or Big Idea (such as Sorrow)
G. Legends and Symbols

Choose an artwork that you can find information about either online or in the library. It is important to have lots of information so you can do all the journal assignments. Get a photocopy or printout of the artwork for your next journal assignment and write down the following information:

  1. Title of the work
  2. Artist's name, if it is known
  3. Culture of Artist (where the artist lived, for example, French culture or Navajo culture)
  4. Date
  5. Size
  6. Medium (material)
  7. Present Location

Think of a question to ask that relates each topic to the artwork that interests you. For example for the first topic:

  • Did the artist usually make preliminary drawings?
  • Can I locate any sketches by this artist?

Consider how each topic could apply to the artwork that interests you and choose one topic (other than A) to write about. Once you have selected a topic, think about who in art has knowledge and experience about this topic. Different art experts understand art in different ways. Click to read descriptions of what various art experts do. You can learn a lot from experts if you ask specific questions about the things they know best.

Different art experts have different knowledge about the first topic, artists' use of sketches. For example you might ask an artist who works in a medium or style that is similar to the artwork you selected whether or how s/she uses sketches and preliminary drawings to develop ideas and images. Or you might ask a dealer or collector how the market price of sketches compares with that of finished work by the same artist. Or you might ask an art historian how prominent artists used sketches to plan their work.

Click to see Pablo Picasso's completed painting, Guernica, and scroll down to see sketches.
Click to see Michelangelo's sketches for the Sistine ceiling.

Now think about whether there is someone outside art who has experience or knowledge about the topic you selected. Click to read descriptions of what experts in a variety of disciplines do. The list names only experts used in this program. Of course there are others, including psychologists, mechanics, physicians, lawyers, athletes, musicians, and many more who can bring different perspectives to the topic. Again, you can learn a lot from experts if you ask specific questions about the things they know best.

What experts outside art have experience working with visual sketches and plans? You might ask an engineer whether s/he uses drawings, diagrams, computer graphic software, or other visuals to think through and design solutions to problems. Or you might ask an historian what route Amelia Earhart indicated on her flight plan. Click to see her flight plan from California through South America, across the Atlantic, African, the Middle East, Asia, and the South Pacific.

Choose one of the topics (not A) to write about in your journal.

  • Think of a question related to the topic that you believe an art expert might be able to help you answer.
  • Think of a question related to the topic that you believe an expert outside art might help you answer.

I included:

  1. Basic information about the artwork that I selected
  2. Why the artwork interests me
  3. The topic I selected (B,C, D, E, F, or G)
  4. A specific type of art expert who might guide my inquiry
  5. A question related to this topic for an art expert
  6. A type of non-art expert who might guide my inquiry
  7. A question related to the topic for non-art expert
  8. Any other thoughts I have about how the artist got ideas for or developed images for the artwork I selected.

Student Home