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.

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. 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.

Entries in 4/5/6th grades (24)

Friday
Feb222013

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.

 

Saturday
Feb022013

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.


Friday
Dec282012

In the Style of Georgia O'Keeffe

"A flower is relatively small. Everyone has many

associations with a flower... still, in a way, nobody

really sees a flower, really, it is so small....

So I said to myself, I'll paint what I see... but I'll

paint it big and they will be surprised into taking

time to look at it... even busy New Yorkers [will]

take time to see what I see of flowers."

- Georgia O’Keeffe

The American artist Georgia O'Keeffe has always been a favorite of mine. Our 4/5 class studied the use of line, color and form in her gorgeous flower paintings, then created their own flowers using oil pastels on paper, working from photos as a reference. Drawing the flowers oversized and filling the paper forces the viewer to see the flowers more as abstract shapes than actual flowers. Click on any image to get to the picture gallery for many more images.


Thursday
Dec062012

Notan Designs

Nōtan is a Japanese design concept involving the play and placement of light and dark as they are placed next to each other in art. Our grade 6 students created cut paper notan designs using a single color and black. The results show their images as both positive and negative shapes and create these striking works of art. Click on any image below to see more in the picture gallery.

Thursday
Dec062012

Batik Pumpkins

I love the art of batik and the colorful cloth it produces, but the traditional hot wax and dye process can be difficult to do in a classroom. Our 4/5 class used a modified form of batik to create these colorful pumpkins, then added some leaf prints in gold and silver to finish their designs. 

After closely studying pumpkins we brought into our classroom, students practiced making contour drawings to gain understanding of their shape and form. They carefully drew their own pumpkins using warm fall colors in crayon, the wax part of the process. The drawings were crumpled up to brake up the surface of the crayon, but not tear the paper. The pumpkins were then completely covered in black tempera paint in place of traditional dye, and the paint was wiped off the surface. The black paint stayed only in the areas where the crayon surface had been broken up. The results are shown below, aren't they great? Click on any image to get to the picture gallery for closer viewing.

 





Thursday
Nov292012

Fall Leaf Monoprints

Fall is such a great time to make use of materials from nature in our artwork. Recently our sixth grade class used fallen leaves to make these beautiful monoprints. The backs of the leaves were covered lightly with metallic tempera paint, then pressed onto paper. When the leaves were removed they left lovely detailed prints showing their delicate stucture. Students then used sponges to paint around the leaves. When dry they filled in the leaf prints with colored pencil to finish. The results are wonderful, don't you think? Please click on any image to get to the picture gallery. 






Friday
Sep212012

In the Style of Warhol

During the 1960s, the artist Andy Warhol began creating the paintings he is best known for today. He loved popular culture and decided to paint what he loved. His silk-screened images of the cultural icons of his day helped to found the "Pop" art movement. Our students took a modern cultural icon, the sneaker, and created their own versions of Pop art in the style of Andy Warhol. Click on the image below to see the individual images.

Friday
May182012

Outdoor perspective

Here’s a challenging project our four/five class just completed. They used the rules of one point linear perspective to create the illusion of three dimensions on a two dimensional surface. We looked at examples of landscape paintings to understand the idea of a single vanishing point located in the center of the paper at which all points converge. After drawing a road (or a river) starting at the bottom of the page, they added barns, buildings, trees and the like. Clouds, birds and airplanes filled the skies, and the addition of watercolor paint completed the project. Click on any image to see more.

Thursday
Mar292012

Yarn Baskets

Recently as I was considering what art project should come next for our grade 6 class, I realized our materials stock included a large supply of brand new bottles of white pvc glue. I wanted to work on something three dimensional for a change after the class had spent a lot of time drawing their wonderful mandalas, and the glue seemed like a place to start. We also have a wonderful suppy of yarn I've been wondering how to use, hmm... what could we do with those two materials? 

One of the joys of the internet for art teachers is the incredibly easy access to a wealth of lesson inspiration. After a little searching, I discovered a way for students to learn a new technique and develop their skills working in three dimensions while making good use of existing materials in our classroom. These baskets were made by briefly soaking yarn in glue, then wrapping or applying the yarn to a mold. When the yarn was dry the mold was removed and we had baskets! The project took a while to complete and was pretty messy, but the students learned a new technique, got to make some interesting design decisions and ended up with a pretty cool product, don't you think? Clicking on any image gets you to the picture gallery. I'll be adding more images next week.

 

Friday
Feb102012

More Mandalas

Sixth and seventh grade classes are completing their versions of mandalas, the traditional circular, symmetrical design with Buddhist and Hindu origins. I love how they follow the "rules" for mandala design but are unique reflections of each student artist's personality. Click on any image to get to the picture gallery.