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 kindergarten and PreK (8)

Thursday
Apr262012

Overlapping Circles of Color

Here’s a little project our kindergarteners had fun doing this week. We explored the concept of overlapping circles by printing in black tempera paint with the ends of paper towel rolls. When the paint dried, we colored in the circles. The idea to grasp was that when colors overlap, they combine to make a third color. Sometimes it shows in the artwork and sometimes it doesn’t, but we all had fun naming color combinations and filling circles with lots of different hues! Click on any image to see more circles.


Thursday
Apr052012

Hats - in 3D!!!!

Our kindergarten class had a lot of fun working on this project, turning pieces of tissue and construction paper into a three-dimensional collage. Then cut, staple and add some yarn for a tie and you've got yourself a pretty sharp looking hat. I love how proud they are of their work, don't you?

Sunday
Mar182012

Everyone Loves Vincent


These last few weeks three of our classes have been exploring the work of Vincent Van Gogh, an artist most children really enjoy. I think his bold brush strokes and gorgeous colors attract them to his paintings, and for me there is a child-like innocence and energy that radiates from his work that I adore.

 "Sunflowers" 1889

Since spring is in the air, we looked at Van Gogh's sunflower series of paintings and each class recreated this one together. We first painted the background in tempera paint on 24" x 36" paper. We noted Van Gogh used large brush strokes and often "mixed" his colors directly on his canvas. I printed out a copy of his original painting and cut out the vase, which I applied to our painted background. After looking closely at sunflowers in our classroom to understand their structure, each child created one of their own flowers using crayon or crayon resist and watercolors. We made our stems from tissue paper, attached them to our flower heads and arranged them in our vase. After their painting was completed, each child signed their first names only, just like Vincent. I think they are as gorgeous as the original. Click on any to get to our sunflower gallery.

 

Thursday
Jan262012

Doodlebugs

It’s always amazing to me how the process of making art takes place. These are “doodlebugs” created by our kindergarten and first graders. Each child began with a blank piece of paper and a variety of crayons. I gave them step-by-step instructions on what to draw such as “four straight lines starting at one edge of the paper and going to another edge,” and “draw five circles anywhere on your paper.” The children interpreted the instructions individually (no looking at your neighbor’s doodle!) and came up with these beautiful and unique creations.

When they were complete we viewed each doodle and discussed how art allows us to express our own talents and abilities, and helps us appreciate each other’s individuality and vision. Aren't these wonderful? Clicking on any image brings you to the gallery and lots more doodles.

 



Friday
Jan202012

We've Got Fish!

No, not real ones...

Our kindergarten and first grade classes started a fun two week project by closely observing a glass fishbowl. We talked about what a contour line means in art as I traced the outside edge of the bowl with my finger. The students drew the line on paper in black crayon, then it was time to fill their bowls with fish.

After looking at lots of pictures of fish, we talked about the things they all have in common; eyes, mouths, fins, scales. Everyone filled their bowls with lots of fish, cut out their bowls and glued them onto orange construction paper. Since all fish need water to live, the students glued torn pieces of blue tissue paper over each fish. Last step, draw a surface for your bowl to sit on and decorate it. Now, we've got fish!

Click on any image to get to the picture gallery and see lots more fish!.

 

Sunday
Jan012012

Wreath and Snowflakes

Our school held its annual Christmas bazaar and we made some artwork to hang for the event. Pre K and Kindergarten classes made handprints which were cut out and attached to cardboard to form a wreath. They cut red construction paper berries and decorated paper strips for ribbons and a bow. Turned out great!

Our older students had fun creating giant cut paper snowflakes. When they first saw the sample I heard lots of "I'll never be able to do that!" When they realized they are simple to make they had a blast and didn't want to stop. Many students went home and made more to decorate their own homes.

 

Friday
Dec302011

Leaves, Leaves, Leaves!

Fall is such a gorgeous time of year in New England, it's my very favorite season. To celebrate its visual beauty, our classes did projects involving fall leaves. Click on any image to get to the picture gallery.

Watercolor Markers

Pre kindergarten and kindergarten used water based markers to color leaves using "warm" colors; reds, oranges, yellows and browns. They then watched the colors blend as they brushed them with water. It was a good opportunity to talk about warm and cool colors and review the color wheel. 

 

Crayon Resist Technique

The 2/3 class traced leaves from nature and colored them with crayon. We stressed pressing down hard with the crayon and filling up the leaf with color. Next they washed over their leaves with watercolor. The wax in the crayon resists watercolor absorption.

  

Friday
Dec302011

Color Collages

Kindergarten and first grade classes explored primary colors while making collages from cut paper. We talked about what primary colors are and how we can mix them to create all the colors in the world! Kinders got to practice basic cutting and gluing skills (we can count out dots of glue instead of pouring), first graders were encouraged to create three dimensions with the paper... fun, fun, fun!

Clicking on any image brings you to the picture gallery.