Now taking bookings for Maggie’s 2018 Courageous Colo(u)r workshop!

Picture by Maggie Renner Hellmann a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.We are having a marvellous time this week with our enthusiastic painting group takking part in Maggie Renner Hellman’s 2017 Courageous Colo(u)r Workshop at the Watermill.  Yesterday everyone went painting in the tranquil surroundings of the Convento del Carmine, a 16th Century monastery set in beautiful grounds near the Watermill. Painting by Mark Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

We’d love you to join is for Maggie’s inspiring course next year (it will run from 19 to 26 May 2018) and we are already taking bookings.

Maggie convent 9

We won’t actually be publishing details of our 2018 courses on our website until 1 September this year –it is too confusing. But for those who want to book before that, our offer is: you can have a place on Maggie’s sensational 2018 painting course at 2017 prices. Please email me at bill@medialliance.net if you would like to reserve your place.

And if you want to see what we are doing in 2017, please click here.

You can see details of our bedrooms and their 2017 prices by clicking here.

Be an extra-early Early Bird and spend a year dreaming of your Watermill holiday!

Maggie convent 7

An artist’s studio – come and join the artist and paint with him in Tuscany

Painting by Mark Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Here’s a fine photograph of Watermill tutor Mark Warner’s studio, with one of his vibrant paintings in the foreground. We are looking forward to welcoming Mark as a tutor for an inspiring week-long course next month.

We still have a couple of places left on Mark’s course, so why not join us and meet the man himself — and paint with him in the glorious Tuscan countryside surrounding the mill.  Ten people are already signed up, so we have room for two more. We’d love to welcome you here for Mark’s inspiring course and there are more details below.

Mark loves sketching and painting outdoors, even in the damp atmosphere of Wales, near where he lives, and where he is often out on location. (It’s a bit dryer and brighter in Lunigiana, the beautiful area of Tuscany that surrounds the Watermill.)

Here are some pictures of one of Mark’s recent expeditions, first to the dramatic castle of Dinas Bran. Mark says: “This is one of the most beautifully situated castles in Wales – and that’s saying something. Set high on a hill above Llangollen, Dinas Bran, or Crow Castle, as it is popularly known, is inextricably linked to the legends of King Arthur. The castle was mentioned in the Arthurian romance Perlesvaus as a possible hiding place of the Holy Grail, and home of Bran (Bron), the Fisher King, brother-in-law of Joseph of Arimathea.”

Mark Dinas Bran Final (003)

Mark also sent us a recent Seascape, looking out to sea from the town of Borth on the coast in Mid-Wales:

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

Mark Warner is a specialist in acrylics/watercolours incorporating conte/pastel and his painting course here will run from Saturday 22 July to Saturday 29 July 2017.

Mark lives in Shropshire in England and is not only a respected artist but also a highly professional tutor with many years of teaching experience. Mark is passionate about working outside, tutoring numerous day and residential plein air holidays. His sessions are very popular — and he leads by example, creating a relaxed and encouraging environment.  He says “I adore using colour while interpreting the light, weather and a love for the materials. I work directly in the field (literally on many occasions!) from sketches created outside as well as notes/photographs taken on location.”

Sketching is at the heart of Mark’s work: “This is important in the development of a piece and on many occasions, forming an integral part of the painting itself.” Mark works on coloured grounds, incorporating aspects of mark-making and directional brushstrokes within the work. He says: “I continue to draw inspiration from the landscape, although subject matter can be broad and at times very different.” 

This is the sort of Tuscan view around the Watermill that will inspire him — and you!

A local view, thanks to the Ciao Lunigiana blog

A local view, thanks to the Ciao Lunigiana blog

Mark at easelPainting by Mark Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.22 to 29 July 2017 Mark Warner

Acrylics/watercolours incorporating conte/pastel Two places left

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

Lunigiana panorama

Come and join Sue for a versatile painting week in rural Tuscany

Sue Ford, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
We still have a few places left on Sue Ford’s lovely painting course at The Watermill and we’d would be delighted if you were able to join us here: the sun shines, the sky is as blue as only an Italian sky can be and a gentle breeze blows coolly down the valley of the river Rosaro beside the mill – and our talented and versatile painting tutor Sue Ford unlocks painting secrets for her some members of her painting group.

