Come and join Terry on his stellar Watermill painting course

Terry rose demo 1“I wanted to thank you for a most wonderful stay at The Watermill.  Your treatment of us was terrific.  Six stars doesn’t come close!  I enjoyed every minute. Terry’s course was great.  He is an excellent teacher – very encouraging and knows how to bring out the best in his students.  He has a great personality.”

That’s a comment from one of our guests on Terry Jarvis‘s inspiring painting course earlier this year. Terry will be returning here next year with a special week-long painting course in watercolours (and oils and acrylics). His course will run from Saturday 7 July to Saturday 14 July 2018. Why not come too and enjoy the six-star treatment?

Don’t forget our Early Bird discount: If you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a generous £GBP 75 per person discount (about AUD 120) on any of our fabulous 2018 painting holidays.

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

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

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

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

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

terry plus pic7-14 July 2018 

Terry Jarvis

Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)

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

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

 

Come and paint your own new works in Tuscany with Sarah Yeoman

Painting by Sarah Yeoman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.I love seeing new work by our talented watermill painting tutors, so I was very pleased to receive some new pictures from Sarah Yeoman this week. I really warm to the realistic, yet atmospheric images in Cabin kitchen, above, celebrating the simple cabin in the Adirondacks where Sarah spends much of her time in the Summer. And how about Round Pond, below? Sarah has a magical way of evoking water.

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

Speaking of water, here’s Sarah’s wonderful watercolour of the Rive Rosaro as it flows past the Watermill, painted by Sarah during one of her earlier watercolour tuition weeks here.

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

And here are some of Sarah’s students, watching and learning, before embarking on their own quests to capture our beautiful scenery on paper.

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

This is Sarah’s famous picture of the Watermill, which hangs in pride of place in our sitting room.

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

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

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

New Sarah Y H&S EditedSarah Yeoman is an award-wining American watercolour artist whose mastayers, and unusual perspective sets her apart from the crowd. She is known for her command of light and the strong narrative of her pictures.

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

Early Bird discountIf you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount (about $100) on this fabulous 2018 painting holiday.  To enquire about availability or reserve your place, please use our  painting enquiry form by clicking here.

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

Watercolours

9-16 June 2018 AND 16-23 June 2018

 

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

Come and share the magic of The Watermill!

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

Sarah’s watercolour study of a view from the Watermill studio

 

Come drink the wine…

Charles demijohnsHere’s a rather fine watercolour of our collection of old demijohns (vessels for storing wine) in The Watermill courtyard made by our lovely Australian tutor Charles Sluga.

He was tutor to a fun group of seven Americans, three Australians and three Brits last month. We are nothing is not cosmopolitan at The Watermill. Of the demijohns, he says: “No, they were not full before the workshop!”

 Charles won’t be with us again until 2019, but you can see the demijohns (and paint them if you dare), drink our wine (from a more demure carafe) and enjoy expert tuition next year from our inspiring  2018 painting tutors.


paul plus picPaul Talbot-Greaves
28 April to 5 May 2018 – course full, waiting list open
Watercolours (and acrylics)

To learn more about Paul, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page


maggie plus picMaggie Renner Hellmann
19 May to 26 May 2018
‘Courageous Color Workshop’

To learn more about Maggie, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page


Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
26 May to 2 June 2018 and
2 June to 9 June 2018

Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page


Sarah Y plus pic

Sarah Yeoman
9 June to 16 June 2018 and
16 June to 23 June 2018

Watercolours

To learn more about Sarah, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page


terry plus pic

Terry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)

To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page


Nel and Bec plus picNel Whatmore and Rebecca de Mendonça
1 September to 8 September 2018
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)

To learn more about Nel and Rebecca, their course at the mill and to see more of their pictures, please visit their Profile Page


mike plus pic

Mike Willdridge
8 September to 15 September 2018
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 visit his Profile Page


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

Claire Warner
15 September to 22 September 2018
Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)

To learn more about Claire, her course and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page


vicki plus pic

Vicki Norman
6 October to 13 October 2018
Oils en plein air

To learn more about Vicki, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page


 

Tim plus picTim Wilmot
13 October to 20 October 2018
Watercolours

To learn more about Tim, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page


Come and join us and enjoy the magic at the mill!

