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. I'm now in my sixth 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.


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. After teaching a diverse group of students from PreK through high school in another community for two years, I am in my second year teaching Art Foundations, Photography and Graphic Design at the high school level in my hometown district. My students are very talented and they impress me with their creativity every day.


Carnival Masks!

Yippee! For the last several weeks our 6th, 7th and 8th grade students have been working hard on the creation of masks for their celebration of Carnival around the world. I am happy to finally begin sharing the results. Parents, you should be proud of your students, they all put in their maxium effort and we have many gorgeous masks to show for it. For those of you who missed the mask display on Carnaval night, you have a another chance to see them right here.

Before beginnning the lesson in the art room, students spent time in their Spanish classes studying Carnival celebrations and culture in the various countries around the world who celebrate the pre-Lenten event. Just as cultures and celebrations differ widely, so do mask designs. After choosing a photo of a favorite mask students set about creating their own in a similar style. Many chose to build their masks in paper mache, which was then painted with tempera or acyrylic paints. Others created their designs with layered poster papers and foil. Feathers, glitter and whatever was available in the art room was utilized to make their masks as authentic as possible.

Click on any image below to get to the gallery. I'll be adding more masks next week as they are completed.



Line Fish

A fun one day project for our grade 2/3 class began by drawing one long, continuous line which looped around a page of paper. The students studied some illustrations of fish and we discussed what features all fish have in common; eyes, tails, fins, gills and scales. We then added these details to our loops in various creative ways to produce these unique "line fish" drawings. 


Weaving Pendants

Here is a small project our grade six students just completed. Creating their own cardboard loom, they learned simple weaving vocabulary and techniques as well as the difference between real and implied texture. The results could be pendants or mini wall hangings. Super!


Shape Murals

One thing I think Art can help develop in children is the ability to work collaboratively. That ability is so important to both a student's performance in the classroom and their future in the 21st-century workplace. I have been so pleased with our 2/3 students these last few weeks! Together they created these fabulous paintings which we call "Shape Murals". Working in groups of three or four, they first painted various shapes onto 22" x 28" paper. The only rules were the shapes had to be outlines and they were not allowed to paint over anyone else's shape. They then connected each shape to another one with black lines, creating more shapes.

The next week each student was given a unique paint color with which to fill in shapes on their own and the rest of the class paintings. They focused on choosing shapes for their color with the design principles of variety and harmony in mind. The last step was to go over the outlines again to make sure the original shapes were still visible. It was wonderful to see the students making great artistic choices while showing respect for their classmates and working so well together! Congratulations, class, here is your beautiful art!


Valentine LOVE

The artist Robert Indiana's rendering of LOVE in paintings and sculpture has become an icon of 20th-century art. For Valentine's Day our 4/5 students recreated his work with craft sticks. My thanks to Kathy Barbro at the website artprojectsforkids.org for this great project idea. I love how our students always add creativity and make an idea their own! Click on any image below for lots of great results.



Craft Stick Snowflakes

The snow is still flying outside and it's still inspiring our artwork! Our 4/5 class reviewed snowflake design and the concept of symmetry. We learned that most snowflakes have six sides, then made some really cool snowflakes by gluing together craft sticks. They were painted and sprinkled with glitter before the paint dried. The beautiful results are shown below.



New Year Accordion Book

To note the coming of the new year and the passing of the old, grade six students reflected on their accomplishments of 2012 and created these accordian books in celebration.


Chalk Snowflake Drawings

Winter and snowfall always inspires lots of interesting art projects. After discussing snowflake structure and the concept of symmetry, our 2/3 class used chalk pastels to create these fabulous drawings on black paper. Click on any image to get to the image gallery.



Paper Weaving

As an introduction to the concept of weaving, our K/1 students used black paper squares, folding them in half and cutting to create "warp" threads on their paper "loom". Colored strips became the "weft" threads, and were woven into their looms in the same under and over pattern of all basic weaving. When their weaving was complete students decorated their pieces with whatever images or colors they were inspired to use. The final pieces are lovely, and the project reinforced the recognition of pattern and repetition so important to understanding basic math concepts. Click on any image below to get to the image gallery.




The Starry Night Collaborative Project

"This morning I saw the country from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big."
- Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother Theo,
describing his experience painting The Starry Night.

Vincent Van Gogh completed The Starry Night, one of his most well known paintings, while at an asylum in Saint-Remy in 1989. After reading and writing about the painting in their Language Arts class, grade 8 students created the collaborative project shown above. Each student reproduced a part of the painting in oil pastels on paper, emulating the swirling brushstrokes so prominent in this painting and many others of the prolific artist. When the students' pieces where placed together they created this gorgeous version of Van Gogh's masterpiece.