Making masterpieces at Atelier in Truckee |

Making masterpieces at Atelier in Truckee

Cassandra Walker |

One hub of creativity and craftsmanship, Atelier, sees the opportunity for outdoor adventurers to play in the area and wants to offer fun and fulfilling projects when it’s time to head indoors.

Kelly Wallis is the event and workshop manager of the craft and art supply store in downtown Truckee, and says their weekly workshops are designed to welcome people from all walks of life to find inspiration and leave with a beautiful, handmade piece of art.

“We offer workshops that cater to both our local community and out-of-town visitors. Taking a class with us provides the opportunity for each participant to slow down, set intentions and work on a project without distraction. It’s absolutely wonderful seeing what each person creates and how motivated and content they are after taking a class,” she said.

Wallis recently hosted a two-hour workshop teaching eight students about abstract painting on wood; their other classes include projects in knitting, cookie decorating, drawing, painting, photography, wearable art, home décor, and more.

Each participant was welcomed into the workshop space, which was prepared with all of the supplies needed to create a masterpiece.

Students went around the table to introduce themselves and share a bit about what they wanted to accomplish during the class; whether it was getting back in touch with their artistic side, putting onto some kind of canvas a feeling or vision they had, or beginning to find their voice in abstract art.

Eryn Grill is a Truckee local, who is a member of the Truckee Roundhouse. She attended her second workshop on abstract paint night.

“For one, spending time with the community is a really cool part of coming to these nights. I really like getting time with community members that I don’t already know and getting a lesson like this gives the opportunity to learn with different mediums,” Grill said.

The project was a lesson in patience and letting go of control, as each artist had no idea what their final piece would look like.

The group was given large and small wooden boxes to use as a canvas, which they had to paint, layer by layer, using different contrasting colors.

When the paint was wet, they were instructed to carve into it, making different shapes and textures to then cover with a new coat of paint.

Hair dryers were strategically placed for artists to use to be sure their colors didn’t run together coat after coat.

After each new technique Wallis taught the group, painters “oohed and ahhed” at each other’s interpretation of the project as each wood box showed a different color palette, texture and design around the table.

Libby Evans is a Truckee resident, who moved to the town from San Francisco three years ago. She said the workshops at Atelier are one of her favorite activities in town; she attended the abstract paint night, her fifth workshop so far this season.

“I feel like it’s a guilty pleasure, coming here,” Evans said.

She has also has done painting and weaving classes, and says they are inviting to all guests.

“The classes are relaxed and can be for any level person. It’s nice to be able to create in an environment where everyone feels comfortable and we have some great local artists as teachers,” Evans said.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass

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