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

Professional, but great fun, too. That’s Mike course (and the others) at The Watermill.

Mike group sillyWe pride ourselves at The Watermill on our efficient organisation, brilliant food and expert tuition. But above all we try also to provide warm hospitality and a sense of fun.

Our guests seem to appreciate our efforts and many return again and again, for which we are truly grateful (as well an enjoying their company!)

It’ always genuine fun on Mike Willdridge’s courses and to prove it he’s sent us the ‘silly’ picture of the group on his last course, posing for a photo at the end of the week.

Mike will be back at The Watermill next year, from Saturday 8 September to Saturday 15 September 2018, and we’d love you to join us for his fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring week. Mike will teach primarily in watercolours, but his is skilled in, and happy to teach in, gouache and acrylics too.

Mike is particularly keen on all forms of drawing as a way of recording and responding to everyday events. He constantly uses a sketchbook and will encourage you to do the same, gathering speedy impressions and building up a visual record of your time at the watermill and among the mountains, castles, walled towns and hilltop villages of this unspoiled region of Tuscany. Below are a couple of his ‘Posara’ sketches, all of which were demonstrations made when out ‘on location’.Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Blog Mike beginners 3

Mike Willdridge works and in a wide range of media and is an enthusiastic and energetic tutor, often encouraging his students to be bold and to take chances. His classes are always light-hearted and fun, with the ‘teaching’ tailored to individual needs.

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

The River Rosaro, which flows by the Watermill

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.”

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

Mike’s picture of the millstream rushing beneath gardener Flavio’s famous bridge

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

mike plus pic

8-15 September 2018 

Mike Willdridge

Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

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

Early Bird discount: book now!

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

PS There’s a slide show featuring some more of Mike’s work on The Watermill Facebook page. Please click here to see it.

Watermill painting tutor Maggie has been hanging with the big boys and girls…

…at the American Impressionist Society National Annual Juried show:

Maggie impressionist She says: “If they could just move that 1st place big blue ribbon down a little bit…! Mine’s the one in the black frame!”

We think Maggie’s paintings deserve first place in many a show and we are looking forward to welcoming her back for another Courageous Color Workshop next year. (Details below). Here’s another lovely oil painting by Maggie, of the village of Vernazza in the Cinque Terre. It is based on a sketch she made there during her week here and finished off in her studio.Painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy

And here’s a quick acrylic demonstration of the Tuscan landscape, made on location during her Watermill week:Painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Our guests on her course this year had a wonderful time, judging by the feedback we’ve had. Here are some comments: Maggie is good at teaching in all mediums and with all levels.   She did wonderful demos in watercolour, acrylic, pastel and oil.  Every day we did critiques together and learned from each other. I highly recommend this art workshop as well as the most wonderful accommodation with great food and wine. A little piece of heaven in experiencing Italy.”

“Our experiences at the Watermill were definitely the highlights of our tours!

“Maggie’s gentle and helpful manner coupled with technical skill and aesthetic sense opened the gates of motivation for students, making them comfortable in their new surroundings and primed for an exciting creative experience in those beautiful hills of Tuscany. I also appreciated Maggie’s husband, Lou’s ready assists for our physical comforts. What a dream adventure, the two of you, along with Bill and Lois, prepared for all of us!”!

Maggie will be back for another Courageous Color Workshop next year, from Saturday 19 May to Saturday 26 May 2018.

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

Out on location in the glorious Tuscan countryside

Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Maggie Renner Hellmann is a contemporary California artist who paints with love, passion and energy. Her work is characterized by a unique blend of loose, energetic brushwork and strong compositions of exuberant colour. She says: “I love the joy of color and the poetry of brushwork.”

