Write the stories from your life, with Jo’s expert guidance

Writing icon Watermill landing pageHave you ever thought about putting some of your life’s experiences on paper? Have your children/grandchildren ever said: Mum/Dad/Grandma/Grandad, you’ve done some fascinating things, been to amazing places: you ought to write it down!”

If so, this is definitely the course for you. It will enable you to write about your own life experience in an effective journal, memoir or blog. You can learn the secrets of writing your life story in our delightful setting in the heart of rural Tuscany – brilliant teaching and exquisite Italy all wrapped up in one fantastic week!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.This is the ultimate workshop on how to write the stories of your life, with journalist, teacher, editor and publisher Jo Parfitt. The Write Your Life Stories creative writing course is designed to help you produce your best work, to find your true writer’s ‘voice’ and to write authentically. Among other things, you’ll discover the secret of SPICE, the seven steps to writing life stories, and put this into practice right away. The course will run from 22 to 29 September 2018.

Jo Parfitt has published 31 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors get into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. She’s an inspiring, compassionate and encouraging teacher: her motto is sharing what I know to help others to grow’.

Jo says: “The course at the watermill will provide a safe haven in which to unlock your creativity, write from your heart and hone your writing craft. It will also help to remove blocks to your writing. Sessions at the mill will empower students to write in a compelling way that makes real experiences come to life.”

Here’s what one of our guests said about Jo’s last course at The Watermill: “I can honestly say it’s been life changing for me and the setting could not have been more perfect.” Another added:Jo was a quite delightful teacher. I found a happy atmosphere permeating the Watermill, and I particularly liked my room.”

 Jo says: “The class will include several methods and genre and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.”

 

Jo plus picJo Parfitt
22 September to 29 September 2018 
Write Your Life Stories

To learn more about Jo and her course at The Watermill, please click here

Bring your experiences of life to life!

More creative writing under the vines May 11 square

A ‘fabulous revitalising week’ on a yoga retreat with Claire. Join her next year!

Yoga in the Watermill studio

Yoga in the Watermill studio

We have had some excellent feedback from the yoga retreat with Claire Murphy which finished last week and we’d like to share it with you. Some of our guests were returning for another revitalizing week at The Watermill, while others, like Sylvia, were coming for the first time. As you can see, she’s coming back next year, too.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

And this is from one of the returnees, Alessandra:

Alessandra feedbackAnd from another returnee:

Anita feedback

Claire will be back next year to nourish your mind, body and soul in another unique seven-day yoga and meditation retreat. It will run from Saturday 25 August to Saturday 1 September 2018.

We’ll nourish your soul on rural walks and visits to ancient walled towns and hilltop villages, castles and convents. You’ll also savour the relaxed atmosphere of la bella vita italiana in local cafes, shops, restaurants and markets.

We’ll venture a little journal writing and painting in The Watermill studio overlooking the river or under the shade of the vine verandah to nourish your mind.

And we’ll nourish your body with fresh, home-cooked, nutritionally balanced meals lovingly prepared by the Watermill cooks, with many of the ingredients freshly picked from The Watermill’s own gardens. There will be vegetarian options for every meal, of course. Private sessions with a local Shiatsu practitioner are also available, at cost, on request

Yoga, meditation and massage have been a way of life for Claire Murphy for more than 25 years and she’s passionate about teaching them. Together we’ve created a unique seven-day programme, which we’ll update and augment as time goes on.

Claire plus picNourish — mind, body and soul

Claire Murphy

25 August – 1 September 2018

To learn more about Claire and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here.

 

Capture life, emotion and energy in your pastels with Rebecca

Painting byRebecca, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.We are delighted to welcome back to The Watermill the delightful England-based pastellist Rebecca de Mendonça, who is returning for another week-long inspiring course next September.

Rebecca di Mendonça, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Her unique painting and teaching style is the result of a varied career in the arts. Having completed her degree in Theatre Design, she worked on projects ranging from Harrods Food Hall to the Phantom of the Opera and has been commissioned to paint dancers at English National Ballet and actors in West End Shows. This year she was invited to show her work in the ‘Artists of the Year 2017’ Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. Her exuberant pastel left above is called Freedom!, while below is an atmospheric landscape, Deep Roots.

Painting by Rebecca di Mendonça, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

As well as teaching painting skills and processes, Rebecca inspires students with demonstrations, and encourages everyone to find their own way of working with the medium and developing their skills. Her friendly and generous approach to teaching helps her students to relax and really achieve their potential. Subject matter varies: people, portraits, animals, landscapes, still life and architecture. Whatever the subject, Rebecca feels that its life, emotion and energy can be captured with pastels. Her course at The Watermill will include some plein air painting, studio based work and location excursions.

