The Good, Bad and the Ugly: a painting checklist from Charles Sluga

Charles Good Bad and UglyOur talented and inspiring Australian painting tutor Charles Sluga has posted this interesting tip in a recent newsletter. He asks: Basically, how do you know if your painting is good, bad or ugly?”

Charles says; “Here is a little checklist:
The Good
Your painting is pleasing to look at and has a simple clear message.
The colours are in harmony – meaning they sit well together and you haven’t got too many unrelated colours.
There is an overall tonal pattern, with a dominant tone.
You have a combination of soft and hard, or lost and found edges.
It isn’t complicated by unnecessary detail.
You have eliminated what is not needed for the ‘story’.
It has the mood you wish to convey.
You want to continue looking at the painting.

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

The Good

The bad and the ugly
Charles says: “When a painting is bad it is often also ugly, but not always. It can be pretty, but a bad painting. So let’s combine the two – Bad and Ugly.”

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

The Bad and the Ugly

Charles says; These are the indications that you have a bad and/or ugly painting.”
The Bad and Ugly
Lacks a clear concept.
Visually displeasing.
Too many hard or found edges.
Too many unrelated colours.
Bad design.
No clear tonal pattern.

Charles adds: “Look at the two very quick studies (both unfinished) here and see which of these you can apply. Note that these conditions also apply to an abstract. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, but how it is designed that matters.”

Charles Sluga is a highly respected and sought-after watercolour artist in Australia who has gained a reputation for his versatility in both his technique and choice of subject matter. Charles is also skilled in acrylics and oils and is happy to teach in those media, too. Charles not only teaches technique, but also how to think and see as an artist, which he considers just as important. His friendliness, sense of humour and willingness to impart his knowledge makes his classes relaxed, informal and inspiring.

Here’s what some previous students had to say: In addition to being a very talented artist, Charles is an extremely capable and professional teacher: we all benefited from his instruction and guidance during the week.” The most relaxing holiday I have had for a long time: lovely accommodation and exceptional food.”

At the moment Charles’ course is fully booked, but there may be cancellations and we can put you on our waiting list.

Charles New photo 2012Sluga Fivizzano belltower demo pic30 September-3 October Watercolours (and acrylics and oils)

with Charles Sluga

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

Come and be good The Watermill!

Painting by Charles Sluga, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays, Tuscany Italy.

Why Tuscan roast pork is all Greek to me – but we cook it deliciously at the Watermill

arista_1Continuing my wanderings along the delightful byways of Pellegrino Artusi’s famous classical Italian cook book, L’arte di mangiar bene, I came upon a solution as to why the Italian’s call their wonderful Tuscan-style roast pork dish arista.  It would seem to make more sense to call it arrosto (r0ast) or even arrostito (roasted).

Artusi H&SBut Pellegrino tells us: “During the Council of 1430, convened in Florence to resolve some difference between the Roman and Greek churches, this dish, known by another name at the time, was served up to the [Greek] bishops and their entourage. When they found it was to their liking they began to cry ‘arista, arista’ (good, good).”

Actually, if the Byzantine bishops were speaking Greek, they would have said aristos, which means excellent or optimal (from which we get aristocracy, ‘the rule of the best.’)  No matter, the Italians, thinking the Greeks were describing the dish itself, heard it as arista and continue to call it so to this day.  There are those who question this story and say the Florentines called the dish arista well before the ecumenical council, but I like Pellegrino’s story better.

The Watermill’s Tuscan cook Mirella Musetti uses tender pork loin for this delicious dish and we serve it every week on our creative courses and we’ll also produce it – and tell you the secrets of its preparation — during our unique cookery week at the Watermill this Summer, called L’arte di mangiar bene, after Pellegrino’s famous cookbook.arista_tuscan_roasted_pork-1024x682

L’arte di mangiar bene, the art of eating well, lies at the heart of the Italian lifestyle — and that’s just what you’ll enjoy on The Watermill’s first-ever cookery week. ITINERARY page Mirella in kitchen croppedYou’ll learn the secrets of healthy eating from Lois and The Watermill team, among them an Italian grandmother (Mirella, to the right), an organic farmer and our gardener’s wife! You’ll choose freshest local ingredients (we’ll pick many of them ourselves each day) and prepare them deliciously for the table.

