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!

Entries in first grade (19)

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.

Monday
Apr072014

Rainbow Fish

The art processes of printing, drawing and collaging were explored for this project our kindergarten and first grade students just completed.


Step 1, Printing: After reading the ever-popular story "The Rainbow Fish", students dipped paper towel roll ends into white tempera and printed their ocean background on blue construction paper.
Step 2, Drawing: Next, we talked about and viewed photos of fish to learn what all fish have in common; eyes, tails, fins and scales. Together we practiced drawing a big fish that filled up our white drawing paper. Students could then color the fish with crayon as they desired.
Step 3, Collaging: When they had a fish they were happy with, students learned how to collage, or glue, small pieces of lots of different colored paper onto their fish, ending with a one shiny silver scale. The fish were then cut out and glued onto the printed backgrounds, adding seaweed or other ocean details completed the artwork. Aren't they great? Click on any image to see more fish!

Thursday
Dec192013

Kindergarten Winter Trees

Give a kindergarten child a few strips of paper of differing lengths, and watch how quickly they figure out how to line them up to form a tree shape. You can almost see the thinking process as they work out the process in their minds. Add a glue stick, some crayons and white tempera paint, and before you know it some beautiful Christmas trees come alive in a snowy winter landscape. Click the image below to visit the winter tree gallery.

Friday
Dec062013

Line Paintings

Line is the most basic of the elements of art that artists use everyday in their work. Our kindergarten and first grade class had fun with this project as they explored different types of lines. After a whiteboard review of all the types of lines they could think of, students used crayon to draw at least five different types across their 12" by 18" paper. They then filled in the spaces between the lines using watercolor paints. This gave us a chance to talk about how to use watercolors, how to best achieve a variation of tints with them and how to keep the green paint out of the yellow (wash off your brush!) Below are some of the beautiful results, click on any to see more line paintings.

Thursday
Nov142013

Fuzzy Spiders

Our K/1 class learned how to draw a spider web by criss-crossing four lines in the center of their paper, then connecting them with ever-widening circles that looped around the center point. They used a range of colors to decorate their web, then created fuzzy spiders to dwell within them. Click on the image to see more fuzzy friends!

Thursday
Oct172013

Colored Alphabets in the Style of Jasper Johns

To start off the new school year our kindergarten and first graders created their own alphabet art in the style of the American contemporary artist Jasper Johns, b. 1930.

Jasper Johns, Colored Alphabet
Oil, encaustic and paper collage on panel

Our versions were done on 9" x 12" white sulphite paper divided into 25 rectangles (the letters I and J shared a space.) Kindergarteners traced over the lightly pre-printed letters in crayon, then painted over each rectangle with water-color paints. They watched the crayon magically "resist" the paint while the bare paper absorbed it. Oohh, it's fun to see that process for the first time! First graders were challenged to draw their own letters before painting. The artists had their choice of color selection, and it's interesting to see how different each piece looks. Click on any image below to see more of their terrific work.


Friday
May312013

We love Dinosaurs!

Most young children seem to have a never-ending fascination with dinosaurs, and our K/1 students got a chance to explore that passion this week. After examining some photos first, we learned how to draw a basic dinosaur. I was pretty impressed with how much some of our students knew about the names and types of creatures that existed so many millions of years ago. The topic promoted a lively discussion about what size each creature was and who could eat whom if necessary! The creatures were drawn with black crayon then watercolors were used to add color to the art. The students added whatever features they thought might exist in their dinosaur's environment. As always they were encouraged to be creative with their color and design, and they tried very hard to fill their entire paper with their art. I think the results are pretty great, please take a look. Clicking on the photos below will get you to the gallery for more dinosaur viewing.

 

Friday
May032013

Flowers in the Style of Picasso

The artist Pablo Picasso created this lithograph for a peace demonstration held in Stockholm, July 16-22, 1958. Each of the 200 lithographs in the edition is hand signed and dated by the artist. Our kindergarten and first grade artists created their own versions of this iconic image. Working with a partner, they first traced each other's hand. Then each student outlined his own hand in marker. Stems, tissue paper centers and colorful petals were added to create a bright flower bouquet. After signing and dating their work it was complete, and just in time for Mother's Day! Clicking on the image below will bring you to the gallery and lots more beautiful flowers.

 

Saturday
Feb022013

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.

  

 

Friday
Dec282012

Christmas fun

I hope everyone had a wonderful, joyful Christmas. In the few weeks before the holiday, most of our grades worked on projects with a Christmas theme. Here are a few from our younger students. Kindergarten and first graders created reindeer cards. They cut and folded reindeer, glued them to construction paper then had some fun painting on snow with Q-tips.

 

When their cards were completed, students created Christmas tree ornaments from chenille stems.

For their own project our second and third graders stacked strips of colored paper to create classic Christmas tree shapes to which ornaments were added. Fun! 

Click on any image to get to the picture gallery and more trees.