Cohesive, compatible, a body acting to unite its parts: Those are all words that describe Group 6.Group 6 is a collection of elements in the periodic table that includes chromium and tungsten. It’s also a plein air painting group. Their work, all created outdoors, is on exhibit through Feb. 26 at Artisans at the Dahmen Barn.
The group evolved over time, said Jan Vogtman, one of its founding members. Many in the group were already part of the Palouse Watercolor Socius and had been meeting a couple times a week to paint together in Nick Bode’s studio. Then their interests expanded.
“We fell in love — one, two, four at a time — with plein air painting and started to go as a group,” Vogtman said.
During the warmer months they meet once a week, sometimes more, and carpool to a scenic location that’s been decided upon ahead of time. It makes for an early morning because morning light is always the best, Vogtman said. They’ve gone everywhere from the Grande Ronde River to Klemgard Park to Soldiers Meadow Reservoir and countless places in between.
“We just enjoy the camaraderie of being together,” Vogtman said.
Once they arrive at a destination, they spread out, each choosing a different focal point for their piece. Sometimes they visit as they get started, but it always gets quiet as people concentrate on their paintings.
The group’s name was inspired by Bode, who pointed out the similarities between the properties of the elements grouped together on the periodic table and those of their own group. The words used to describe Group 6, Vogtman said, seemed to describe the painting group as well.
“We all learn from each other, we get along well, we critique each others’ paintings — of course there’s teasing and laughing. There’s just a lot of harmony and compatibility,” Vogtman said.
Although the core of the group has been consistent since it began, it is open to other artists. Those who are interested in joining can contact them at email@example.com.
Jan Vogtman, Troy: “As far back as I can remember I loved to draw. I am inspired by north Idaho’s rural landscapes, rivers, farms and aging buildings.”
Jill Hosmer, Clarkston: “I paint because I both want to and need to. Always I challenge myself to get better, learn more, achieve more. This makes life exciting; I want each painting to be beautiful, but not in a boring way — intelligently beautiful, something that speaks — no, calls.”
Cathy Gottschalk, Deary: “I participated in the Moscow Plein Air competition this past summer and discovered for myself the fun and the challenges of painting outdoors. Our adventure included climbing over fences, fighting bugs and battling the ever-changing light and shadows. The best part of the experience was spending time with friends and learning from them.”
Nick Bode, Moscow: “I have little to say, about myself or about my art. Whatever I accomplish must be able to stand on its own and speak for itself.”
Joyce Tamura, Moscow: “Painting outdoors, I have to think quickly and immediately start painting in order to capture a moment because I know that the light will change. … Here are my personal key words in relation to plein air painting: light, openness, observation, colors, shapes, lines and interpretation.”
Barney Saneholtz, Pullman: “I hope my love of the great outdoors can be seen in both my plein-air painting and studio work. My desire is to have you become a part of my painting through appreciation of form, light and color.”
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: “On the Road Again” Group 6 plein air exhibit
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, today through Feb. 26
WHERE: Artisans at the Dahmen Barn, Uniontown
MORE INFO: The exhibit will be at the Artisans at the Dahmen Barn during the Uniontown Chocolate Walk featuring several Uniontown businesses 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Feb. 4.