We’ll visit markets, vegetable gardens, olive groves and vineyards. The Italians are the healthiest people in Europe and this is due not just the quality of the food, but to la bella vita italiana, the relaxed lifestyle which means taking Panzanella 1time to talk to friends and to enjoy their company, not least in convivial meals around the dining table. You’ll be savouring all that, too.

Over the years Lois Breckon and The Watermill team have built a reputation for theThe Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy. quality of their food and we’re keen to share our secrets with you, from antipasti to dolci – and dozens of mouth-watering, freshly prepared, health-promoting dishes in between.

 

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italypanzanella19-26 August – L’arte di mangiar bene 

with Lois Breckon, Ingrid Fabbian and The Watermill team

To learn more about this delicious cookery course, please click here

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

 

Steadiness, focus and flexibility: you’ll learn the secrets on Claire’s yoga retreat

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our delightful yoga and meditation tutor Claire Murphy is returning to the Watermill this September for a special seven-day retreat, called Nourish — mind, body, and soul. There’s a link below for you to find out more details of this unique, joyful yoga and meditation retreat. Seven people have already signed up, so we have room for only four or five more.

And to whet your appetite and get you into the right mode — mind. body and soul — Claire has prepared a series of relaxing yet invigorating exercises for the week, which you can enjoy NOW, even before you come (or even if you don’t!)

This one is the Tree Pose

Claire says: Vrkasana in Sanskrit expresses the need for steadiness, focus and the ability to have flexibility. We root down through our supporting foot and leg in order to create a firm foundation – so already we can see the similarities to what happens in nature.

CLF - Olmstead ParksOf all that we know about trees, we readily associate with them having a trunk and a crown. Moving up from the stability of our roots and the foundation we create through our feet, our legs and torso is representative of the trunk. Finally, once balanced, our arms reach above our heads to emulate the crowning glory of the tree.

“Whilst in a balance posture, we also need to recognise what happens in nature. Trees move. With this in mind, we let go of any judgement of our finding it difficult to remain steady without movement. Trees have subtle movement – they sway – so too do we until we achieve a little more strength and stability.

 “In addition to this being a yoga posture, it is also a meditative one. Our outward reflection of the posture is often said to be an inner reflection of our minds. Being able to calm and steady the mind corresponds to a body that can readily achieve the same (though not exclusively). 

Claire says:“We shall be blessed to be able to take our yoga outside during our retreat week at the Watermill. I look forward to encouraging you to find alignment and steadiness in the beautiful surroundings of Italy soon.”Yoga retreat at The Watermill in Tuscany, yoga and meditation retreats

We’ll nourish your soul on rural walks and visits to ancient walled towns and hilltop villages, castles and14432947_10154449229557557_403500150842892678_nconvents. 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 Claire croppedYoga, 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. You can see the itinerary by clicking here.

Claire has a wealth of teaching experience in both yoga and meditation, primarily focused on women’s health. Claire currently teaches classes for women through all stages of their life and has even run sessions for women in recovery from cancer. In addition, her approach is very much from a remedial perspective in which she sees yoga being available to everybody.

Itali 4 jpgIn addition to her yoga capabilities, Claire has studied meditation within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for many years as well as being a qualified mindfulness for stress relief teacher. It’s this presence and focus that she brings to all her teachings and infuses all her sessions with mindful awareness. Claire’s style of teaching is very eclectic, borne out of studying and training in various traditions over the years across the UK and in many other areas of Europe and extensively in the USA. She brings a sense of humour and imagination to her teaching in order to make it accessible to everyone.

The sessions at The Watermill will be friendly and welcoming and no prior experience of yoga or meditation is necessary: all levels from beginner to intermediate will be catered for and we’ll also tailor our sessions to your particular needs. The classes are secular (non-denominational).