Sue will be back with us again this year for another inspiring week-long painting course in watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic. She’ll be here from Saturday 15 July to Saturday 22 July 2017. More details below.

We have fond memories of Sue’s last visit. Here’s a quote from one of our guests: “I had a wonderful time. Everything was superb – the accommodation, the trips out and the food! Utterly wonderful. It was an experience that I will treasure. Sue Ford is an exceptional tutor with a lovely manner and treats all with respect and kindness.”

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

A demonstration painting by Sue of the arch in the Watermill courtyard

Sue with students

Sue Ford was born in York, North Yorkshire and has experimented with almost every conceivable media in her career. She now a well recognised and admired professional artist and tutor. Here are some of her students at work in one of our great en plein air locations, an old monastery:

Sue Ford Joy and Sanjana at Convento

sue plus pic

15-22 July Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic

with Sue Ford  Two or three places left

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

 

 

How’s this for an inspiring online offer!

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

Tim’s impression of the riverside by The Watermill

Our English watercolour tutor Tim Wilmot is not only a very talented artist, but also a first-class teacher – and not only with face-face face tuition, like that you’ll be enjoy on his week-long watercolour workshop at the Watermill, but also online.

In fact, Tim is world-famous for his online tuition over the net. And now as a bonus for bookers on his course here, from Saturday 7 October to Saturday 14 October 2017 he is offering a free 30-day support via email for all attendees. He says: “I’ll answer any questions, provide critiques on their paintings and so on.” 

There’s an offer you can’t refuse! We’ve still a couple of places left on Tim’s course and enjoy a 30-day ‘after sales’ service as well!

During our week-long painting course Tim this Autumn you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the spectacular scenery of Lunigiana, the unspoilt part of Tuscany that surrounds the Watermill.

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

A vineyard and the Apuan Alps near the Watermill

We promise you river valleys and craggy mountains, vineyards and olive groves, convents and castles, hill-top villages and walled medieval towns. And with Tim as your guide, you’ll learn now to loosen our style and capture the essence of the wonderful scenery with your brush. More details of Tim’s watercolour week at the Watermill below.

While he’s dabbled with portraits and still lifes over the years, Tim is inexorably drawn to landscapes. He says: I’m an outdoor person rather than an indoor person. For many years I’ve taken a sketch book on my travels and I quickly scribble scenes in a shorthand sort of way. Then, returning home, I recreate those memories with paint and brush.” And you’ll be able to do that, too, in the Watermill studio, overlooking the river and the walled garden with the high Apennines beyond

Tim says: There are all sorts of reasons for coming on a painting holiday — it might be to improve your drawing skills, loosen up your style, learn how to incorporate figures in a landscape — and it’s my job to try to find what your personal objectives are and help you achieve them. Ohand have fun with like-minded people on the way.”

All that and 30-days free after-sales service! Come and join us!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhttp://watermill.net/painting-holidays/painting-holidays-tutor-tim-wilmot17.php7-14 October 2017 Watercolours

with Tim Wilmot

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

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

Sandy’s watercolour inspires us to new restoration projects

Painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Isn’t this an exciting watercolour by our lovely, talented and inspiring Watermill painting tutor Sandra Strohschein? It captures the essence of ‘Mill 2’, the 19th century mill in the Watermill complex.

As you know, we’ve just completed restoring the buildings of 17th Century watermill (Mill 1), creating in the process two lovely new bedrooms, the Ghirlandaio and the Uccello, each with sparkling new shower rooms and stunning views down the River Rosaro.

