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 7th/8th grades (23)

Wednesday
Apr172013

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.

 

Friday
Dec282012

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.

Sunday
Jul292012

Jewelry Fun

In their last few art classes before heading off to high school, our 8th graders had some fun creating these jewelry pieces. The crosses were made by wiring beads onto an aluminum wire armature. Found rocks, sea glass and even seashells were wrapped in wire then hung on string to create one-of-a-kind necklaces.

Click on any image to get to the picture gallery.

  

 

Friday
Jun012012

The Scream

Recently, the Edvard Munch oil pastel entitled "The Scream" sold for a record-breaking amount at auction in New York City. Our seventh grade class studied this iconic example of German Expressionism then created their own versions, complete with the source of their own greatest fear lurking somewhere on the page. Click on any image to get to the Scream Gallery then decide, what makes YOU scream?

 

Friday
May182012

CD Etchings

Unwanted CDs were put to good use in this project in which grade 8 students explored etching, with an emphasis on line variation and a balanced composition. Acrylic paint covered the shiny side of the CD, then the dry surface was etched with the pointed end of a nail or a screw. Even within the limited scope of the materials, we see some nice creative work. The addition of silver glitter complimented the shiny surface of two designs. See the gallery by clicking on any image.

Thursday
Apr262012

Elements of Art Cubes

The seven Elements of Art are line, shape, form, value, color, texture and space. These are the “building blocks” of all art, and whether you realize it of not, you use at least one of them whenever you create a piece of visual art.

To review our knowledge of these elements, our grade 8 class created cubes made from heavyweight paper, with each side depicting a different element. The cube itself represented “shape”. Different media were used for different elements, and you had a choice of depicting or applying texture. The cubes were a nice way to review and reinforce knowledge, and fun to create as well. Take a look and see if you can tell what each side represents. You can click on any image to see more.


Thursday
Apr262012

Winding Perspective Drawings

Our grade seven class is completing an interesting project using one point linear perspective. Linear perspective is a system of drawing in which the artist attempts to create the illusion of three-dimensions on a two-dimensional surface. The invention of linear perspective dates to the early 1400s, with the Italian Renaissance architect Filippo Brunelleschi's experiments in perspective painting. Click here for a bit more about him from the National Gallery of Art.

Here our artists chose five shapes whose sides had to converge on a central vanishing point. They had to wind a thread-like object of their choice through the “floating” shapes and create an environment or setting for them. Click on any image to see more drawings.

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.

 


Friday
Jan202012

Mandalas

To explore art from other cultures and understand radial symmetry, students in grades six, seven and eight have been creating mandalas. Mandalas have their origins in Buddhist and Hindu cultures, in fact the word "mandala" means "circle" in Sanskrit. Each student is designing their own mandala, the only rules are they must be circular, show radial symmetry, and be unique to each artist.

The mandalas shown here were done by grade eight, aren't they terrific? If you click on any image you'll go to the picture gallery and see more of them.

 

Monday
Jan022012

We Are Art Smart!

 I'm going back in time a bit to talk about our very first art project this year. Seventh and eighth grade students colored individual quarter-sized sheets of paper I had preprinted with outlined letters. The students had no idea what letters they were working on, but were instructed to use complementary colors and their imaginations to decorate their pieces. When we put the pieces together the letters spelled "We Are Art Smart." The project gave me a chance to assess the skill level of each student and discuss what it means to be "Art Smart." My students had fun working with their favorite colors and patterns, and as a bonus, the banner looks great hanging in our art room!