The first day of spring. Watermill tutors celebrate, with daffodils

Painting by Carl March, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.At 10:58pm Central European Time on 20 March 2019, to be precise, it is the Vernal Equinox, the beginning of the 24 hours in which day and night are each exactly 12 hours long.

But blow the science, what’s important is that the days are getting warmer and longer. And soon, as wonderful harbingers of summer, the swifts will join us again after their long voyage from the south. Traditionally they arrive in Rome, on 21 March the feast day of San Benedetto (St Benedict): San Benedetto, rondini sotto il tetto, Saint Benedict, swifts under the eaves). There is no sign of them yet in Florence, where we spend our winter months, nor at Posara, whence we will be moving in a month or so for our 2019 creative courses season. But we will be scanning the horizon for them soon and look forward to hearing their harsh cries as they swoop over the rooftops.

To celebrate the arrival of spring, what better flowers than daffodils? I have gathered together a bunch of paintings of them by our Watermill tutors, to make us all feel spring-like. The watercolour above is by a new tutor, Carl March, will be joining us in 2020. And this joyous painting is by Paul Talbot-Greaves, who will be with us next month, when I hope there will still be daffodils in the Watermill Gardens.

Painting by Paul Talbot-Greaves, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Here’s another take on daffodils, from Kevin Scully, who tutored at the Watermill a couple of years back and who will be joining us again in May, 2021. (You see what a lot of forward planning we do to make sure we get the best painting tutors for our guests!)

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

Come and join us and enjoy the peaceful Watermill gardens and grounds. The daffodils will soon be over, but there will be plenty of other flowers to delight your eyes and inspire your painting. Here are some spring wild flowers in the meadows near the Watermill.

Come and join us. We’d love to welcome you to this piece of rural Italian heaven.

Here’s the latest list of what’s available. It’s followed by details and links of the other courses that are currently fully booked. But there are invariably cancellations, so if there’s a tutor or a date in whom/which you are particularly interested, please don’t hesitate to let us know and we’ll put you on the waiting list. We are looking forward to an especially inspiring season this year and we love you to be part of it!

And why not bring your non-participating partners well? Not only is there a generous £250 reduction for them (sharing a room with you), but we have plenty of activities for them. Find out more about that by clicking here.

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

What’s available: Painting courses

We’ve listed the painting courses where we still have availability first, the others that are full, but for which there is a waiting list, follow these.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June – 6 July 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019 Two or three places left
24 – 31 August 2019 
One place left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

The painting courses below are currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come on one of them, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

Paul Talbot-Greaves
27 April to 4 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Keiko Tanabe
18 – 25 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sandra Strohschein
1 – 8 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
8 – 15 June 2019 
Fully booked, waiting list open

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Vicki Norman
22 – 29 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please see our 2019 Courses Preview page.

 

Claire Warner
14 – 21 September 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Maggie Renner Hellmann
21 – 28 September 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Charles Sluga
28 September – 5 October 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

What’s available: Knitting courses

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

We’ve listed first the knitting course where we still have availability:

Carol Meldrum
4 – 11 May 2019 Four or five places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

The knitting weeks below are currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come , please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

Debbie Abrahams
25 May – 1 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Marie Wallin
6 – 13 July 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Marie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page

 

What’s available: Writing courses

We’ve listed the creative writing course where we still have availability first, the other is fully booked, but there is a waiting list.

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
7 – 14 September 2019 Five or six places left
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and to register an interest in their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.
The creative writing week below is currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come , please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Write Your Life Stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Italian language course

Due to recent cancellationswe now have three bedrooms available on our Italian language course. Let us know if you’d like to make one of them yours (and bring a partner, if you like).

Langues services and Francesca la Sala 
11 – 18 May 2019 Three or four places left
Italian language
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please click here.

 

We’d be delighted if you could join us. Please click here for more details about all our 2019 creative courses.

Meanwhile, here’s a sunny and summery, warm and welcoming Maggie Renner Hellmann painting, of a corner of the sunny Watermill courtyard. Come and enjoy it for yourself!

 

The last dozen or so places remaining on Watermill creative courses this year

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

This is one of my favourite watercolours by Jude Scott, our new and exciting Watermill painting tutor from Australia. I think it captures perfectly the lazy, hazy, sunlit days of our childhood summers. We still have a few places left on Jude’s two courses with us this summer, and we’d be delighted if you could join us.