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at The Watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca or the Cinque Terre). You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

Rebecca plus pic

Pastels

Rebecca de Mendonça

1-8 September 2018

To learn more about Rebecca and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

Early Bird discount: book now! If you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on this fabulous 2018 painting holiday.

Come and join us and savour the magic of The Watermill!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

Flowers are not propellers, says Charles Sluga

Painting by Charles Sluga, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our inspiring Australian watercol0ur tutor Charles Sluga passed on this flower-painting tip, which will be useful for those tackling the myriad of flowery subjects at The Watermill. Charles says: “The biggest hint I can give you when painting flowers like daisies, sunflowers etc (you know – the flowers with lots of radial petals), is to paint the big shapes and not the individual petals.

“Painting each individual petal just makes the painting look amateurish and childlike (which can be a problem, unless that is the look you are after). However, I imagine you would like your work to be more sophisticated.”

Charles adds: So look at an individual flower (in this case daisies, as above). Squint and look at the big shape. It is a bit like a fried egg. Use the background (negative space) to ‘cut in’ to your daisies, but be careful you don’t define each petal. Suggest them, rather than painting each one.

“Also, remember that the flowers have shape and hence will have shadow and light-struck areas.

“Finally, make sure that you have overlapping flowers and some lost or soft edges. Not everything has to be clear. Just bring out one or two flowers and the mind will do the rest.”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Plenty of flowers to enjoy at The Watermill

We’ve also posted this painting tip among the many others you can find on our Friends of The Watermill website.  Please sign up for more inspiring painting tips, writing tips, mouth-watering recipes and, from time to time, exclusive offers for Friends. It’s free, just click here to sign up and keep in touch with The Watermill.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

These look delicious, too!

“Patience and a sense of fun!” Claire’s formula for inspiring painting tuition

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.We are delighted to welcome an inspiring English painting tutor Claire Warner to the Watermill team. She will be with us from Saturday 15 September to Saturday 22 September 2018 for a special week-long painting course in watercolours (and oils and acrylics).

But you’ll have to hurry! We have only two places left on Claire’s 2018 course. Details of how to bag them, and take advantage of our Early Bird discount offer can be found below.

Claire H&SAs well as being a talented artist, Claire is also an experienced tutor, having taught all age groups and abilities for more than 20 years.  She will teach primarily in watercolours, but is also happy to help with oil and acrylics, too. All levels of artists can benefit from her teaching, and she offers plenty of help and individual attention. Claire says: My aim is to teach and encourage each student gradually to build up knowledge and the confidence to create their own style. I’ll demonstrate step by step with explanations, and offers plenty of individual attention when and where needed. I like to tease out their full potential with patience and a sense of fun.”

Claire’s watercolour above is called Early Morning, Ullswater. She says: “The still calm waters of the early morning, create fascinating reflections. The silence is broken only by perhaps birds marking their daily territory.”

This watercolour below is of a café in Provence, in the South of France. Claire says: “Always a fascination, cafés offer so much interest with the shapes of tables and chairs, parasols and clothes. Observing people, in discussion, in thought, in action. So much to reproduce into a painting.” 

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)

Claire Warner

15-22 September 2018

To learn more about Claire and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

Early Bird discount: book now! If you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on this fabulous 2018 painting holiday.

Come and join us a savour the magic of The Watermill!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Find your Oomph! A new, inspiring Watermill week to re-energise your life.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.We are delighted to announce a new personal development retreat at The Watermill with life coach Caroline Carr. We think it is going to be rather special. And don’t forget our Early Bird Discount offer (see below).

The Find your Oomph! Retreat is a unique opportunity to reconnect with your true self, the real you – the one who feels free to run barefoot through the grass, or dance like no-body’s watching, or to sing from the top of a mountain! To laugh and play imaginatively and have fun. It’s GREAT to get back to that place inside yourself again, and to witness its transformative effect.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

Caroline Carr‘s life-changing week, which will run from Saturday 18 to Saturday 25 August 2018, will inspire you to connect with your own inner freedom and find peace, strength, vitality and joy. Inspiring teaching and exquisite Italy all wrapped up in one!

If the words empowered, strong, fun, joy, delight, shine, sparkle, authentic, loving, warm, appreciative, enthusiastic, playful and sincere appeal to you (these are all Oomph! qualities by the way), then you’ll love this.

 

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.Caroline Carr has been a successful hypnotherapist and life coach for many years. She uses a variety of transformative practices to embody joy and inner freedom into your everyday life. As well as facilitated discussions and group coaching, she works with energy states, movement, voice and posture, Laughter Yoga, and deep healing relaxation – using various techniques.

You’ll leave with more true confidence, clarity, positivity, energy, enthusiasm and inner strength than you may have experienced in the past. You’ll make new friends who, having shared this experience together are likely to foster a strong and supportive bond. You’ll enjoy a lightness of spirit, and the bliss of becoming a soul well-nourished, supported by cheerful elderly manpractical techniques and resources to continue to use after the retreat ends. You’ll find yourself again. It’ll be like coming home to yourself – the real you.