The 17th Century mill buildings gloriously restored

The 17th Century mill buildings gloriously restored

Now we are putting our thinking caps on and wondering what to create when we restore Mill 2. A mini-museum charting the history of the Mill? A comfy leisure space where people can relax and watch DVDs?  It’s fun thinking about it. And you can add your thoughts if you join us on a Watermill creative holiday.

Due to the odd cancellation for health and family reasons, we’ve still a few places left on our 2017 painting courses. Here’s the latest availability ‘snapshot’:

lea plus picLea Nixon One or two places left
24 June to 1 July 2017
Watercolours
To learn more about Lea, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here.


terry plus picTerry Jarvis Fully booked, waiting list open
1 July to 8 July 2017
Watercolours
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here.


sue plus picSue Ford Two or three places left
15 July to 22 July 2017
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic
To learn more about Sue, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please click here.


mark plus picMark Warner Two or three places left
22 July to 29 July 2017
Acrylics/Watercolours incorporating conte/pastel
To learn more about Mark, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here.


varvara plus pixVarvara Neiman Fully booked, waiting list open
26 August to 2 September 2017
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolour
To learn more about Varvara, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please click here.


mike plus picMike Willdridge Fully booked, waiting list open
2 September to 9 September 2017
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here.


Nel plus picNel Whatmore & Rebecca de Mendonça
Fully booked, waiting list open
23 September to 30 September 2017
Pastels
To learn more about Nel & Rebecca, their course and to see more of their pictures, please click here.


charles plus picCharles Sluga Fully booked, waiting list open
30 September to 7 October 2017
Watercolours (and acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Charles, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here.


Tim plus picTim Wilmot Three or four places left
7 October to 14 October 2017
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here.

 

We’d love you to join us for one of these sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring courses — and help us think about the Mill 2 restoration!

Oh — and if you can’t make 2017, Sandra Strohschein will be back in 2018 for two glorious painting weeks, from 26 May to 2 June and from 2-9 June 2018.

And we’ve a very special Special Offer to entice early Early Bird bookers: If you book before 1 September 2017 you can enjoy either one (or both!) of these inspiring 2018 painting weeks at 2017 prices.

To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please call (UK no.) +44 20 7193 6246 or email us at info@watermill.net.

Sandra under the roses in the walled garden

Sandra under the roses in the walled garden

A warm Watermill welcome to watercolourist Paul

Painting by Paul Talbot-Greaves, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.We are delighted to welcome a new artist to the Watermill tutors’ team. He is Paul Talbot-Greaves and he will be with us for a special week in watercolours from Saturday 28 April – Saturday 5 May 2018.

Painting by Paul Talbot-Greaves, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Paul is a professional English painter. He says: “I like to seek out compositions employing patterns of light, shade and contrast and I aim to achieve vibrancy in the colours that I use.”  His picture above is called Through the Woods. Paul says: I like to find interesting subjects in the least expected places. In this picture, I used simple dynamic shadows combined with contrast and appealing colours to create a quick impression of light streaming through the woodland.”

As well as receiving many accolades for his work, Paul is also an inspiring and sympathetic tutor: “I get an enormous amount of pleasure seeing people improve and enjoy their own work.”

At present our 2018 courses are not up on our website and they will not be there before 1 September 2017, as offering our potential guests courses in 2017 and 2018 at the same time can lead to confusion. But we’ve a special Special Offer to entice early Early Birds: Paul’s 2018 course at 2017 prices! If you book before 1 September 2017 you can enjoy this inspiring 2018 painting holiday at 2017 prices.

To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please call (UK no.) +44 20 7193 6246 or Email us at info@watermill.net. You can see the 2017 painting course prices by clicking here.

But early as it is, it, looks like you’ll have to get in quite quickly to secure your place on Paul’s 2018 course: five people have already booked their places and another three are in the process of doing so. So, if you’d like to come, please get in touch as above.