More than 240 people have now booked up for one of our 2019 courses: painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language. But we still have a dozen or so spaces remaining: why not grab one of them for yourself and see what all the fuss is about?

Here’s the latest list of what’s available. It’s followed by details and links of the other courses that are currently fully booked. But there are invariably cancellations, so if there’s a tutor or a date in whom/which you are particularly interested, please don’t hesitate to let us know and we’ll put you on the waiting list. We are looking forward to an especially inspiring season this year and we love you to be part of it!

And why not bring your non-participating partners well? Not only is there a generous £250 reduction for them (sharing a room with you), but we have plenty of activities for them. Find out more about that by clicking here.

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

 

What’s available: Painting courses

We’ve listed the painting courses where we still have availability first, the others that are full, but for which there is a waiting list, follow these.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June – 6 July 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019 Two or three places left
24 – 31 August 2019 
One place left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 One or two places left
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

The painting courses below are currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come on one of them, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

Paul Talbot-Greaves
27 April to 4 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Keiko Tanabe
18 – 25 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sandra Strohschein
1 – 8 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
8 – 15 June 2019 
Fully booked, waiting list open

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Vicki Norman
22 – 29 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please see our 2019 Courses Preview page.

 

Claire Warner
14 – 21 September 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Maggie Renner Hellmann
21 – 28 September 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Charles Sluga
28 September – 5 October 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

What’s available: Knitting courses

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

We’ve listed first the knitting course where we still have availability:

Sarah Hazell
4 – 11 May 2019 Three or four places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

The knitting weeks below are currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come , please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

Debbie Abrahams
25 May – 1 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Marie Wallin
6 – 13 July 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Marie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page

 

What’s available: Writing courses

We’ve listed the creative writing course where we still have availability first, the other is fully booked, but there is a waiting list.

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
7 – 14 September 2019 Five or six places left
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and to register an interest in their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.
The creative writing week below is currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come , please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Write Your Life Stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Italian language course

Due to a recent cancellation we now have a bedroom available on our Italian language course. Let us know if you’d like to make it yours (and bring a partner, if you like).

Langues services and Francesca la Sala 
11 – 18 May 2019 One/two places left
Italian language
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please click here.

 

We’d be delighted if you could join us. Please click here for more details about all our 2019 creative courses. 

Meanwhile, here’s a warm and welcoming Maggie Renner Hellmann painting, of a corner of the sunny Watermill courtyard. Come and enjoy it for yourself!

Vivid sketches from Mike’s Far Eastern tour. Come and paint and sketch with him in Tuscany

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

Our friend and watermill painting tutor Mike Willdridge is returning from a family visit in Australia and, as ever, he’s been taking his sketchbook on his travels. Here are a few glimpses of Hanoi.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike is a great believer in taking his sketchbook with him wherever he goes, not only to provide ‘background notes’ to be worked up into paintings later, but also the way of capturing memories.

We hope you like these quick sketches and are tempted to bring your own sketchbook on Mike’s fun-filled, inspiring painting course at the Watermill this year. We already have 11 people booked in to Mike’s course this June, two of whom are non-painting partners, but we do have space for a couple more painters, if you’re interested.

Meet the artist and paint with him

Mike loves painting and sketching around the Watermill and in the glorious Tuscan scenery beyond it. He is also a wonderful teacher. Mike will be with us again next year, for a week in watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics), from Saturday 29 June to Saturday 6 July 2019.

 

 

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

Mike’sketch of market day in the town of Fivizzano, near the Watermill

Mike Willdridge works 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.

A comment from a guest on one of Mike’s previous courses at The Watermill: “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.”

Here’s another of my favourite Mike Willdridge pictures, an exuberant watercolour of the mill stream flowing beneath one of our gardener Flavio Terenzoni’s famous wooden bridges, with their curvy handrails.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June to 6 July 2019
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)

To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please click here

Catch up with all our creative news with the Watermill’s March newsletter

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

Yes the Watermill’s March 2019 newsletter has just been published and you can read all about it by clicking here.

