Welcome to Art with Mrs. French

I've put together this site to showcase some of the wonderful art work my students are creating. Take a look around and enjoy!

We Are Art Smart!

Howard Gardner, Ph.D., professor at Harvard University, first identified seven different kinds of intelligence in his classic book Frames of Mind. His theory has challenged assumptions about intelligence and learning and deeply influenced the path of education in the United States.

Gardner identifies Spatial intelligence as the ability to "think in pictures," to perceive the visual world accurately, and recreate (or alter) it in the mind or on paper. Spatial intelligence is highly developed in artists, architects, designers and sculptors. When we create art, thinking and acting to increase and develop our spatial intelligence, we become Art Smart!

Click here for an interesting article from ARTSEDGE on why being Art Smart is an important 21st century workplace skill.

About me

Julie French

I started my career in advertising as a graphic designer working with some very interesting businesses and non-profits. Click here to see some of that work. After taking time off to start a family, I wanted to combine my two loves — children and art. Click here to see some of my art work. I'm now in my fourth year teaching art and I love it! My students' creativity amazes me every day, they are a joy to work with.

Contact Me

Parents may reach me through our school website, everyone else please email juliefrench@mac.com.

Acknowledgements

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the people and places that have allowed me to make my transition from graphic designer to art teacher. The State of Connecticut’s Alternate Route to Teacher Certification program allowed me to build on my art degree and professional experience to become highly qualified to teach art in Connecticut. My experience as a student teacher at John Lyman and Korn schools in Regional School District 13 was invaluable, the teachers and administrators there are my heroes and role models! Thank you to the staff at Island Avenue school in Madison for showing me the way during the two years I worked there as a paraprofessional, especially super-teacher Carissa Connell. A grateful thanks to the wonderful, caring people at St. Vincent De Paul School for their daily support and friendship during the three years I taught art there. This year I am teaching a diverse group of students from PreK through high school in Wallingford, and learning so much. I'm fortunate to be working with a group of truly dedicated educators!

Friday
Jun172016

The Wolf Project

Below are some of the stunning pieces created by one of my students showcasing wolves, a subject dear to her heart. She created versions of her wolf character in pencil, pen and ink, digital art and a 3-D model in fur, featuring a working jaw and modeled teeth. As you view the pieces below, know that all of her very detailed digital art is created on her Android phone! Amazing.

Sketchbook workPen and marker

Friday
Jun172016

The 2015-16 School Year

This year I have been privileged to work exclusively in an Alternative High School setting, and wow, has the year flown by! The students in my classes this year are an eclectic group with many different skills and interests. They have tackled a wide range of projects, a few of which are shown here.

 

"Who am I" projectGraffiti ArtDetail of a walking stickSkateboard DesignTwo-color PrintmakingMarbled Paper Making

Wednesday
Jul082015

Identity Hand Project

Our first project at the high school level this year had students creating art that reflected their own thoughts, ideas and personalities. They started with an outline of their own hand, then added words and images that had personal meaning for them. The project was a good way for teacher and students to get to know something about each other, as a good first visual assessment of student abilities.


Saturday
Jun272015

Explorations in Photoshop

The ability to use Photoshop adds an enormous amount of creativity to photographic work. The program is very versatile and can sometimes seem overwhelming to first-time users. Students gain confidence and produce interesting images by understanding just a few of the basic tools and filters.

   

Saturday
Jun272015

Pop Art Reverse Painting

Students began this project by taking a photo of themselves or a favorite subject. After the photo was outlined on a sheet of acetate, they painted on the reverse side using water-based oil paint. Students were exposed to the differences between oil and acylic paints,  and how colors and layering are effected by reverse painting.

 

Thursday
May142015

Warm & Cool Relief Sculptures

Fifth grade students incorporated their knowledge of line variety, organic vs. geometric shapes, and warm and cool colors to build these three dimensional paper sculptures. To see the rubric for this project, along with the Visual Art Content Standards and Student Learning Objectives the lesson addressed, click here.

Thursday
May142015

Night Owls

Using the elements of Line and Shape, students in first grade drew these owls, then filled them with colorful oil pastels. A construction paper branch holds the owls and stars and the moon fill the night sky.

Tuesday
Jul012014

Wire Art

Working in a brand-new medium is an interesting challenge, one our grade 8 students took on with this project. Using thick, light-weight alumium wire they created a square framework, then added embellishments. Beads and various types of thin silver and insulated copper wires were used to finish off the designs. Prior knowledge of line as an element of art, as well as the design principles of balance and variety were incorporated into their designs. 

Tuesday
Jul012014

Aliens in Space

Our 4/5 class enjoyed drawing these fantastical creatures in crayon, cutting them out, then placing them in outer space, complete with stars and planets.The project required an understanding of symmetry, and emphasis was put on the balance of their design as well as the unique features of their creatures.





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday
May222014

Flowers from Observation

This was an interesting and fun lesson for our second and third grade class. We began by talking about what a flower looked like, and I quickly drew the most well known version, a circle surrounded by some loops and a line extending down. Next we looked at several real flowers and began to notice that real flowers look only a bit like the flower I drew. Looking very closely we saw there are characteristics most flowers have in common; a center, petals that repeat around the center, a stem and usually leaves. That said, the flowers we had in front of us were also different in many ways. Some petals were big and some were small; some flowers had many petals and some only six or eight. Some flowers were one color and others had many variations of colors within them. After carefully observing their own individual flower, students drew as accurate a version of what they saw as possible. The flowers were drawn in black permanent marker then colored with water based markers. Learning to observe differences and similarities and how to really see what is in front of you was a great learning experience for the children, and a critical part of the drawing process. The results are lovely. Take a look! Click on any image to get to the gallery.