The Watermill and Paul would love to welcome you here for a sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring course. Here’s another vibrant painting from Paul, an unusual angle on the town square in Roussillon, France.Painting by Paul Talbot-Greaves, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Thanks for the thistley memory Judy

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Judy Gluckman from New Zealand, who came on Sandy Strohschein’s watercolour painting week here recently, sent us this colourful picture of the preserved thistles that grace a corner of the Watermill dining room:

She writes: “My week at The Watermill was better than I could have imagined.  We were fed watered and dined in style and managed to eat huge meals which were all extra delicious.  My favourite was on the first night, which was the Gorgonzola soufflé, divine indeed. 

“Sandy 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. 

“Thank you so very much for giving me such a social week which I will never forget.”

Why not come to the Watermill yourself next year to see what all the fuss is about? Sandra Strohschein will be back in 2018 for not one, but two wonderful watercolour painting holidays, from 26 May to 2 June and from 2-9 June 2018.

And we’ve a very special Special Offer to entice early Early Bird bookers: If you book before 1 September 2017 you can enjoy either one (or both!) of these inspiring 2018 painting weeks at 2017 prices.

To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please call (UK no.) +44 20 7193 6246 or email us at info@watermill.net.

Caroline Chapman Monte 2

 

Come and join us!

Plenty of activities for partners while their other halves paint!

Language restuarantWe have no fewer than five non-painting partners on Keiko Tanabe’s watercolour course starting on Saturday and you can be sure will be offering them plenty of activities while their spouses and partners paint away at the Watermill and in the glorious surrounding countryside.

First of all, we’re going to feed them delicious meals, both at the watermill and at lovely, traditional local restaurants. Then we are going to take them on an excursion on Wednesday to the Cinque Terre or to Lucca.

The precise itinerary for the painters will depend on the weather and other unforeseen factors, but you are more than welcome to join them at any of their locations (all of which involve lunch!)

The stunning view from one of your lunchtime restaurants

The stunning view from one of your lunchtime restaurants

As well as painting around the mill, their partners and fellow-painters will also be exploring the nearby hamlet of Verrucola with its impressive Malaspina Castle; the walled town of Fivizzano, with its Museum of Printing, ancient convent (now a library), Medici walls, market in the piazza, shops, cafés etc.; and the gourmet Il Vecchio Tino restaurant at Monte dei Bianchi with its spectacular setting in the mountains. Non-painting partners (‘NPPs’) are more than welcome to go on any of these outings to great locations.Sue Ford Joy and Sanjana at Convento

But if ‘NPPs’ want to explore on their own, enjoy other activities and visit other attractions, here’s a suggested itinerary – none of which, of course, is obligatory.

Saturday:                Arrival day. Explore the mill, its gardens and the riverside

Sunday:                   Leisure at mill; fish in the river? Tennis in Fivizzano? Borrow our bicycle?

Monday:                  Verrucola Castle and valley walk to Pognana

Tuesday:                  Fivizzano market day; trip to Carrara, Pontremoli or Equi Terme? Walk in the Appennines?

Wednesday:           Cinque Terre or Lucca?

Thursday:               Lucca or Cinque Terre? Carrara, Pontremoli or Equi Terme?

Friday:                     Monte dei Bianchi vineyard or Equi Terme?

Saturday:                Departure day. For those with late flights: sightseeing in Pisa

One recent NPP Alastair Hunter and his wife Sheila took a trip to see the famous marble quarries of Carrara. Here’s their report: “On Wednesday we were free to roam and we knew where we wanted to go, to Carrara.  The two regular options of visiting Lucca or the Cinque Terre were not so exciting for us.  We already had a holiday planned in Lucca, and the steps at Cinque Terre would be too steep for Sheila to climb.  But, reading The Agony and the Ecstasy years ago I wanted to see the quarries where Michelangelo selected blocks of marble for his sculptures.  Here was the chance I had been waiting for.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Taxi and train resolved the journey from The Watermill down to Carrara, where Reike our guide was there to greet us.  She is a German lady living in Italy for twenty-five years, and very accomplished in providing visitors with a comprehensive tour of the marble quarries.  For good reasons that soon became very clear we travelled by long wheelbase Land Rover.  Our party were an Austrian who was camping locally, a Scots couple, a Netherlander, and a Russian sommelier who were travelling aboard a cruise ship docked at la Spezia, and ourselves from Scotland.  We set off together for the mountains.