In this month’s newsletter there are stories on:

  • Six reasons to choose a Watermill painting course
  • Pretend you are Audrey Hepburn on a vintage Vespa
  • Holiday paintings from famous artists
  • Better headlights to guide you through the creative writing fog
  • Why an Italian bottle became a theatrical disaster
  • Latest availability on all our creative courses for 2019

Happy reading! And why not come and join us on one of our intimate, caring and inspiring creative weeks? But you’d have to hurry, our courses are filling fast. We would love to welcome 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!

A stunning Maggie Renner Hellman oil painting to introduce the Watermill’s latest availability

Painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.We love this extraordinarily vibrant oil painting by our friend and watermill tutor Maggie Renner Hellmann. Isn’t it marvellous? We were discussing recently how difficult it must be in for artists to try to say something new about the all-too-familiar Venetian scene, which has been painted so many times by artists over the centuries. We think Maggie has achieved it.

The painting gives us an excuse to tell you that, due to a cancellation, we now have our wonderful Botticelli bedroom available for Maggie’s painting course here next September. It is a double room, ideal for a couple or two friends sharing, but we’re happy to take a single painter. So if you too would like to capture the Italian light and enjoy the company of like-minded people on Maggie’s inspirational painting course, now is the time to do so. You can find more details of Maggie’s course at the Watermill by clicking here.

And below is the news on the latest availability for all our Watermill creative courses

Latest availability on Watermill creative courses

Our 2019 holidays are filling fast: we already have a record 240 bookers for our 21 courses, so big thanks to all those who have supported us by booking up for this year. We still have places on some of our courses, however, and the availability is listed below. Even if you see a course you particularly like is fully booked, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: there often cancellations and we will put you on a waiting list. But to be safe why not come and join one of our inspiring and sympathetic tutors where we still have a few places?

And why not bring your non-participating partners well? Not only is there a generous £250 reduction for them (sharing a room with you), but we have plenty of activities for them. Find out more about that by clickinghere.

What’s available: Painting courses

We’ve listed the painting courses where we still have availability first, the others that are full, but for which there is a waiting list, follow these.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June – 6 July 2019One or two places left
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sandra Strohschein
1 – 8 June 2019 Due to cancellation 1/2 places available
8 – 15 June 2019
Fully booked, waiting list open

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019Two or three places left
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019Two or three places left
24 – 31 August 2019
One place left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 Two or three places left
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Maggie Renner Hellmann
21 – 28 September 2019 Due to cancellation, 1/2 places left
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

The painting courses below are currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come on one of them, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

Paul Talbot-Greaves
27 April to 4 May 2019Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Keiko Tanabe
18 – 25 May 2019Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Vicki Norman
22 – 29 June 2019Fully booked, waiting list open
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please see our 2019 Courses Preview page.

 

Claire Warner
14 – 21 September 2019Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Charles Sluga
28 September – 5 October 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

What’s available: Knitting courses

We’ve listed the knitting courses where we still have availability first:

Sarah Hazell
4 – 11 May 2019 Due to cancellations, three or four places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Debbie Abrahams
25 May – 1 June 2019Due to cancellations, two or three places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

The knitting week below is currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come , please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Marie Wallin
6 – 13 July 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Marie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page

 

What’s available: Writing courses

We’ve listed the creative writing course where we still have availability first, the other is fully booked, but there is a waiting list.

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
7 – 14 September 2019 Five or six places left
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and to register an interest in their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.
The creative writing week below is currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come , please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Write Your Life Stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Italian language course

Our Italian language course is currently fully booked, but there may be cancellations, so if you’re interested please contact us and we’ll put you on the waiting list.

Langues services and Francesca la Sala 
11 – 18 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Italian language
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please click here.

 

We’d be delighted if you could join us. Please click here for more details about all our 2019 creative courses. 

Meanwhile, here’s another warm and welcoming Maggie Renner Hellmann painting, this time of a corner of the sunny Watermill courtyard. It’s your turn to paint it next, or sit and write or knit.

Sudden availability on Charles Sluga’s inspiring painting course: grab your place!

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

A painting demo by Charles of a corner of the nearby walled medival town of Fivizzano

For health reasons, three ladies have had to pull out of Charles Sluga’s inspiring painting course at the Watermill this October, so suddenly we have availability on this very popular course, which up till now had been fully booked for many months.

