Jon Austria/The Daily TimesLee Russell with Three Rivers Women’s Collective poses for a portrait at In Cahoots! Gallery on Tuesday.
Jon Austria/The Daily Times Lee Russell with Three Rivers Women's Collective poses for a portrait at In Cahoots! Gallery on Tuesday. (Jon Austria)
FARMINGTON — Every Tuesday in March, Three Rivers Women's Collective will be holding "Creative Play" workshops taught by Lee Russell.

The workshops start at 7 p.m. at the collective's Art Center located at 109 N. Allen Ave. The cost for the workshops is $5.

Russell said the classes will start with a whole-brain exercise. This exercise involves sitting like Auguste Rodin's famous sculpture "The Thinker" — elbow rested on knee and chin rested on knuckles — or else sitting with ankles crossed and hands crossed, also resting the chin on the knuckles.

Russell said this exercise comes from a study done in Boulder, Colo., where a group of women were shown horror movies. The only woman who stayed calm was sitting with her hands crossed and her chin resting on her knuckles. Russell said that woman was in a whole-brain situation, which reduces stress.

During the workshops, Russell said participants will do the whole-brain exercise for four minutes. Russell said she will provide them with water to hydrate the brain and they will also participate in breathing-based yoga exercises.

After the opening exercises, Russell said the workshops will involve some games such as playing tic-tac-toe on a large sheet of paper. She said participants will then use the paper to draw a picture incorporating the lines. Their partner will then write a "once-upon-a-time" type story about the picture.

Participants also will make post-card collages. Russell said the collages will be started during the first workshop using three images and only the primary colors. Later on in the workshops, secondary colors will be added. Russell said the collages enable people to see how style evolves.

Russell said collages can be visionary at times. She said she once did a collage using symbols such as pyramids and the Eiffel tower. She later found herself going on a business trip to Egypt. On the way, she had to go through Paris.

Russell said collages can be useful for teenagers and other people as a way to work toward goals.

Russell has taught classes in the past based on "The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity," a book by Julia Cameron. She has also written articles about creativity for different magazines.

"Everybody's creative in their own way," Russell said. "They just have to figure it out."

Hannah Grover may be reached at hgrover@daily-times.com; 564-4652. Follow her on Twitter @hmgrover