More antipodean sketches from Mike

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 has been enjoying an extended trip with his wife Sue to the antipodes. Mike, as you probably, know is a keen proponent of carrying your sketchbook with you wherever you go … and he always practises what he preaches. He tells me: “Sue and I are currently in NZ (South Island) in a camper van and due to pick up a car later in the week and drive around North Island for a fortnight. We’re loving NZ.”

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

“Here are a few sketchbook paintings that show the amazing contrast between the west coast and the east. All were very quickly done in watercolour, bouncing along on a tourist boat as we motored around first the fiords (Milford Sound) in the west and then the warmer beaches of the east – The Abel Tasman National Park.”

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

Mike Willdridge 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 he 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. As you see, 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.

Blog Mike beginners 3

Mike 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.”

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

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.

A watercolour painting tip from Sandra: let it dry!

Painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Here is a simple, but effective tip from Watermill tutor Sandra Strohschein to improve the way you, and others, view your watercolours. Just let them dry!

She says: “They look more beautiful after they have dried for 24 hours.”

Painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Sometimes, Sandra says, she doesn’t like the look of what she has painted: “I think it is because I am tired of the battle that comes with being involved with watercolour. This is the case with the painting above. I put the painting away and move on to the next painting.”

She adds: “Lately I have been leaving the paintings out on my board for 24 hours and then returning to them with fresh eyes. One thing is becoming very apparent to me. The beauty of the pigment is not fully there until the painting has had a full 24 hours of dry time. I am seeing my work in a whole new light this week. Realizing that there is an evolvement that happens after I have walked away from the paper.”

So, don’t get discouraged about a painting until it has fully dried and you are not tired from working on it.

Great tip Sandra, and true about writing, too. Looking at it afresh the next day is often an eye-opener.

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

Sandra Strohschein is our ‘painter in residence’ for most of June this year: she will be with us for four weeks, from 26 May to 23 June 2018. Her weeks promise to be the greatest fun. The first two weeks are completely full. There are a few places left on the week 9-16 June, and a few more on the week 16-23 June.

Sandra will teach in watercolour, but she says: “Students may choose to paint in acrylic or pastel as well as, or instead of, watercolour. I can instruct on how to put together a painting as far as composition, light, values etc… I cannot handle oil as I am allergic but pencil, acrylic, pastel…perfectly fine.”

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

Sandra under the rose pergola in the Watermill walled garden. Come and join our early Summer ‘artist in residence.’

We had a wonderful course with Sandra last year and our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A couple of their comments: “Sandra 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.”

 “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. Please pass on our sincere gratitude to all your lovely people.”

Sandra garden and painting

Sandra Strohschein from Michigan, USA, has achieved an extraordinary mastery of her medium, transparent watercolours. She works in a fast loose impressionistic style, but above all, she produces passionate, emotionally charged paintings, full of energy.

As for her teaching, people frequently tell her about how much fun they have on her workshops and how nobody ever wants them to end. Another painting guest on her course at the mill said: “Watching your demonstrations was such an education and your kind and patient individual help was invaluable.”  

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 Strohshein

Watercolours

26 May to 2 June Full, 2-9 June Full, 9-16 June Places AND 16-23 June Places

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

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

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

 

Learn more about sketchbook painting with Andrew

Andrew sketchbook tutorial feb 18Andrew Geeson, our exciting new watercolour tutor, tells me he has just released the first online ‘Sketchbook Painting’ tutorial, on painting flowers. We love Andrew’s fast and loose style — and as well as flowers, he’s rather good with many other subjects, such as landscapes and buildings. Check him out online by clicking here, then come and join him for a face-to-face fast and loose week at The Watermill.

Andrew will be with us from Saturday 23 to Saturday 30 June 2018. There’s a link to more details about his course below. There are only a few places left.

Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Andrew Geeson, from Leicester in the UK, has been a professional watercolourist for more than 20 years. He has taught hundreds of students on holidays and in workshops and, increasingly, on-line, where he enjoys a large following. He says: “I love the simplicity and joy of watercolours and my passion and aim is inspire and encourage students to paint in a loose a free manner. The joy it brings is unmatched and everyone should try it. I am keen to share my excitement with others.”  As one of his students says: Superb work. Beautiful loose style, this is how watercolours should be!”

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

Andrew specialises in a wet-into-wet style of watercolours: “This quick, fun and rewarding approach to watercolour painting allows you to capture your subject, whatever it may be, in the most atmospheric way without the constraints of over detailing.  Being spontaneous, immediate and atmospheric, it allows you to express more than the subject of the painting Come along and give it a try.  I think you may find a new world of 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 aperitivi, 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!

Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Painting by Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.23-30 June 2018 

Andrew Geeson

Watercolours 3/4 places left

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

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

The Watermill February newsletter is out today

Feb 18 newsletter— a cheery newsletter to combat the February blues. Find out about our 2018 photography competition; a new yoga week with Reiki; and, by popular demand, another ‘How to write your life stories’ during the school holidays…….

