Art History Essay Prompts

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What kinds of things do you see in this art piece?  What else do you see?What words would you use to describe this artwork?  What other words might we use?How would you describe the lines in this picture?  The shapes?  The colors?  Look at the artwork for a moment, what observations can you make about it?How would you describe artwork to a person who could not see it?


What does this remind you of?What things do you recognize in this artwork?What do these two pieces of artwork have in common?What interests you most about this work of art?


What objects seem closer to you? Further away?What can you tell me about the colors in this piece?What color is used most?What makes this piece look crowded?Is the work realistic or abstract?What question(s) would you ask the artist about this work if they were here?


What title would you give to this work?  How did you decide on that title?What other titles could you give the work?What sounds could this work make?What do you think this work is about?  How did you come up with your idea?
What makes this work 'good'?What is troublesome about this work?What would you do with this work if you owned it?What is worth remembering about this work of art?

How can one form be changed to another?
Does your imagination know what year it is?
What scares you?
When did you first notice that you were bad at something?  What happened then?
Do you play everyday?  How?

MORE Prompts-

Write in vivid detail about your ideal place to live or work.
Describe the feel of the floor beneath your feet, the smell in the air, all those sensory details that can make a reader feel as though they are in the room with you.

If you are just starting to write in a journal or have temporarily run out of steam, here are some ideas.

Look at a magazine and find a picture that appeals to you. Cut it out, paste it in your notebook and write about it.

Draw a word portrait of your interior landscape. Next draw a word portrait of your exterior landscape.

Invent a dream you wish you'd had. Write about it in detail, paying special attention to concrete sensory images.

Write a dream that a plant, a fish, a star, or a stone might have.

List all of the things that have happened to you only once in your entire life.

Write about an event in your life – first from your perspective and then from the perspective of someone else who was present.

Write about a person or an event that is a paradox or contradiction.

Turn a feeling – love, joy, beauty, anger or fatigue – into a character. Write a detailed description and dialog with this character.

Allow your pen to give voice to a part of your body besides your mind. Have this part write a letter to you. Write a response.

If you were to select music for a soundtrack of the day you've had, what songs would you play in the background? Why?

Invent a new myth for the beginning of the universe.

Write down everything that comes into your mind about money.

Pick the first date from the past and place that pop into your mind. Now write a journal entry as though you were reliving a former lifetime.

Write about a belief you've discarded.

Your life is a journey. From where? To where? Write a travel article about this trip.

Write an entry telling another person something that you are too afraid or reluctant to tell them.

One Minute Writing

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