Please click here to learn more about the Find your Oomph! retreat at The Watermill.

As always, everything is included in the cost of your week at The Watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca or the Cinque Terre). You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

Early Bird discount: book now: If you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on this fabulous 2018 personal development retreat.

To enquire about availability or to reserve your place, please click here and follow the links

Come and release your oomph! with us…

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Re-energise your life

Six stars for Terry’s Watermill painting course

Terry rose demo 1We had a lovely painting course this year with our good friend the Australian watercolourist Terry Jarvis. It was a full, fun-filled course and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  Here’s what one guest had to say: “I wanted to thank you for a most wonderful stay at The Watermill.  Your treatment of us was terrific.  Six stars doesn’t come close!  I enjoyed every minute. Terry’s course was great.  He is an excellent teacher – very encouraging and knows how to bring out the best in his students.  He has a great personality.”

Terry will be returning here in 2018 with a special week-long painting course in watercolours (& oils, pastels and acrylics) from Saturday 7 July to Saturday 14 July 2018. Why not come too and enjoy the six-star treatment?

Don’t forget our Early Bird discount: If you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a generous £GBP 75 per person discount on any of our fabulous 2017 painting holidays.

Painting by Terry Jarvis, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

Terry’s lovely watercolour of market day in nearby Fivizzano, where we go on location during our painting week

Terry Jarvis is one of Australia’s leading watercolour artists. The son of a goldminer, he was inspired at an early age to draw and paint the landscape, as well as people and animals Terry also works in oils, pastels and acrylics and is happy to teach in those media too. He loves drawing and helping his students to develop their drawing skills.

Here’s what another guest on one of Terry’s Watermill courses had to say: “Terry Jarvis was superb with people, very positive and very relaxed. I’ve been on painting holidays before and learned nothing but Terry was great. When you got stuck he’d come along with a smile – and a brush – and bring your picture to life. He wasn’t afraid to criticise your work, but he had a really positive attitude, which helped you to improve.”Painting by Terry Jarvis, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

 

terry plus pic7-14 July 2018 

Terry Jarvis

Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)

To learn more about Terry and his course at The Watermill, please click here.

Come and join us and enjoy a sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring week!Terry rose demo POV

 

A sketch a day brightens your painting week with Mike

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, ItalyWe have just enjoyed a lovely painting week with our old friend Mike Willdridge and his wife Sue. Here’s a comment that arrived this morning from one of our guests on that week: “Thank you so much, Mike, for your wonderful, encouraging tuition during our week at the Watermill.   What a precious place it is to be immersed in art. You gave us a great week striking the balance between demonstration and encouragement and helping us to get going.  My paintings are set out on my kitchen table and they bring back great memories of the places we painted……  those dramatic mountains were so inspiring and quite took your breath away.  I learnt much during the week. Thank you for a wonderfully happy and informative week.”  

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, ItalyMike always encourages the use of sketchbooks and demonstrate their use during the course of his teaching week. Here are a few of his sketches, all of which were demonstrations made when out ‘on location’ – one for each day and each painted rapidly.

Mike will be back with us next year, from Saturday 8 September to Saturday 15 September 2018, and we’d love you to join us for his fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring week. There are more details below. And don’t forget our Early Bird offer: £GBP 75 off if you book your painting holiday now!

Here are Mike’s sketches. The one above was made in and around the mill on the first Sunday of the course, while the sketch to the left, in watercolour and Indian ink, was made on Monday, when the group goes out to paint at the castle and village of Verrucola.

Mike 2017 sketch Fivizzano market day wcolour and Ind inkOn Tuesdays we go to the nearby walled Medieval town of Fivizzano to enjoy the sights and sounds of the weekly market there. To the right is Mike’s rapid sketch.

 

Below is  sketch in the tranquil monastery of the Convento del Carmine, where we go on Thursdays:

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy

And here is a striking sketch, in watercolour and Indian ink, of olive trees beside the hilltop village of Monte dei Bianchi, where we paint before enjoy lunch in  gourmet restaurant.

Mike 2017 sketch Monte olives watecrolour and Indian ink

Mike Willdridge works and in a wide range of media and is an enthusiastic and energetic tutor, often encouraging his students to be bold and to take chances. His classes are always light-hearted and fun, with the ‘teaching’ tailored to individual needs. He will concentrate on watercolours, but is also happy to help with gouache and acrylics too.

More comments from previous guests: A wonderful holiday. You were such generous and friendly hosts and Mike was an excellent painting tutor.”  Another said: “The food was exceptional and the mill itself is great, in such a beautiful setting. A truly wonderful week in every respect.”

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca or the Cinque Terre). You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

mike plus pic

8-15 September 2018 

Mike Willdridge

Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

To learn more about Mike and his course at The Watermill, please click here

Early Bird discount: book now!