Claire Murphy head and shoulders 2Yoga portrait shape 39 -16 September Nourish — mind, body and soul 

with Claire Murphy Four or five places left

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

Come and join us and nourish your mind, body and soul.

 

 

 

 

Italenglish and the Academy of Bran

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.I enjoy Dot Wordsworth’s weekly column Mind Your Language in The Spectator. Dot, as her nom de plume implies, is a whizz with words and each week she makes a foray into the linguistic landscape, remarking on origins and changing meanings.

In a recent column, she discussed the Italians’ predilection for using English words to appear cool and fashionable: columns in La Repubblica’s weekly magazine are headed (in English) Beauty and Lifestyle for instance.

vocabolario_accademia_cruscaDot says: “This is the sort of thing that drives the Accademia della Crusca into a frenzy. The academy has been making judgements since its foundation in 1583 on the use of the national language. Crusca means bran and the academy likes to sift out indigestible foreign bran from the fine home-grown flour.”

Despite their efforts, however, many English words have crept
in, like smoking for a dinner jacket and footing, meaning jogging. And a spider is a sports car, derived from the Fiat Spider of the 1960’s, but now generic for all convertibles.

I particularly like andare in tilt, which means to go haywire, or on your computer, to crash. And the expression fare tilt means to become incoherent. It all implies that too many Italians misspent too much to their youth playing pinball machines in their local café!

Freya footingRest assured that on the Watermill’s elegant* Italian Language course you won’t fa tilt, but become even more coherent in one of the more beautiful languages in the world. *We’re elegant, but you won’t need your smoking and you can go footing in the beautiful countryside if you want.

Come and join us for la lingua e la bella vita italiana! 

This year’s Italian language course runs from Saturday 29 April to Saturday 6 May 2017.

langprog-head3This really is ‘a course with a difference.’ Not only are there formal lessons on the vine verandah (some 20 hours in the week), but we also make trips and excursions to savour the natural beauty of Lunigiana, the area surrounding the mill, to explore its history and culture, to sample its traditional foods – and above all, to meet the people, speak Italian, and practise what we’ve learned.

We’ve teamed up again with the prestigious language school in Florence Langues Services to design a week in which people can learn Italian in the most natural and enjoyable way ever.

You’ll meet Italian people and interact with their daily lives. Your immersion into the language and culture of real Italians will be customised for you, to suit your curiosity and your interests, helping you to treasure everything you learn and make it a seamless part of who you are.

You will have the perfect opportunity to make new friends in the company of like-minded people learning and improving their Italian language skills… and enjoying unspoilt Italy and, of course, fantastic food and wine.

 
language shoppingSaturday 29 April to Saturday 6 May 2017

Langues Services Italian Language course

Please click here to learn more about out Italian Language course at the mill, including the itinerary for the week.

Langiage Castello

 

Witches in the parish church?

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.The Catholic church’ ecumenical endeavours continue apace. Earlier in the week, Lois took this picture  of crossed broomsticks in the front door of the church of Saints Jacobo and Antonio in the walled Medieval town of Fivizzano near the mill. The priest, it seemed, had invited local witches into the church, but insisted they left their broomsticks at the door. (There were two broomsticks in the side door, too.)

In this age of alternative facts and false news, I should point out that the paragraph above is an attempt to bring a weekend smile to your lips. I am well aware that the broomsticks were probably put there by the cleaners to bar access while the floor dried. And in this age of political correctness I should state that I have much respect for the Catholic church – and (white) witches come to that.  No minors under 18 were involved, nor were any animals injured, in the making of this blog.

This picture of an unexploited friend’s dog, however, reminded me that we still have one or two places left on this years Watermill knitting courses. Enjoy your weekend!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Inspiring oils from Sarah’s course at the Watermill last year

Painting by Sarah Spencer, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our talented and inspirational English oil and acrylic painting tutor Sarah Spencer has just posted some fine oils from her lovely course with us at The Watermill last year. The one above is an oil on panel of some Tuscan olive groves, while below is a study of the loggia in the Malaspina castle at nearby Verrucola, where we go to paint on Mondays during our courses.

