Forbidden fruit at the Watermill

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

We call this ‘conceptual artefact’ Forbidden Fruit and you can see it in the Watermill sitting room along with all the wonderful paintings made by our inspiring tutors.

What’s it all about?

Well… We had the wooden bananas first, in Scotland, two yellow ‘ripe’ ones and one green one. We didn’t really know what to do with them and worried that, were they on show, someone might try to eat them. So why not display them under glass, as the Victorians did with their butterflies and stuffed birds?

But the bananas looked a little lonely in their glass case, so I got in touch with the delightful English woodturner Barry Charnley and asked him to provide more fruit to keep them company.

He also produced an apple with teeth-marks, which could only have been made by a wooden boy: Pinocchio, of course. (The young man denied this, but when confronted, his nose grew and grew…)

Come and see our forbidden fruit for yourself, but don’t try to eat it. We love to welcome you on one of our fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring courses where you can make your own creative artefacts, whether they are painted, written or knitted!

As ever, there’s more about everything if you just click here.

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

Meanhile, in the garden: Aphrodite kidnapped. A bust of the goddess, normally in the sitting room, placed artistically in the walled garden.

Famous couples and the Watermill

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

Cheer up! Let’s go to the Watermill!

We have been having a lot of fun recently with our Watermill newsletters, where we always have a paragraph urging you to bring your partner to join you on one of our creative courses. We seek out pictures of famous couples and make up our own captions and we thought we’d share a few of the latest ones with you.

That’s the Duke and Duchess of Urbino above, as painted by Piero della Francesca. And here are Omar Sharif and Julie Christie, as Dr Zhivago and Lara, looking a little chilly:

Let’s go to the Watermill. We won’t need our furs!

Our encouragement to bring your partner or friend holds good: there’s plenty for them to do while you are enjoying your painting, creative writing, knitting or Italian language course. They don’t have to participate in the course, but they will be able to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of the mill and whenever they want, come out with you to our beautiful locations. We also offer a range of Alternative activities for partners, as well as a generous £250 discount if they share a room with you. We think they’ll be amused:

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

We would be amused by a week at the Watermill.

And as Bogie might have said to Ingrid: “We’ll always have Posara!”

But seriously… Do come as a twosome and double your delights on a Watermill creative course. Our 2019 courses are booking fast, but you can find out more about current availability by clicking here.

And, as always, there’s more about everything at The Watermill website, which you can see by clicking here.

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

Yes, Sofia, you shall go the the Watermill!

 

 

Two or three places left on Sarah’s relaxing knitting course next May

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.I’ve just made a little slideshow about Sarah Hazell‘s relaxing and inspiring knitting course with us next May. You can see it by clicking here.

We have just two places left on Sarah’s course, which will run from 4 to 11 May 2019. We’d love you to join us.

Here’s what one guest on Sarah’s week this year had to say: “Thanks for such a wonderful week!  It had everything:  fun, knowledge, good food and drink.  Like a week out of time!

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

Sarah teaching on the vine verandah

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Sarah Hazell
4 – 11 May 2019 Still three or four places
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Neat knitting in the round: a tip from Sarah

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Here’s a topical winter knitting tip from our talented Watermill knitting Tudor Sarah Hazel. She says: The winter months are a popular time to knit hats, gloves and snoods. When you work in the round there are no ugly joins and sewing up is reduced to a minimum.

“Often a pattern will direct you to cast on and join in the round without twisting your stitches. My preferred method is to work two rows straight, check that all the stitches are sitting in one direction and then lift the last stitch of the row over the first and slip what was the first stitch to the position of the last stitch.

“Place a marker between these two stitches and you will find that you have a lovely neat join!”

A renowned knitting designer, Sarah will be with us next May for her third inspiring course at the watermill. Here’s what one guests had to say about her course last year: “Thanks for such a wonderful week!  It had everything:  fun, knowledge, good food and drink.  It was like a week out of time.”

