Arts 2D, De Anza College, Instructor N.Kleit
Journal 2: Letter as an Artist
Short Essays are typed assignments. Upload to CANVAS—Go to: Modules>Submit
Homework Here> Journal 2
DUE Sunday June 24, 11:50pm
Worth 80 Points Total
Assume the identity of a modern artist, and write about your experience with the artwork
in a letter to a friend or family member. Give your artist character life! Provide a strong
voice and have fun with it, be creative.
1. Choose the Artwork, Find Your Voice
You may choose to write about any work of art from Chapter 24 Modernism in Europe and America,
textbook–Kleiner, Gardner’s Art through the Ages. Vol. II.
Choose from any 19th century art movements, like: Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism,
Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, 19th century photography
A. Read the section from the textbook, which describes and provides information about the artwork
you have chosen.
B. Your Character- You will be writing from the voice of your artist. Describe and analyze the
artwork through the eyes of your artist (point of view-POV).
Think about: The purpose of the artwork, why was it created? Who is the audience? The persona of the
3. Find a Research Source
Find at least 2-3 resources outside of the textbook that will provide you with more contextual
information on the artwork, or artist you have chosen to write about. Read the article(s) and continue to
write your own notes based on the article (you do not need to turn in these notes).
Arts 2D, De Anza College, Instructor N.Kleit
Choose ONLY 1-2 Websites, (do not use, .com, .en, .uk websites,
only use .org, .edu)

Home 2018
Choose 1-2 Academic Articles, Books or E-books from the Mission Library OneSearch tool bar.
Search for articles in the following Mission College Databases:
World History Collection, World History in Context, Fine Arts (Gale Onefile).