Sarah S VerrucolaAnd here’s an atmospheric oil of an ancient staircase on the Convento dei Carmine, another stunning Watermill location.

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

We are looking forward to welcoming Sarah back for another inspiring oil and acrylic painting week. Here are some of her painters last year in the sunny Watermill courtyard:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Award-winning English artist Sarah Spencer RAS, NEAC* is internationally known for her landscapes, portraits and still lifes. She has had no fewer than 10 solo exhibitions in London since graduating from the Royal Academy Schools. Her work has won national and international acclaim. (*Alumnus of the Royal Academy Schools, elected member of the New English Art Club and Federation of British Artists.) She also tutors painting courses and leads masterclasses for, among others, the UK Royal Academy and the University of the Creative Arts.

Sarah is a passionate and inspiring teacher. She says: I am really looking forward again to sharing my passion and passing on what I’ve learned about oil and acrylic painting and about drawing.”  Her course is suitable for beginners as well as more experienced painters. We have three or four places left.

As well as landscapes, you may also want to try your hand at portraits or still lifes. Sarah is skilled in teaching those, too. Here’s her charming ‘small picture of a small person‘:

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

We had a lovely time this year at the Watermill with Sarah. As one guest said: Thank you for taking such good care of us. The group was lovely and Sarah Spencer was very helpful with the tips on techniques.”

Sarah S H&S for tutor profilePainting by Sarah Spencer, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.3-10 June 2017 Oils, acrylics and drawing mediums

with Sarah Spencer Three or four places

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

Come and join us!

Looking forward to meeting you in the Watermill courtyard

Looking forward to meeting you in the Watermill courtyard

Mindful writing, part of Claire’s nourishing week at The Watermill

Italy- Mindful Writing (002)Our delightful yoga and meditation tutor Claire Murphy is returning to the Watermill this September for a special seven-day retreat, called Nourish — mind, body, and soul. There’s a link below for you to find out more details of this unique, joyful yoga and meditation retreat. Judging by the many letters of appreciation from participants on last year’s course, Claire and The Watermill have got the formula just about right! Seven people have already signed up, so we have room for only four or five more.

And to whet your appetite and get you into the right mode — mind. body and soul — Claire has prepared a series of relaxing yet invigorating exercises for the week, which you can enjoy NOW, even before you come (or even if you don’t!)

The first she calls Mindful Writing.

Claire Murphy H&SClaire says: Writing will be another aspect of your yoga week at the Watermill, which isn’t as daunting as it sounds. The sessions will be entirely supported and prompted, so hopefully that will help to alleviate any fears. It’s not about grammar, complete sentences or even having to share, as for the most part, it will be for your eyes only.

She adds: Having been something of a ‘secret-writer’ for many, many years, I only declared myself as a writer last September (2016). This was very daunting and I admit, there were many wobbles about sharing any of my work. Initially I used to write poetry, but was soon switched onto journalling to begin with after seeing, what now is one of my favourite movies: The Bridges of Madison County (Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood). I won’t say any more just in case some of you wish to watch and don’t want any spoilers!

“So, since 1995 I have been journalling every day, first thing of a morning for 30 minutes. (That’s a lot of journals by the way!) In addition, I have undertaken numerous writing courses with published and un-published authors and now indulge in ‘wild writing’. This for me is a medium to get marks down on the paper, with very little preamble or thinking. As a result, I have been compiling many pieces, which I hope to bring together in an anthology of my writing (at some point).

Claire gives this inspiring quote from Naomi Shihab Nye“Get into the habit of welcoming your own words. You are making a map of the days you live.”  Claire says:Writing is an invitation to notice and record moments that have moved us. With this in mind, one of the exercises will be to write about what you have noticed during the mindful walking before breakfast. We will also engage in creating ‘Slices of Italy’ – a small project that once complete, will comprise a record of your week at the Watermill. Just make sure you bring a lovely journal with you (any excuse to go into the stationery departments and specialist card stores to peruse the many choices out there!) and some pens and pencils.”