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

Sarah shows how it’s done! Picture Phil Wright

 Sarah’s main project for the week next May is in response to feedback from our previous guests. She says:I am aware that lots of knitters want to understand how they can alter an existing pattern to get a better fit. I’ve devised a project to do just that.” Sarah’s project will show you how to make a simple garment to fit your size and body shape, based on one of Sarah’s most successful designs, the Phoebe Poncho. She says: “This is a relaxing knit that will help you to acquire some technical expertise along the way!”

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

We call Sarah’s week Knitting and La Bella Vita’ and you will have a relaxing holiday in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, with leisurely knitting days, wonderful food and wine, as well as learning new skills from Sarah. We have nine people booked for Sarah’s course one of whom is a non-knitting partner, so we have room for three or four more knitters.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Sarah Hazell

4-11 May 2019

Knitting and La Dolce Vita

To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please click here.

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

A photo reflecting hopes and dreams

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Retired general practitioner Jules Foster won one of the runners-up prizes in the Watermill Photographic Competition with the atmospheric photograph above, which captures the spirit of a knitting course in unspoiled rural Tuscany.

She says: “When I was planning my retirement, I had some life coaching, and was asked to choose an image which would encapsulate all my hopes and dreams for the future. I knew immediately that it would be this photo.”

Thank you for sharing that with us, Jules – and we look forward to meeting you again next year. Jules is coming to Sue Ford’s painting course here next year to fulfil another of her retirement dreams.

There’s more about all our creative courses – painting, writing, knitting and Italian language – on the Watermill website. Please just click here.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness: just the time to plan your 2019 creative week at the Watermill. Read all about it!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.There’s lots to read about in this month’s Watermill newsletter, from ‘notan’ to poetic reflections, and from cool water bottles to solar panels. Eclectic, or what? You can read all about it by clicking here https://watermill.net/mill-news/millnews101/millnews101.php

With so much to say we’re already looking forward to clinking glasses with you on the vine verandah. Our 2019 creative courses, in painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language are filling fast. Time to get your booking in, especially with our enticing £75 discount Early Bird offer. Ci vediamo!

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

It may be misty now but soon there will be more glorious Tuscan sunshine for you to enjoy our stunning locations.

Listening to our guests: Sarah’s new project will help you to knit stylish garments that fit you perfectly

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.The renowned knitting designer Sarah Hazell will be with us next May for her third inspiring course at the watermill. And she’s been listening to the feedback of our previous guests and devised a new project which takes into account their comments. Sarah says: “I am aware that lots of knitters want to understand how they can alter an existing pattern to get a better fit. I’ve devised a project to do just that ”

Sarah’s project will show you how to make a simple garment to fit your size and body shape. It is based on one of Sarah’s most successful designs, the Phoebe Poncho. That’s her daughter Phoebe modelling it above.

The project will show how a simple folded poncho can be altered to consider different heights, body shape, arm length and necklines. Sarah says: This will involve recording measurements, making decisions about sleeve and body length, selecting a stitch pattern and working on a neckline. The project is worked from side to side with a simple moss (seed) stitch border with front and back alike. The shoulders are then seamed and stitches picked up in the round for the funnel neck.”

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

Our guests on Sarah’s course will have the opportunity to select their own stitch pattern for the body of the garment and Sarah adds: “I will also be talking to you about the best way to finish and block your project. We will be working with a cotton-mix Aran and you will each receive 8 x 100g balls in a colour of your choice. The accompanying notes will have general tips on how to alter the fit of a knitted garment for future use.

“This is a relaxing knit that will help you to acquire some technical expertise along the way!”

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

The Watermill sitting room, an ideal place to knit and chat. Picture: Phil Wright.

We call Sarah’s week ‘Knitting and La Bella Vita’ and you will have a really relaxing holiday in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, with leisurely knitting days, wonderful food and wine, as well as learning new skills from Sarah. Her course next year will run from Saturday 4 May to Saturday 11 May.