-If you can’t find the author’s name, don’t use the Source!
-If using a web source, ONLY USE .org or .edu sources! Do not use .com, .en, .uk websites
Do not quote from outside resources in this assignment!
Include a bibliography listing only the articles you have read. Use MLA formatting.
Links to help you with formatting:
Mission College Resources:
Generating a bibliography (does the work for you!)
Arts 2D, De Anza College, Instructor N.kleit
4. Start Writing Your Letter
Now that you have chosen who you will be, choose who you are writing to (family member, friend,
husband or wife—give them a name.)
If you are talking to a friend, cousin or sibling you can be more casual, if you address
a mother or father perhaps you will have a respectful tone.
Address the following IN YOUR LETTER
1. Introduce yourself to your friend, catch them up on your life.
Include in your first paragraph: Artist, Title (in Italics), Medium, Date—in this order.
Example: Claude Monet, Fisherman’s Cottage on the Cliffs at Varengeville, Oil on Canvas, 1882.
2. Thoroughly Discuss and Describe the artwork from the artist’s perspective. Describe visual
elements, The story and symbolism. Remember: texture, line, color, shape, the overall subject matter.
3. Art Movement- What art style was the artist working in? From the point of view of the artist
describe their artistic values and ideas. The purpose of their modern art. Think about: did the artist
have a manifesto?
4. Bring in key terminology, as it relates to the artwork.
Example: “I am using a new technique called photomontage.”
5. Use the Context (historical background) you learned about the artwork, and artist, to help bring life
and a strong perspective to your letter. Does their personal experiences influence the artwork in any
Bring in factual information you have learned to make the letter interesting.
6. Provide a short concluding paragraph, wrap up your thoughts.
Include an image of the artwork
At the end of your essay provide an image of the artwork and label the image.
In order to get FULL credit you need to include exact formatting.
Arts 2D, De Anza College, Instructor N.kleit
Length: 3 pages Minimum Typed Essay (3.5-4 pages MAX).
Left Corner Heading (top of 1st page): Include Your full Name, class, prof. name
Title: Journal 2, and add your own!
FONT/Space: Times New Roman, 12pt, DOUBLE SPACED
Margins: 1 inch margins all around.
GRADING (Read Carefully)
A detailed Rubric will be added to Canvas.
To earn full points each Essay MUST include:
• Provide the Artist, Title, Date, Medium
• An Analysis of 1 work of the art, in letter form
• Answer all of the questions best you can for your analysis
At the end of your typed paper
• Provide an image of the artwork at the end of your essay
• Provide a bibliography, of 2 sources, in MLA format, at the
end of your essay.
Be sure to edit your essay to
catch any grammar and
spelling errors.
Format your letter like the Example Below:
Carrie Smith
Art 2C, Journal 2
Assignment Date
A Letter to Johannes
Artwork: Raphael, Philosophy (School of Athens), Stanza della Segnatura, Fresco, 1509.
Writing as: The artist Raphael, to a friend Johannes.
Dear Johannes,
Arts 2D, De Anza College, Instructor N.kleit
It is so good to finally write to you again, I have been very busy working on a
new commission for Pope Julius II….
At the center of the painting are Greek philosophers Plato and his pupil Aristotle.
They are portrayed within an enormous Roman-like architectural space…
This is an example of a Letter Assignment regarding formatting and concepts you will be using in
your Journal Assignment.
Please note this is an essay written for a similar assignment but is NOT exactly the same as the one you are writing.
I hope this is helpful for you all!
Student Name
Professor Kleit
A Letter To Jan
Artwork: Otto Dix, Der Krieg (The War), Oil and tempera on wood, 1929–1932
Writing as: The artist Otto Dix, to his son Jan Dix
Dear Jan,
I hope that you are well my son and when you receive this letter you will be old enough
to understand what it means. At the moment I am applying the final strokes to Der Krieg (The
War) which I paint for my sake as well as yours. Like most of my pieces, I have tried to show
you a true picture of the world we live in, and to do that I have had to be direct and provocative.
For me, this is the only way I know to maintain my sanity, and for you, I hope it will
serve as a warning and a reminder of the horrors of war that you never got to see.
The theme of this painting is The First World War. It is a depiction of the devastating
effects of war on the people and the terrain. Having spent the better part of four years in the
frontline front 1915 serving in the front line of the war I have made this painting from the
perspective of a soldier who has experienced death and destruction first hand. From the left,
there are images of soldiers who are marching to a distant war. In the center panel, I have shown
you the misery and hopelessness of the battlefield as I remember it. There is a sight of mangled
bodies filled with bullets and lifelessly spread over the plain. The corpses of the soldiers who had
fallen are desecrated by being left to rot in the trenches. On the bottom panel, you can see the
soldiers who have already been laid to rest after succumbing to previous battles. Unfortunately,
they are the ones who are at peace at this time. This work was very personal to me. In the midst
of the confusion and bloodshed, on the left panel, there is an image of myself. Notice the
disbelief and disgust on my face as I observe the ugliness which I find myself in. In the painting
am trying desperately to rescue my comrade who has been injured on the battlefield.
The war devastated the environment as well. The field was littered with corpses. Fires
burnt down the trees and left the ground bare. The soldiers had to dig trenches to shelter
themselves from the enemy. The soldiers on both parties also used bombs constantly. These
activities carried out in the process of the battle the field was left desolate and unpleasant to the
My style is in line with the new artistic movement which I subscribe to known as New
Objectivity. Members of this movement try to lift the veil of the current violent world and use it.
our military experiences to create a clear and honest image. I pride myself in being a realist and
an objective artist and not one merely led by romantic idealism. Looking back, I can admit that
this is the reason why I volunteered to war in the first place. I believe that war is the best way to
see human beings in their true nature and to understand the depths of my life. I was right, the war
was nothing if not tremendous. However, through this painting, I hope you can understand the
demons that constantly haunt my dreams each night. I confess that I have never recovered from it
and I doubt that I will. I can only hope that by making art I will
To bring out the intended effect, I had to combine various visual elements. My technique
combines aquatint and etching. Due to the corrosive nature these mediums whereby acid etches a
metal printing plate, I was able to increase the sense of decay. The painting also employs a rich
visual texture. The lines which I etched vary in boldness. This helped me give the painting a
solid nature by accurately portraying intricate details of the images like the folds on the uniforms
of the soldier. The painting is about death and suffering and therefore I have made sure to use
color to highlight this theme. The corpses are drenched in blood with the red color showing their
injuries. Notably too is the white mist in the right panel. This portrays the poisonous gas which
was used as a weapon that killed anyone who inhaled it without a protective mask. Otto also uses
light and darkness to bring out important features of the painting. For instance, the dark clouds
are a reflection of the grim atmosphere at the battlefield (Kleiner 800). All of these elements
make it possible to paint the nightmarish picture which recurs in my mind when I think of my
time in the war.
I have insisted that this painting was borne out of the trauma of the war but I do not wish
to paint myself as the victim by any means. I was there as a willing volunteer. To me, war is a
human manifestation that will always be present. The only things that change are the states
which arise as a result of it. You have to be ready to accept the fate that faces you especially in
conditions that require that you prove yourself. When people are placed in abnormal situations
they are bound to become depraved and bestial. My experience in the war made me lose my faith
in the possibility that society could improve.
The War is a reminder to you to always see the world for what it is, a place with an
incredible potential for suffering. It is also a warning for you to always be strong and courageous
enough to face it on your own terms so you may not lose yourself to it.
Otto Dix
Kleiner, Fred S. Gardner’s Art through the Ages: The Western Perspective, Volume II, 15th ed.
Boston: Cengage Learning, 2016.
Sargent, Leona C. “Visions of World War I: Through the Eyes of Käthe Kollwitz and Otto Dix.”
CORE Scholar – Wright State University. n.d.
Hess, Heather. “Otto Dix. The War (Der Krieg). 1924 (prints Executed 1923-1924).” Accessed March 4, 2021.
Otto Dix, Der Krieg (The War), Oil and tempera on wood, 1929–1932
Book Notes
● Otto Dix was associated with the New Objectivity movement.
● He found the war to be horrible and also as something tremendous
● He joined the war because he was concerned with reaching the depths of life.
● His work is a vivid representation of the effects of the Great War.
● The art was highly personal considering that he had included himself in the painting
● Otto believed that war brought human nature of depravity and senseless violence.
Article notes
● Otto Dix considered himself to be a realist
● The major motivation behind his work was psychological because he used art as a form
of therapy.
● Otto volunteered for service in 1915
● He said he painted to get the images out of his system
● He was haunted by his nightmares years after he had left the war and did not think that he
would get over the trauma of war in his lifetime.
● He combined an etching and aquatint technique to give it a sense of corrosion

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