We still have 10 people booked in for this course, two of whom are non-painting partners. But we now have three lovely bedrooms free: Fra Angelico, Ghirlandaio and Uccello. The last two are in the recently restored 17th-century mill, looking down the bubbling River Rosaro, which flows past the Watermill.

To whet your appetite for Charles’ course I prepared a little slideshow, which you can see by clicking here 

Charles will be with us for from 28 September to 5 October 2019 for his fun-filled, sun-filled course, with expert tuition in watercolours (and acrylics and oils).

Here’s what some previous students had to say about his course last year at the Watermill: “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.”

Here’s another atmospheric Sluga watercolour, this time of the main square in Lucca, one of our excursion venues on Wednesday during our painting weeks:

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

Lunch in Lucca by Charles Sluga

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. His technique has been described by critics as “impeccable” and his vision as “brilliant” and “evocative”. He has helped elevate the status of watercolour as a major contemporary medium.Charles is also skilled in acrylics and oils and is happy to teach in those media, too. He 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.

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

Wine demijohns in the Watermill courtyard

Charles Sluga
28 September – 5 October 2019 Three or four places left
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Come and paint at the Watermill and ride on an iconic Vespa, just like Audrey Hepburn

Painting by Jude Scott, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.We don’t very often produce paintings of motorcycles during our week-long courses in the rural calm and stunning scenery of Lunigiana, the unspoiled part of Tuscany, Italy, in which the Watermill is located. So, I was intrigued to see this painting by our lovely new watercolour tutor Jude Scott of her family’s Royal Enfield Rajasthan bike, clearly their pride and joy.

You’re not going to get a ride on it in Posara, because it’s half a world away at Jude’s home in Australia, but we can offer you the fun of riding pillion on one of our gardener Flavio Terenzoni’s vintage motor scooters. You can hop on the back of his Vespa and pretend you’re Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday!

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

Here’s me and my daughter Lara doing just that, with Lara at the handlebars:

Actually, in these days of ‘elf and safety’, will make sure you’re safely wearing one of our spare crash helmets. Above was fantasy: Lara and I didn’t go anywhere (surprise surprise), but here’s reality with the skilled Flavio in charge and a safely helmeted guest ready for a spin.

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

Standing beside them is Watermill tutor Terry Jarvis, holding up a drawing of Flavio’s Vespa, which he made as a gift:

As they say in Private Eye: ‘That’s enough motorbikes. Ed.’  Terry won’t be joining us again until 2020 and if you come on one of Jude’s courses this year (see below for details) you’re much more likely to enjoy yourself painting landscapes or flowers with her.

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

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

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019 Three or four places left
24 – 31 August 2019
 One place left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her courses at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

You, too, could be painting this view!

Painting by Peter Robson, The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.The lovely watercolour above was made by Watermill guest Peter Robson, who has been on several of our painting courses here, as well as attending our How to Write Your Life Story course with Jo Parfitt.

It’s of the view from the walls of the mediaeval town of Fivizzano, where we go to sketch and paint on market day during our painting course weeks. Our thanks to Peter, who is an enthusiastic supporter of all our activities.

He writes: “I have been on at least 50 weeks of workshops in the last 12 years and I have to say that the last one with you was the best ever in terms of the organisation and the lovely food and wine we had. You are streets ahead of anywhere I have been”.

Peter makes the point that our guests don’t just come to paint: “A lot of people go for the company and the whole experience. And he applauds the fact that everything is included in a Watermill creative course, from the moment you arrive at Pisa airport to the moment we take you back there again a week later: “Once you have paid your course fees, you don’t need to part with another cent. I bought lunch in Cinque Terre and that is all I spent. Even that was my choice as you offered us a packed lunch if we wanted.”

Thank you Peter, nfor sharing those thoughts. Why not come and join us and see what all the fuss is about and try your hand at painting the view from the mediaeval walls of Fivizzano? Here are some of our painting guests contemplating the view from the walls, before putting brush to paper:

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

Latest availability on Watermill painting courses

Our 2019 holidays are filling fast: we already have a record 240 bookers for our 21 courses, so big thanks to all those who have supported us by booking up for this year. We still have places on some of our courses, however, and the availability is listed below. And even if you see a course you particularly like is fully booked, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: there often cancellations and we will put you on a waiting list. But to be safe why not come and join one of our inspiring and sympathetic tutors where we still have a few places?