In the commercial town of Carrara, we passed endless marble stone companies.  Carrara provides the entire global supply of pure white marble, as it has done for over two thousand years.  In the old town we saw every single building constructed of marble including footpaths and pavements.  As we left the town and started to climb we began to witness the vast scale of operations ahead of us on the mountain.  Enormous lorries sometimes filled with only a single marble block edged past us on the road.

VISITOR PARTY AT CARRARA MARBLE QUARRY (002)Higher up as we entered the quarry areas the surface of the roads gave way to rock hardcore, slopes nosed skywards and hairpin bends took two goes for our vehicle to get around.  At each successive level, from near sea level right to the top of the mountain, the quarry floors are vast.  Looking down from the top, huge dumper trucks look like toys.  The main quarry processes have continued for centuries.  They drive the quarry faces back into the mountain, they open new quarry floors at levels higher up, and they quarry down into the floors.  There are underground quarries as well, unfortunately not for the public to see.

 Operations on the mountain are self-contained and nothing is wasted.  Marble is cut out from the quarry using endless loops of steel rope impregnated with diamond.  In earlier times the cutting medium was a slurry of water with sand.  Marble quality ranges from entire blocks of white purity, through veined blocks, cracked pieces, crushed stones, right down to marble powder, all having commercial or industrial value.  A fascinating and memorable day, with many thanks due to Bill Breckon for his organisation in advance, which all ran smoothly.”

Come and join us and bring your own NPP!

How to paint the Leaning Tower!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.We have just had a charming note from Biddy and Clem Danin, who were with us for Sandra Strohschein’s lovely painting holiday here.

They say: “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.”

Clem sent us the amusing carton above, with a suggestion on how to paint the Tower of Pisa! Thanks to you both – and see you again soon, we hope.

You’ll be painting Tuscan houses with Mark!

Painting by Mark Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.I really like this picture of an English house in the country by our talented and inspirational painting tutor Mark Warner.  Subtle colours, vibrant brushstrokes.

You can come and learn more about Mark’s great techniques and capture the Tuscan ambiance with your brush on his course here this Summer. (There is a link to more details below.)

It looks a bit different round here! Here’s a view of the Watermill courtyard:Mill courtyardAnd typical scenery in the unspoilt Tuscan region of Lunigiana surrounding the mill:The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Mark Warner is a specialist in acrylics/watercolours incorporating conte/pastel and his painting course here will run from Saturday 22 July to Saturday 29 July 2017. We have nine people booked on his course, so we have room for only two or three more painters.

Mark lives in Shropshire in England and is not only a respected artist but also a highly professional tutor with many years of teaching experience. Mark is passionate about working outside, tutoring numerous day and residential plein air holidays. His sessions are very popular — and he leads by example, creating a relaxed and encouraging environment.  He says I adore using colour while interpreting the light, weather and a love for the materials. I work directly in the field (literally on many occasions!) from sketches created outside as well as notes/photographs taken on location.”

Sketching is at the heart of Mark’s work: “This is important in the development of a piece and on many occasions, forming an integral part of the painting itself.” Mark works on coloured grounds, incorporating aspects of mark-making and directional brushstrokes within the work. He says: “I continue to draw inspiration from the landscape, although subject matter can be broad and at times very different.” 

This is the sort of Tuscan view around the Watermill that will inspire him — and you!

A local view, thanks to the Ciao Lunigiana blog

A local view, thanks to the Ciao Lunigiana blog

Mark at easelPainting by Mark Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.22 to 29 July 2017 Mark Warner

Acrylics/watercolours incorporating conte/pastel Three or four places left

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

Lunigiana panorama