Maggie is also an enthusiastic tutor who has been teaching for more than 15 years – and loves it! Her workshop will cover oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolour. She will encourage the beginner and challenge the more advanced painter. Maggie says: “In this plein air, we will paint in various spectacular Tuscan locations. You’ll learn about, and practise, the core elements of successful paintings – color, composition, focal point, light source, values, positive & negative shapes, volumes, edges, brushwork & perspective, as well as how to use contrasts to give excitement and drama to your paintings and much more!”

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

*** If you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on this fabulous 2018 painting holiday.  To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please click here.

maggie plus pic

9-16 May 2018 

Maggie Renner Hellmann

Oils, acrylics, pastels watercolours

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

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

Painting in the Watermill riverside garden

 

 

 

No hidden extras – that’s a Watermill guarantee!

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

Delicious food, wine .. all included

I was rather shocked recently, when looking at other painting courses in Europe, how many of them have hidden extras. For example, you come for a week’s holiday, but only, say three dinners, and four lunches are included in the cost. So, it’s down to you to pay for the other meals. Or excursions  and pick-ups cost extra

I was even more shocked when I read the small print of another venue offering painting holidays here in Italy. They quoted a price, then, when you get to the booking bit, you find out that prices above are EXCLUSIVE of 22% Italian VAT. So, on a holiday apparently costing, say £1800, they add a whopping £396 at the last moment. It’s all a bit weird really: we pay Italian VAT at 10%, which is the going rate for our sort of business, not 22% – and we don’t pass it on to the customers!

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

Out on location in the glorious Tuscan countryside — all tuition included

So, we would like to emphasise again that EVERYTHING is included in the cost of your Watermill holiday:

  • all tuition fees and accommodation
  • local transportation (including transfers to and from Pisa airport; including our mid- week excursion by train to a Tuscan beauty spot or historic town.)
  • all meals including breakfast, gourmet picnics on location, pre-dinner aperitifs, dinner at the mill or at small and friendly local restaurants with regional Italian dishes and wines.
  • And all taxes.

All you have to do is to get to Pisa airport and we do the rest!

That means

  • ALL meals, ALL week — no hidden extras!
  • ALL transportation to ALL venues and pick-ups and drop-off at the airport — no hidden extras!
  • ALL accommodation, cleaning, linen, towels – no hidden extras!
  • ALL wines, aperitivi, digestive — no hidden extras!
  • ALL Italian taxes, including VAT (paid by us) – no hidden extras
  • Cocktail time, all included

    Cocktail time, all included

We’ll even give you the ingredients for a packed lunch and fruit on your day-out excursion to the Cinque Terre or Lucca on the Wednesday (although most people seem to prefer to choose their own café or restaurant for lunch on Wednesday and enjoy a leisurely Italian meal in the heat of the day.)

And we give you free postcards of the Watermill for you to send home — and the stamps, too!

No wonder so many people keep coming back.

And don’t forget our Early Bird discount: If you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on any of our fabulous 2018 painting, and other creative, holidays.

Come and savour the magic of The Watermill and our generous, no-hidden-extras hospitality. To find out about all our 2018 creative courses, please click here. 

aperitivi and laughter

aperitivi and good company

 

 

Two inspiring workshop watercolours from Claire Warner

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our inspiring English watercolour tutor Claire Warner has sent me two lovely pictures made during her recent workshops in the UK. Above you can see Sunset in Cromer. Claire says: “I used 300lb (640 gsm) Saunders Waterford watercolour paper – my favourite heavy weight paper that gradually absorbs the paint, allowing the colours to mix beautifully without “interfering” with each other. It holds the water well, allowing plenty of painting time.  

“I used a very limited palette – only 5 colours.I have my own range of very transparent and vibrant watercolours made with honey, to increase the translucent quality and creamy application: Honey (Yellow Ochre), Poppy Red, Aubergine (Maroon/Deep Red Blue), Sky Blue (Cobalt Blue), Indigo – an inky dark blue (SAA watercolour)

“I laid a number of variegated washes and glazes to create this atmospheric painting of a peaceful Norfolk evening. I resisted the temptation to add any figures to the composition, as I felt the distance and expanse of land, sea and sky was sufficient to create a pleasing result.”

Claire’s other painting (below) is called Welsh Waterfall.