If you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on this fabulous 2018 painting holiday.  To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please use our Painting Holiday Enquiry Form by clicking here.

Sarah is coming back for two wonderful watercolour weeks next year!

Painting by Sarah Yeoman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays, Tuscany Italy.We have many fond memories of our previous  painting weeks with our lovely American watercolour tutor Sarah Yeoman, so we are doubly delighted that she is coming for two weeks next year, from Saturday 9 June to Saturday 16 June 2018 and from Saturday 16 June to Saturday 23 June 2018. We’d be delighted to welcome you here, too, for one – or both – of Sarah’s sun-filled, in-filled, inspiring weeks. And don’t forget the Early Bird discount (see below.)

That’s Sarah’s famous picture of the Watermill, which hangs in pride of place in our sitting room. And here’s an atmospheric watercolour of the river running by the mill:

Painting by Sarah Yeoman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

As well as being an award-winning artist, Sarah is also a very talented teacher, who brings out the best in her students, recognising their unique talents. One commented: “Many artists are successful in producing paintings, but not all are true teachers. Sarah has the ability to demonstrate confidently, withholding none of her ‘secrets’, to encourage students and gently give suggestions for improvement.”

Another said of one of Sarah’s previous painting courses at The Watermill: Our week’s tuition with Sarah was awe-inspiring. Her attitude to taking on a subject and her encouragement and enthusiasm made everyone improve their painting during the week.” Another guest added:I had a fabulous time and enjoyed everything – the scenery, meeting new people, the lovely ambience of the Watermill and of course, the painting and Sarah.”

Painting by Sarah Yeoman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Sarah and her students painting by the riverside.

Sarah Yeoman is an award-wining American watercolour artist whose mastery of reflections, unique surface layers, and unusual perspective sets her apart from the crowd. She is known for her command of light and the strong narrative of her pictures.

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca or the Cinque Terre). You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

Early Bird discount: If you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount (about $100) on this fabulous 2018 painting holiday.  To enquire about availability or reserve your place, please email info@watermill.net or call us on (UK no.) +44 20 7193 6246.

New Sarah Y H&S EditedPainting by Sarah Yeoman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays, Tuscany Italy.Sarah Yeoman

Watercolours

9-16 June 2018 AND 16-23 June 2018

 

Please click here to learn more about Sarah’s painting holidays at The Watermill. 

Come and share the magic of The Watermill!

Lois millstream 1 Mar 17 reduced and cropped

A doubly warm welcome back for Watermill watercolour tutor Sandra Strohschein

A painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor on painting courses at The Watermill at Posara, Tuscany ItalyWe’re delighted to welcome back our delightful American watercolour tutor Sandra Strochshein, who is returning to The Watermill next year for not one, but two inspiring weeks. Her paintings above, of a rainy market day in the nearby walled town of Fivizzano, was made on location during a recent visit to The Watermill.

We had a wonderful week with Sandra earlier this year and our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A couple of their comments:

“Sandra was full of enthusiasm and talent and made every day a joy.  To have two chances most days to paint was utter heaven and in such wonderful surroundings. I didn’t paint a masterpiece but thoroughly enjoyed my week.  I hope to remember some of the tricks Sandy taught us and use them in the future.”

 “Many thanks to you both for a fabulous week. Your forethought, hard work and professionalism are very much appreciated. Nothing was too much trouble and nothing was at fault. You have created a gem. Please pass on our sincere gratitude to all your lovely people.”

Sandra will be back for two weeks: 26 May to 2 June and 2-9 June 2018, so why not join her for one, or even both of them? You’ll have to hurry, though, we already have five booking on her first course next year, and three on her second!

Painting by Sandra Strohshein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays, Tuscany Italy.

A painting of the Watermill from the riverside by Sandra

Sandra Strohschein head and shouldersSandra Strohschein from Michigan, USA, has achieved an extraordinary mastery of her medium, transparent watercolours. She works in a fast loose impressionistic style, but above all, she produces passionate, emotionally charged paintings, full of energy.

As for her teaching, people frequently tell her about how much fun they have on her workshops and how nobody ever wants them to end. Anohter painting guest on her course at the mill said: “Watching your demonstrations was such an education and your kind and patient individual help was invaluable.”  

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca or the Cinque Terre). You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

 Sandra plus picSandra Strohsheine

Waterolours

26 May to 2 June AND 2-9 June 2018

Please click here to learn more about Sandra’s painting holidays at The Watermill. 

 Early Bird discount: book now!

 If you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on this fabulous 2018 painting holiday.  To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please email info@watermill.net or call (UK no.) +44 20 7193 6246.

Come and join us and savour the magic of The Watermill!

Sandra under the roses in the walled garden

Sandra under the roses in the walled garden