Yoga retreat at The Watermill in Tuscany, yoga and meditation retreats

We’ll nourish your soul on rural walks and visits to ancient walled towns and hilltop villages, castles and14432947_10154449229557557_403500150842892678_nconvents. 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 Claire croppedYoga, 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. You can see the itinerary by clicking here.

Claire has a wealth of teaching experience in both yoga and meditation, primarily focused on women’s health. Claire currently teaches classes for women through all stages of their life and has even run sessions for women in recovery from cancer. In addition, her approach is very much from a remedial perspective in which she sees yoga being available to everybody.

Itali 4 jpgIn addition to her yoga capabilities, Claire has studied meditation within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for many years as well as being a qualified mindfulness for stress relief teacher. It’s this presence and focus that she brings to all her teachings and infuses all her sessions with mindful awareness. Claire’s style of teaching is very eclectic, borne out of studying and training in various traditions over the years across the UK and in many other areas of Europe and extensively in the USA. She brings a sense of humour and imagination to her teaching in order to make it accessible to everyone.

The sessions at The Watermill will be friendly and welcoming and no prior experience of yoga or meditation is necessary: all levels from beginner to intermediate will be catered for and we’ll also tailor our sessions to your particular needs. The classes are secular (non-denominational).

Claire Murphy head and shoulders 2Yoga portrait shape 39 -16 September Nourish — mind, body and soul 

with Claire Murphy Four or five places left

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

Come and join us and nourish your mind, body and soul.

 

 

 

 

Learn Italian in the real world as well as in class, with our Watermill language class

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.We are very pleased to report on an excellent article in Britain’s prestigious Good Housekeeping magazine about last year’s Italian language course, written by the magazine’s Travel Editor David Wickers.

David is full of praise for the course, not just the teaching at the Watermill, but the ability to practice the language and savour the true Italian lifestyle. He says: “Wherever we went, we had encounters with real Italians in the hopes of making ourselves understood in the real world as well as in class.”March 2017 Good Housekeeping Italian course

You can read the full article in the March issue of Good Housekeeping, which is out soon.

This year’s Italian language course runs from Saturday 29 April to Saturday 6 May 2017.

langprog-head3This really is ‘a course with a difference.’ Not only are there formal lessons on the vine verandah (some 20 hours in the week), but we also make trips and excursions to savour the natural beauty of Lunigiana, the area surrounding the mill, to explore its history and culture, to sample its traditional foods – and above all, to meet the people, speak Italian, and practise what we’ve learned.

We’ve teamed up again with the prestigious language school in Florence Langues Services to design a week in which people can learn Italian in the most natural and enjoyable way ever.

You’ll meet Italian people and interact with their daily lives. Your immersion into the language and culture of real Italians will be customised for you, to suit your curiosity and your interests, helping you to treasure everything you learn and make it a seamless part of who you are.

You will have the perfect opportunity to make new friends in the company of like-minded people learning and improving their Italian language skills… and enjoying unspoilt Italy and, of course, fantastic food and wine.Langiage Castello

 
language shoppingSaturday 29 April to Saturday 6 May 2017

Langues Services Italian Language course

Please click here to learn more about out Italian Language course at the mill, including the itinerary for the week.

 

Blog italian words ROCAMBOLESOCWe would love you to join us for this rocambolesco course!

 

 

 

 

 

New colo(u)rful paintings from Maggie for you to enjoy

Painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our lovely Californian painting tutor Maggie Renner Hellmann has just sent us some more of her stunning and colo(u)rful paintings which we’d like to share with you. Above is Golden Rollers. and below, Embrace  – Big Sur.Hellmann Embrace big SurMaggie will be with us for her Courageous Colo(u)r Workshop this June (details below). We already have 12 painters (and one non-painting partner) booked in to this course, but have room for one or two more. She says: “In this plein air workshop we will paint in various spectacular Tuscan locations. Our emphasis will be on learning and practicing the core elements of successful paintings – Color, composition, focal point, light source, values, positive & negative shapes, volumes, edges, brushwork & perspective, as well as how to use contrasts to give excitement and drama to your paintings and much more! All levels of experience are welcome.”