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Claire says: “Running water needs to be kept flowing. I used soft edges in the running water, with hard edges next to the rocks. Masking fluid was used only to protect the sides of the rushing water, not in the water itself.”

Claire H&SAs well as being a talented artist, Claire Warner is also an experienced tutor, having taught all age groups and abilities for more than 20 years.  She will teach primarily in watercolours, but is also happy to help with oil and acrylics, too. All levels of artists can benefit from her teaching, and she offers plenty of help and individual attention.

She says: “My aim is to teach and encourage each student gradually to build up knowledge and the confidence to create their own style. I’ll demonstrate step by step with explanations, and offers plenty of individual attention when and where needed. I like to tease out their full potential with patience and a sense of fun.”

Claire Warner will be with us from Saturday 15 September to Saturday 22 September 2018 for a special week-long painting course in watercolours (and oils and acrylics). But you’ll have to hurry! We have only two places left on Claire’s 2018 course. Details of how to bag them, and take advantage of our Early Bird discount offer can be found below.

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

 

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

Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)

Claire Warner

15-22 September 2018

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

Nel will be back to join Rebecca for another fabulous pastel course

Painting by Nel Whatmore, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.We had a lovely time with Nel Whatmore and Rebecca de Mendonça last week for a wonderful pastel course. It’s the first time we have concentrated solely on pastels for a week – and we’re going to do it again next year!

Nel wasn’t sure until recently whether she would be able to make it next year, but now she’s definitely coming to join Rebecca for another week-long course from Saturday 1 September to Saturday 8 September 2018.

We already have six bookings on this course! So now is the time to book your place, especially with our Early Bird discount offer. (See below.) To whet your appetite, here are some pictures from Nel of last week’s course. Isn’t the one above incredible? It is Nel painting on a Watermill terrace early in the morning as the sun burns off the mist.

Later on, some of the group joined her:

Painting by Nel Whatmore and Rebecca de Mendonça, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

And here’s a picture of Rebecca demonstrating in the ancient village of Verrucola, where we go to paint on location on Mondays.

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

 Talking of locations, here’s a view of the Apuan Alps, where we go to paint on Fridays:

Nel and Bec mountain view - reduced

You can even pick our grapes, like Bec: Nel Whatmore and Rebecca de Mendonça, tutors at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Nel and Rebecca have created The New Pastel School after years of friendship and mutual respect for each other’s work. These two experienced pastel artists share the tuition, combining their expertise and great enthusiasm for this versatile and exciting medium. (See www.rebeccademendonca.co.uk and www.nelwhatmore.com for more about them). They’ll help you to see that there are always diverse ways to do things, even when working with the same pastels. Of thier first visit to The Watermill, they say: We and our students were made so welcome. It was really lovely to savour so many aspects of Italy, including lots of delicious food!”

The course will include some plein air painting, studio based work and also trips out. Nel and Rebecca say: “We want to offer a new experience of using pastels outside and to introduce the joys of exploring how inspiring another country’s landscape and countryside can be. The atmosphere will be relaxed with one-to-one help, demonstrations. Join us and try something different.”

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

Nel and Bec plus pic

Pastels

Nel Whatmore and Rebecca de Mendonça

1-8 September 2018

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

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

 

 

Don’t worry about creative block, just keep painting says Sandra Strohschein –and think of concert pianists!

A painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor on painting courses at The Watermill at Posara, Tuscany Italy

A stunning watercolour made during one of her Watermill courses by Sandra Strohschein

Our delightful, inspiring watercolour tutor Sandra Strohschein is always full of painting energy and enthusiasm when she’s here on one of her fun-filled, sun-filled workshops. Our guests often comment on what a great committed teacher she is. But even Sandra admits that she occasionally suffers from creative block – and she’s sent us some very philosophical and practical thoughts on how to deal with it.

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

A painting of the Watermill from the riverside by Sandra

Sandra says: If you have painted long enough to be past the beginner’s painter “high” you eventually fall into creative slumps now and then.  The first time this happened to me it scared me to death.  