And why not bring your non-participating partners well? Not only is there a generous £250 reduction for them (sharing a room with you), but we have plenty of activities for them. Find out more about that by clicking here.

I’ve listed the painting courses where we still have availability first, the others that are full, but for which there is a waiting list, follow these.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June – 6 July 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

Sandra Strohschein
1 – 8 June 2019 Due to recent cancellation 1/2 places available
8 – 15 June 2019
 Fully booked, waiting list open

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019 Two or three places left
24 – 31 August 2019
 One place left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 Two or three places left
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019  Two or three places left
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

The painting courses below are currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come on one of them, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

Paul Talbot-Greaves
27 April to 4 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Keiko Tanabe
18 – 25 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Vicki Norman
22 – 29 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please see our 2019 Courses Preview page.

 

Claire Warner
14 – 21 September 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Maggie Renner Hellmann
21 – 28 September 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Charles Sluga
28 September – 5 October 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

To whet your appetite, here’s another view from the mediaeval walls of Fivizzano down the peaceful valley of the river Rosaro, towards the Watermill, this time by painting tutor Terry Jarvis, who will be joining us again next year stop

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

Terry’s picture of the valley view

 

 

Wash those moans right outa your hair… on a Watermill creative holiday

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

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

While you are enjoying your morning shower and shampoo on a Watermill creative course this year, you might like to muse, as I was this morning on a fascinating tale of Sheikh Dean Mahomed, who in the 19th century became “Shampooing Surgeon’ to the King of England, no less.

I’m grateful to the Back Story section of the New York Times for telling me about Sake (or Sheikh) Dean Mahomed, a Bengali who introduced the concept of shampooing to Britain. He had many talents it appears: in 1794 he became the first Indian to publish a book in English and in 1810 he opened the first Indian restaurant in England, The Hindoostane Coffee House. [There is a Green Plaque on the site in George Street in Westminster, London, UK.]

The NYT reports: “But it was his next project that put him on the map. In 1814, he opened a Brighton bathhouse offering luxurious steam baths that ended with a signature head massage, known in India as “champo,” or “shampoo.” Mahomed claimed that his popular massage cured a variety of ailments, including asthma and paralysis and he wrote a book called ‘Shampooing: More, Benefits Resulting from the Use of Indian Medicated Vapour Bath.’ The NYT reports that he was eventually given a royal warrant as the “Shampooing Surgeon” to the king.

I shall think of him now every time I have my morning shower and shampoo.

A bit more research (i.e. a click on Wikipedia) revealed that the Indian Medicated Vapour Bath was claimed to cure ‘rheumatic and paralytic diseases, gout, stiff joints, old sprains, lame legs and aches and pains in the joints.’ Wikipedia also tells me that during the early stages of the use of shampoo (the name derives from the Hindi champo, to press, knead or soothe) in England, hair stylists  boiled shaved soap in water and added herbs to give the hair shine and fragrance. Liquid shampoo was invented in Germany by Hans Schwarzkopf, who created the brand used all over Europe. Modern shampoo, Wikipedia informs me, was first introduced in the 1930s with Drene, the first shampoo using synthetic surfactants instead of soap.”

All of which, it seems to me, is a darn sight more interesting than the persistent bickering and bitching over Brexit or trepidation over Trump: “I’m gonna wash those moans right outa my hair…

Why don’t you do the same on a Watermill creative holiday – we’ll even provide the shampoo!

Latest availability on Watermill creative courses

Our 2019 holidays are filling fast: we already have a record 240 bookers for our 21 courses, so big thanks to all those who have supported us by booking up for this year. We still have places on some of our courses, however, and the availability is listed below. And even if you see a course you particularly like is fully booked, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: there often cancellations and we will put you on a waiting list. But to be safe why not come and join one of our inspiring and sympathetic tutors where we still have a few places?

And why not bring your non-participating partners well? Not only is there a generous £250 reduction for them (sharing a room with you), but we have plenty of activities for them. Find out more about that by clicking here.

