Imagine a rainy day… it’s an illusion!

Painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Above is a dynamic watercolour demonstration painting by our ‘ tutor in residence’, Sandra Strohschein. It’s of the consequences of a sudden rain squall as our painting guests worked to capture the sights of the imposing castle of Verrucola and the village nestling around its 13th Century walls.

Sandra is very proud of this dramatic watercolour, and so she should be. But one small meteorelogical point: it didn’t rain at all during that morning painting session! Despite squally forecasts, the rain held off until lunchtime, but Sandra really wanted to show her students the techniques of capturing the effects of wind and rain on the landscape, so she made it up!

All great art is an illusion and what a fine example we have in Sandra’s demonstration picture.

It did rain later in the day, but undaunted, or guests carried on painting in the light and airy Watermill studio. Here are guests Christine Booton and Doreen Smith doing just that.

Come rain or shine, you’ll have a wonderful time at the Watermill. Why not join us? We still have a few places left this year and plenty for 2019. Details below:

Ths year’s remaining places:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
9 June to 16 June 2018 1 place or 2 sharing

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


Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
16 June to 23 June 2018 1 place or 2 sharing

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


Andrew plus pic

Andrew Geeson
23 June to 30 June 2018 1 place or 2 sharing

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


terry plus picTerry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018 Still places
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


On our Writing your Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

 Jo Parfitt
18 August to 25 August 2018 2/3 places
Write Your Life Stories

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

On a knitting course:

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

Lisa Richardson
9 September to 6 October 2018 One place
Knitting and La Bella Vita

To learn more about Lisa and her course at the mill, please visit her Profile Page

** We are already taking bookings for our 2019 creative courses, with a special offer of any 2019 creative week at 2018 prices. Please go to our 2019 courses preview section, by clicking here.

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

Sandra’s painting of a red house in the square in nearby Fivizzano on market day. It DID rain that day!

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


The Watermill January newsletter is just out…

Blog Jan 18 newsletter…with reports on

  • why The Week online thinks our painting courses are among the best in the world
  • our first-ever ‘painter in residence’, Sandra Strohschein
  • why you should WRITE when you paint, by Terry Jarvis
  • why you should dress like an onion in the wintry weather
  • how a yoga week with Claire Murphy can revitalise your life.

Intrigued? Find out more by clicking here.

We’d like you to be our friend! It’s inspiring and tasty

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

Play with you colours before you paint

I’ve just been posting some intriguing and inspiring painting and writing tips on the Watermill Friends page, like Vicki Norman’s advice on how to have fun colour-mixing (please click here to see it) and Jo Parfitt’s checklist to ensure your writing doesn’t become narcissistic (please click here).

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

Caravaggio’s Narcissus contemplates perfection

I all prompted me to invite you, if you haven’t already, to become a Friend of The Watermill. You’ll enjoy practical and inspiring tips and helpful advice from our watermill tutors on

  • Painting and drawing
  • Creative writing
  • yoga and meditation


  • mouth-watering recipes from The Watermill’s menus. (who can resist Lois Breckon’s gorgonzola soufflés : click here!)
Twice-baked gorgonzola soufflés, just one of the Watermill's culinary delight

Twice-baked gorgonzola soufflés, just one of the Watermill’s culinary delight

To find out more, please go to Just follow the simple instructions to Register  (it’s free) and then Log In to enjoy a special relationship with us! And nourish mind and body with our creative tips and mouth-watering recipes.


My new book is published this week: read all about it!

panorama cover small

It’s a big week for me this week. My historical detective story set in Florence is just out, and you can buy it as a paperback on Amazon and in a Kindle edition (details of how to do so below.)  Its called A Matter of Perspective and it’s a gripping read of murder and intrigue all solved by the hero sleuth……who was born and bred at The Watermill at Posara!  Here’s the Blurb:

COVER USED IN BOOK reducedIn 1425 the great dome of Florence cathedral is still unfinished, but reaching a critical point as its shell move inexorably upwards and inwards. An irascible genius, Filippo Brunelleschi, is in charge of the dome’s construction, watched over by his patron, the powerful banker Cosimo de’ Medici.

Young Assistant Building Supervisor Luca da Posara can’t think of anywhere else in the world that he’d rather be: it’s the birth of the Renaissance and the very air seems alive with fresh ideas, in science and philosophy, art and architecture.

But then he finds the body of a visiting mathematician, brutally murdered. Papers on the corpse allege that Filippo Brunelleschi stole his ideas. Who had him murdered? Filippo or Cosimo? Or the hot-headed sculptor Donatello,  Filippo’s close friend and former apprentice? Or was it one of their bitter artistic or political rivals, in a plot to destroy Filippo and discredit Cosimo? In Renaissance Florence, passion, conflict and intrigue lead to plot and counter-plot and nothing is quite as it seems. After a second killing, of a master mason who plunges to his death from the top of the incomplete dome, Luca feels compelled to turn amateur detective  – and discovers it’s all a matter of perspective.”

Intrigued? Why not get your own copy of the book – and if you bring it with you when you come on a painting holiday or creative writing course, I’ll gladly sign it for you, too.

To buy your paperback copy from the UK, please go straight to the book on  by clicking here. Or buy the Kindle version by going straight to this link, by clicking here.

If you live outside the UK, you may prefer to use and you can go direct to my book’s page by clicking here. For the Kindle version on, please click here:

Or you can stall for time and just find out more on my new website for the book: www.billbreckon.netThere you can also read an extract and a review – and then order the book!

I hope you enjoy it. Let me know the next time you visit the present-day Watermill at Posara.Mill courtyard