You can learn more more by clicking here

 

A picture and a poem inspired by the Watermill vine verandah

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.After hearing from us about the Watermill Photographic Competition, Mary Ann Bradley, one of our guests on a recent painting course, wrote to Lois to say: “I thought I’d send you a painting I did from a photo of your grapes and vines above the patio by the dining room.  After I posted this photo on the internet, one of my girlfriends wrote a poem about the painting- it is lovely and I thought you and Bill would enjoy her poem about your grapes and my painting!”

We certainly did enjoy them, and thought we’d share them with you. That’s Mary Ann’s painting Cluster on Bough above and here’s the poem by her friend Mary Barnes. It’s an Ekphrastic, the Greek term for a poem giving a vivid description of a work of art

Italy’s singular light

bathes the fruit, leaves, arbors of the vineyard– bathes me, looking in at colors I’ve never seen, delicate shades, luminous shadows.

The pregnant grapes are quiet; the bough is secure.

Half-hidden, the red leaf watches me . . .

Try to find words, he whispers,

Go ahead. Try.

Words will not say it.

Forget about words.

Lovely! And our thanks to Mary Ann and Mary for sharing these fine creations with us. You can find out how you too can be inspired at the Watermill by clicking here.

Nel Whatmore and Rebecca de Mendonça, tutors at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Pastel tutor Rebecca de Mendonça picks those grapes on the vine verandah.

Andrew is fast and loose with buildings, too!

Painting by Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.In recent weeks we’ve shown you quite a few of the wonderful loose watercolours of flowers and fruits by Andrew Geeson, our exciting new English painting tutor. (You can see some examples by clicking here or here.)

But you may have been wondering what he’s like with buildings and how he might capture the walled Medieval towns, castles, convents and hilltop villages we’ll visit during his week-long painting course with us in June.Andrew busy-street-with-tram

The answer is he’s just as fast and loose with architecture as he is with flora, as you can see from the examples scattered about this post.

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

So, whether you want to draw geraniums or gables, roses or roofs, Andrew’s your man. Come and join him for a fast and loose watercolour time at The Watermill. He will be with us from Saturday 23 to Saturday 30 June 2018. There’s a link to more details about his course below. There are only a few places left.

Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Andrew Geeson, from Leicester in the UK, has been a professional watercolourist for more than 20 years. He has taught hundreds of students on holidays and in workshops and, increasingly, on-line were he enjoys a large following. He says: “I love the simplicity and joy of watercolours and my passion and aim is inspire and encourage students to paint in a loose a free manner. The joy it brings is unmatched and everyone should try it. I am keen to share my excitement with others.”  As one of his students says: Superb work. Beautiful loose style, this is how watercolours should be!”

Back on fruit and flowers, here’s a pair or Andrew’s pears!Painting by Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Andrew specialises in a wet-into-wet style of watercolours: “This quick, fun and rewarding approach to watercolour painting allows you to capture your subject, whatever it may be, in the most atmospheric way without the constraints of over detailing.  Being spontaneous, immediate and atmospheric, it allows you to express more than the subject of the painting Come along and give it a try.  I think you may find a new world of painting.”Painting by Andrew Geeson, 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!

Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Painting by Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.23-30 June 2018 

Andrew Geeson

Watercolours

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

 

Seductively simple images from Andrew

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

We love the simplicity of these beguiling images from Watermill watercolour tutor Andrew Geeson and we can’t wait to see him in action for his first-ever course here in June.

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

We’d love you to join us and learn all about Andrew’s fast and loose watercolour technique to capture the world about you with your brush.

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

We are looking forward to watching Andrew work around the Watermill and in our lovely Tuscan countryside when he visits us this Summer. He will be with us from Saturday 23 to Saturday 30 June 2018. There’s a link to more details about his course here below. There are only a few places left.

Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Andrew Geeson, from Leicester in the UK, has been a professional watercolourist for more than 20 years. He has taught hundreds of students on holidays and in workshops and, increasingly, on-line were he enjoys a large following. He says: I love the simplicity and joy of watercolours and my passion and aim is inspire and encourage students to paint in a loose a free manner. The joy it brings is unmatched and everyone should try it. I am keen to share my excitement with others.”  As one of his students says: Superb work. Beautiful loose style, this is how watercolours should be!”Painting by Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Andrew specialises in a wet-into-wet style of watercolours: This quick, fun and rewarding approach to watercolour painting allows you to capture your subject, whatever it may be, in the most atmospheric way without the constraints of over detailing.  Being spontaneous, immediate and atmospheric, it allows you to express more than the subject of the painting Come along and give it a try.  I think you may find a new world of painting.”

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!

Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Painting by Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.23-30 June 2018 

Andrew Geeson

Watercolours

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

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

Artistic postcards: Here’s another from Sandra

Painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Yesterday, you may remember, we showed you some of the postcards our painting tutor Michel Willdridge makes for his grandchildren whenever he is away.  And today, I discovered another artistic postcard from our delightful artist in residence Sandra Strohschein. She’ll be with us for four weeks this May/June, so she’ll have plenty of time to make lots of cards, like the one above.

Why not come and join her? Her first two weeks here are sold out, but we’ve spaces on the week 9-16 June and 16-23 June. More details below.

Oh, and here’s yet another artistic postcard, or rather an artistic icon made into a postcard. I wonder what Michelangelo would have written?  “Ceiling taking longer than I thought. Client difficult. Wish I was at The Watermill.”

Blog Sandra michangelo postcards

Michelangelo won’t make it here, but you can!

Sandra Strohschein is our ‘painter in residence’ for most of June next year: she will be with us for four weeks, from May 26 to June 23. They promise to be the greatest fun. Sandra will teach in watercolour, but she says: “Students may choose to paint in acrylic or pastel as well as, or instead of, watercolour. I can instruct on how to put together a painting as far as composition, light, values etc… I cannot handle oil as I am allergic but pencil, acrylic, pastel…perfectly fine.”

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

Sandra under the rose pergola in the Watermill walled garden. Come and join our early Summer ‘artist in residence.’

We had a wonderful course with Sandra last year and our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A couple of their comments: “Sandra 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.”

 “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. Please pass on our sincere gratitude to all your lovely people.”Sandra garden and painting

Sandra Strohschein head and shouldersSandra Strohschein from Michigan, USA, has achieved an extraordinary mastery of her medium, transparent watercolours. She works in a fast loose impressionistic style, but above all, she produces passionate, emotionally charged paintings, full of energy.

As for her teaching, people frequently tell her about how much fun they have on her workshops and how nobody ever wants them to end. Another painting guest on her course at the mill said: “Watching your demonstrations was such an education and your kind and patient individual help was invaluable.”  

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 Strohshein

Watercolours

26 May to 2 June, 2-9 June, 9-16 June AND 16-23 June 2018

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

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

 

PS. If you don’t want to make you own postcards, we’ll give you some of ours free — and provide free stamps!

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

The warm and sunlit Watermill courtyard, on a free postcard!

 

Join Mike and make your own postcard memories

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our enthusiastic and inspiring watercolour painting tutor Mike Willdridge has just been visiting his daughter and grandchildren in Australia and he tells me: “For the last eight years, wherever I’ve travelled, I’ve drawn postcards for all my grandchildren (now four of them) and I was surprised to find so many of the cards posted on my daughter’s kitchen cabinets here in Australia.” Above is a card that Mike sent last year from the Isles of Scilly, off the South-west of England. And here’s another:

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

Mike says: “Both are drawn in watercolour and ink and are based on found objects from the beaches.”

And here are a few more Mike found in his daughter’s house, made on an earlier trip to Australia, all influenced by indigenous art.

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

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

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

Mike says: “You may recall that I’ve often encouraged my students at the Watermill to make postcards for their loved ones. No doubt those coming to me this year will receive the same treatment!

Mike new head and shoulders FINALMike Willdridge 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 he 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.

Blog Mike beginners 3

Mike 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 aperitivi, 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

 

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.

Fast and loose Poppies for you from Andrew

Painting by Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our talented and inspiring English watercolour tutor Andrew Geeson has a reputation for painting ‘fast and loose’ and we thought you might like to see him in action, via one of his You Tube videos. This one is simply called Poppies and it’s fun to watch oits speedy creation. Grab a cup of tea and coffee, then click here and sit back and enjoy.

Blog Andre poppies 1

We are looking forward to watching Andrew work around the Watermill and in our lovely Tuscan countryside when he visits us this Summer. He will be with us from Saturday 23 to Saturday 30 June 2018. There’s a link to more details about his course here below.

Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Andrew Geeson, from Leicester in the UK, has been a professional watercolourist for more than 20 years. He has taught hundreds of students on holidays and in workshops and, increasingly, on-line were he enjoys a large following. He says: “I love the simplicity and joy of watercolours and my passion and aim is inspire and encourage students to paint in a loose a free manner. The joy it brings is unmatched and everyone should try it. I am keen to share my excitement with others.”  As one of his students says: Superb work. Beautiful loose style, this is how watercolours should be!”

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

Andrew specialises in a wet-into-wet style of watercolours: “This quick, fun and rewarding approach to watercolour painting allows you to capture your subject, whatever it may be, in the most atmospheric way without the constraints of over detailing.  Being spontaneous, immediate and atmospheric, it allows you to express more than the subject of the painting Come along and give it a try.  I think you may find a new world of painting.”

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!

Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Painting by Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.23-30 June 2018 

Andrew Geeson

Watercolours

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