What’s available: Painting courses

I’ve listed the painting courses where we still have availability first, the others that are full, but for which there is a waiting list, follow these.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June – 6 July 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sandra Strohschein
1 – 8 June 2019 Due to cancellation 1/2 places available
8 – 15 June 2019
 Fully booked, waiting list open

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019 Two or three places left
24 – 31 August 2019
 One place left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 Two or three places left
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019  Two or three places left
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

The painting courses below are currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come on one of them, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

Paul Talbot-Greaves
27 April to 4 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Keiko Tanabe
18 – 25 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Vicki Norman
22 – 29 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please see our 2019 Courses Preview page.

 

Claire Warner
14 – 21 September 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Maggie Renner Hellmann
21 – 28 September 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Charles Sluga
28 September – 5 October 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

What’s available: Knitting courses

I’ve listed the knitting courses where we still have availability first:

Sarah Hazell
4 – 11 May 2019 Due to cancellations, three or four places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Debbie Abrahams
25 May – 1 June 2019 Due to cancellations, two or three places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

The knitting week below is currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come , please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Marie Wallin
6 – 13 July 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Marie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page

 

What’s available: Writing courses

I’ve listed the creative writing course where we still have availability first, the others is fully booked, but there is a waiting list.

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
7 – 14 September 2019 Five or six places left
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and to register an interest in their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.
The creative writing week below is currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come , please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Write Your Life Stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Italian language course

Our Italian language course is currently fully booked, but that may be cancellations, so if you’re interested please contact us and we’ll put you on the waiting list.

Langues services and Francesca la Sala 
11 – 18 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Italian language
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please click here.

 

We’d be delighted if you could join us. Please click here for more details about all our 2019 creative courses. We are ready for your call on (UK number +44 (20) 7193 6246) or email us at info@watermill.net.) 

The Watermill, warm hospitality, superb scenery, delicious food, inspiring tuition – and free shampoo — all await you!

Come and sketch … and paint … and talk … and relax … and eat … and be pampered … and generally enjoy … a painting week with Sue Ford at the Watermill.

Painting by Sue Ford, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.I have put together some sketches by our lovely painting tutor Sue Ford, made during her last visit to us in 2017. Sue will be back with us for another of her multimedia painting courses this summer. There are more details and links below. The sketch above is a view through the arch to the bridge across the stream in the little village of Verucolla, where we go to paint on Mondays during our creative weeks. And here’s one of the castle, which dominates the village:

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

And this is the quiet mountain village of Monte dei Bianchi, our Friday location on painting courses, where we sketch and paint and then enjoy a gourmet lunch in a hilltop restaurant.

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

You won’t just be sketching with Sue, but perhaps trying out many different painting mediums:

Multitalented, multimedia, multicoloured, multi-inspiring!

Sue Ford loves creating pictures in any medium – and she loves passing on what she’s learned to other people to help them release their creativity. So, we are delighted to welcome her back for another special week-long painting course here this year. She will with us from 13-20 July 2019 and will teach in watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic. We still have a few places left on her course and there are details below.

Here’s a pastel of Monterosso, one of the five villages of the Cinque Terre.

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

And here’s a wonderful, colourful and vibrant collage of one of the villages of the Cinque Terre, one of our excursion venues on Wednesdays:Painting by Sue Ford, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

 Relaxed, friendly, patient

As well as a multitalented, multimedia artist Sue is a very keen teacher. One of our previous guests on a previous course  at the Watermill said: Sue has a relaxed, friendly and very patient approach to tuition and encouraged us all to achieve as much as possible at our own level. She gave demo’s and one to one tuition when required. There was a wide choice of subject matter for sketching and painting both at the Watermill itself and on our excursions. All in all a most enjoyable week.”

Sue says: “Each student will be guided carefully throughout the day, from initial demonstration to getting started, followed by patient, professional tuition. I aim to help my students to create paintings which will give them the confidence in their abilities and help them to develop their own artistic vision.”

And the Watermill setting? One of our guests said: “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.”

Put yourself in the picture

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

And remember: from the moment we pick you up at Pisa airport on your first Saturday the moment we drop you back there a week later, we’ll look after your every need, in a safe and caring environment.

When I say EVERYTHING, I mean everything: 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! 

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.