Here’s another incomparable Maggie landscape, called Interweaving.HELLMANNInterweaving (002)Maggie Renner Hellmann is a contemporary California painter who paints with love, passion and energy. Her work is characterized by a unique blend of loose, energetic brushwork and strong compositions of exuberant color. She says: “I love the joy of color and the poetry of brushwork.”

Maggie is also a knowledgeable and enthusiastic tutor. She’s been teaching for more than 15 years – and she loves it! Her years of experience in painting in many mediums have distilled her teaching to the core fundamentals that will help guide any painter toward success. She will encourage the beginner and challenge the more advanced.

Here’s some praise from some of her former students: “What I liked best about the workshop was Maggie’s approachable manner and encouragement, her clear understanding about color and light, her experience in simplifying landscapes and the discipline of first studying the subject in values – and how to make poetry out of a simple landscape.”

“What I particularly like about your teaching is that you seem to be able to distil the learning into meaningful chunks that are understandable and then you demonstrate the concept and have us practice it. Your methodology is very effective. I really like getting your feedback. You give it in a very helpful and constructive way and always let us observe you painting.”

RENNER H&SPainting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.17-24 June Oils, acrylics, pastels and drawing mediums

with Maggie Renner Hellmann. One or two places left

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

Jane and Italia! Magazine loved last year’s yoga course

 The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our sincere thanks to Jane Keightley for a lovely article in the latest edition of Italia! Magazine about Claire Murphys yoga and meditation course here last year. There’s an amazing spread in the magazine about last Summer’s retreat, of which Jane writes: “We had a brilliant week and we were all going home feeling like new women. Claire and The Watermill had certainly worked their magic.”

She adds:I love Italy. I love yoga, I love relaxing and the opportunity to eat wonderful food. What more could a girl want?”The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

We are delighted to say that Claire Murphy is returning to the Watermill for a special seven-day retreat, which she has called Nourish — mind, body, and soulIt will run from Yoga retreat at The Watermill in Tuscany, yoga and meditation retreats

We’ll nourish your soul on rural walks and visits to ancient walled towns and hilltop villages, castles and14432947_10154449229557557_403500150842892678_nconvents. 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 Claire croppedYoga, 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. You can see the itinerary by clicking here.

Claire has a wealth of teaching experience in both yoga and meditation, primarily focused on women’s health. Claire currently teaches classes for women through all stages of their life and has even run sessions for women in recovery from cancer. In addition, her approach is very much from a remedial perspective in which she sees yoga being available to everybody.

Itali 4 jpgIn addition to her yoga capabilities, Claire has studied meditation within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for many years as well as being a qualified mindfulness for stress relief teacher. It’s this presence and focus that she brings to all her teachings and infuses all her sessions with mindful awareness.

Having been a ‘secret writer’ for many years, Claire will also be offering conscious journaling and mindful writing activities within the 2017 retreat. Writing is a way of reconnecting to what’s real for us – making the unspoken manifest and along the way, it brings many insights. Giving voice to the unseen and writing through our bodies is Claire’s way of getting pen to paper. No writing skills are necessary, as the sessions will offer writing prompts and jumping off points to inspire making a mark on the blank page. Claire delights in making all that she offers fun and inviting.

Claire’s style of teaching is very eclectic, borne out of studying and training in various traditions over the years across the UK and in many other areas of Europe and extensively in the USA. She brings a sense of humour and imagination to her teaching in order to make it accessible to everyone.

The sessions at The Watermill at Posara will be friendly and welcoming and no prior experience of yoga or meditation is necessary: all levels from beginner to intermediate will be catered for and we’ll also tailor our sessions to your particular needs. The classes are secular (non-denominational).

Claire Murphy head and shoulders 2Yoga portrait shape 39 -16 September Nourish — mind, body and soul 

with Claire Murphy Four or five places left

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

Come and join us and nourish your mind, body and soul.