Sarah Hazell is an English knitting and crochet designer, and author of several books. She is also a sympathetic and inspiring knitting tutor and, as well as benefiting from Sarah’s expertise, you will also have the perfect opportunity to make new friends in the company of like-minded people. Here’s a comment from a guest on Sarah’s course in 2018: “Thanks for such a wonderful week!  It had everything: fun, knowledge, good food and drink.  Like a week out of time!”

You can find out more about Sarah’s sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring week by clicking here. https://watermill.net/knitting-holidays/knitting-holidays-tutor-sarah-hazell19.php

We’d love you to join us. And don’t forget our tempting Early Bird discount offer: if you book a place on Sarah’s week (or any of our other creative weeks) before 31 December 2018, there is a generous £75 discount. We already have seven people booked into this course, so if you want to be sure of a place, now is the time to book.

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

Knitting concentration on one of Sarah’s courses, by guest Phil Wright

Cardboard gazing could help your art too!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Were a passing Martian to have gazed down on the courtyard of the Watermill this week, he might have been intrigued at the strange antics of Homo sapiens. For there they were, gazing through rectangular holes in little pieces of cardboard. What strange behaviour! What an earth could the human species be up to?

The answer is very simple, though somewhat unusual. They were students on Vicki Norman’s inspiring oil painting course here at the Watermill. And they were using the cardboard cut-outs to assess the tonal balances in the scene before them, before going on to produce sketches of the arrangement of light and dark in the pictures they were planning. It’s a Japanese technique called Notan.

Vicki says: “Notan are simple tonal thumbnail sketches used to plan artworks en plein air. They help you to assess the balance of light and shade in a design and they’re really useful when choosing your subject.”

We had a fun time with a great group on Vicki’s course and, of course, great tuition. And and we’re already looking forward to Vicki’s return visit next year. She will be with us for another tremendous week of tuition in oil painting, from Saturday 22 June to Saturday, 29 June 2019.

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

Vicki’s atmospheric oil of the Apuan Alps near the Watermill. You, too, could be painting them from one of our great en plein air locations:

We’d love you to join us: you can find out more about Vicki and her course at the Watermill by clicking here. But  you’ll have to hurry: we already have 10 people booked in for Vicki’s 2019 course. One of them is a non-painting partner, so we have room for three more painters (and their non-painting partners if they like to come). So, now’s the time to book, especially with our enticing Early Bird offer: if you book on Vicki’s 2019 course before the end of this year, there is a £75 discount.

Come and enjoy superb tuition in oil painting (and get to look through little rectangular squares cut out of cardboard!)

 

 

They wore the green beret

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Here is the knitting group on the last evening of Lisa Richardson’s fun-filled week posing in the Watermill sitting room wearing some of the products of their week’s work, lovely green berets.

As well as the knitters, you can see our manager Karsten Muller joining in the spirit of things. Thank you very much, Lisa and all our guests for a week full of laughter and bonhomie. We really enjoyed your company and we look forward to seeing many of you next year, as you are already booked into knitting, creative writing or painting courses in 2019. Our thanks for all your support.

And thanks too, to Lea Marissen for the picture above. And for the one below. Our guests Shelley and Tim Ellison were celebrating their 22nd wedding anniversary so we ensured it was properly commemorated, with 22 candles and best wishes in the Watermill dining room.

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

We now have more than 160 bookings for next year’s creative courses, so if you’re keen to come now is the time to get your booking in, especially as we have an enticing Early Bird discount offer: £75 off any one of our 2019 creative courses, if you book your place before the end of December this year. If you have a favourite tutor or a special time of year, now is the time to reserve your place. We look forward to welcoming you here.

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

Jumping for joy on a Watermill painting course!

Walking in the misty mountains

Steve Rutherford, a non-knitting partner on Lisa Richardson’s fun-filled knitting course this week has been enjoying walking in the mighty Apennine mountains above the Watermill. Here are a couple of his atmospheric photographs as the mists and clouds gathered in.

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

 

Thank you Steve for sharing these with us.