“The first part of this process is that I seem stuck for inspiration.  Inspiration is very important to me.   If I don’t see and feel something inspiring it is very difficult to put a successful painting down on paper.  Usually exhaustion is the cause but it has taken me awhile to figure this out.   Now, after painting for eight years, I am able to see the cycles and realize that the slump is simply nothing more than being tired.”  

Sandra says: “It’s hard as a watercolour artist for me to take any extensive breaks from painting because it is such a difficult medium.  I always think of a concert pianist, every day, even though they are capable of far more…they sit and begin with scales.   This is discipline that results in mastery of their keyboard.”

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

A quiet spot near Lake Michigan helps Sandra to recharge her creative batteries

“During slumps or low periods even though I am tired I will paint.  Usually instead of looking for something complicated or difficult I fall back on painting things that in the past have given me pleasure and I have already worked out how to paint them.  For me this means packing my gear and heading out to Lake Michigan.  A place I know I can paint undisturbed, I know my subject and the beach always soothes my mind if I am tired or troubled.   Doing this, I have accomplished two things at once, soul restoration and time with my brushes, essentially, playing scales to stay in practice.”   

Sandra adds: “I have also learned that it is OK to be tired, acknowledge it and honor it.  I often tell my students at The Watermill during our courses to take full advantage of the ability to rest and recharge there. The five-star cuisine and wine will help, as will the sound of the beautiful river that rushes on the back of the property.  We find the more we relax and give the mind time to unwind….by the end of the week our paintings are quite full of excitement and energy.”   

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

A weeks with Sandra at the Watermill will help you to recharge your creativity too

“In my courses, competition is never allowed.  Hopefully, my students will relax, have fun, paint badly at the beginning while they allow themselves to try new things. (I love my students who humbly set aside their brilliance to try things my way!) The point is, sometimes in order to advance we have to retreat a little.  Give ourselves a break.  I can’t think of a better way to do this than to paint what we love, put ourselves in a restorative environment and give ourselves permission to just enjoy the process.

“I hope to meet you at the Watermill in 2018 where I have two courses scheduled.  This past season I had 14 of the most wonderful students.  Instead of coming away exhausted from my teaching (I work very very hard at the workshop), I came away enthused and energized.    I look forward to such a course in 2018 and I hope you will meet me there and we can relax, have fun and paint beautiful, imperfectly perfect paintings together!”

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

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

 Sandra plus picSandra Strohsheine

Waterolours

26 May to 2 June AND 2-9 June 2018

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

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

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

Sandra under the roses in the walled garden

Sandra under the roses in the walled garden

Some exuberant Australian sketches from Mike Willdridge

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our old friend and Watermill painting tutor Mike Willdridge recently returned from a trip to Australia with his wife Sue, and he sent us some sketches celebrating their time there. The sketch above is a watercolour of morning light at Uluru, or Ayers Rock, the massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory. And below, morning in King’s Canyon nearby.Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

And how about these simple sketches of sea eagles discussing their day – and a snake-necked darter bird flying below?Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Mike will be back at The Watermill next year, from Saturday 8 September to Saturday 15 September 2018, and we’d love you to join us for his fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring week. Mike will teach primarily in watercolours, but his is skilled in, and happy to teach in, gouache and acrylics too.

Mike is particularly keen on all forms of drawing as a way of recording and responding to everyday events. He constantly uses a sketchbook and will encourage you to do the same, gathering speedy impressions and building up a visual record of your time at the watermill and among the mountains, castles, walled towns and hilltop villages of this unspoiled region of Tuscany. Below are a couple of his ‘Posara’ sketches, all of which were demonstrations made when out ‘on location’.Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

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Mike Willdridge works and in a wide range of media and is an enthusiastic and energetic tutor, often encouraging his students to be bold and to take chances. His classes are always light-hearted and fun, with the ‘teaching’ tailored to individual needs.

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.”

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

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8-15 September 2018 

Mike Willdridge

Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

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

Early Bird discount: book now!

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

PS There’s a slide show featuring some more of Mike’s work on The Watermill Facebook page. Please click here to see it.