Archives for September 2015

A bridge for the Wall of Fame: another great Mike watercolour

 

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.We were talking yesterday about the new picture by Trevor Lingard which is soon to be hanging in the Wall of Fame in the Watermill sitting room.

And here’s another one: a magnificent watercolour of the back of the mill, with the millstream overspill and one of our gardener Flavio‘s famous bridges with curvy handrails. It’s by our friendly and enthusiatioc painting tutor Mike Willdridge. Isn’t it great?

You can come and join Mike and paint this and many other inspiring scenes for yourself during his course at the Watermill next year. Don’t forget our Early Bird discount: £GBP 75 off all our 2016 painting courses if you book before the end of 2015. (See below.)

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

Mike Willdridge’s watercolour of the River Rosaro as it flows beside the watermill

Mike new head and shoulders FINALMike Willdridge will be with us from Saturday 27 August to Saturday 3 September 2016, Mike will concentrate on watercolour and drawing, but is also happy also to teach in gouache and acrylics.

Mike especially values drawing as a way of recording/responding to everyday events and makes constant use of a sketchbook. He’ll encourage you to do the same and to take a sketchbook on location, building up a journal of memories of your time at the watermill and in the unspoilt countryside of Lunigiana.

Some comments from our guests on his previous courses at The Watermill, many of whom were returning for another inspiring week at the watermill:  “Thank-you so much for a wonderful holiday. I enjoyed it very much. You were such generous and friendly hosts and Mike was an excellent painting tutor. The food was exceptional and, of course, the mill itself is great and in such a beautiful setting.”  “Thank you for yet another delightful holiday. So many special aspects to enjoy.  I just loved it.” 

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

Mike’s sketch of the castle of Verrucola, where we go to paint on Mondays

Early Bird discount: book now! If you book before 31 December 2015 there’s a £75 per person discount on this fabulous 2016 painting holiday. To find out more about Mike and his course at the watermill next year, please click here. And to enquire about availability and/or reserve your place, please click here. 

  *** Why not bring your non-painting partner as well? There’s a generous £200 discount for him/her if they share a room with you  — and there’s plenty for them to do. Have a look at our Partner’s Activities suggestions by clicking here.

 

Another great painting for our Wall of Fame

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

If you’ve been on any of our creative courses at the watermill, this fountain will be very familiar to you. It’s the centrepiece of the main square in the nearby walled town of Fivizzano, where we go for delicious meals, homemade ice-cream, coffees and to browse through the stall of the Tuesday market. The fountain, complete with its lively white dolphins, is a gift from a 16th Century Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany – and it’s a favourite subject of painting students and tutors alike.

The painting above is one of our favourites, by watercolour tutor Trevor Lingard. We like it so much, we’ve had it framed and it will soon be hanging in the ‘Hall of Fame’ in the mill sitting room, along with a dozen or so great pictures from our tutors.

Jan the sitting room

This, for example, is Sandra Strohschein’s Rainy Day in Fivizzano, also on our Wall of Fame:

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 of the nearby walled town.

And here are two sketches of the market in Fivizzano, by tutors Charles Sluga and Mike Willdridge.

 Fivizzano market demo picture 2011  Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

Come and capture the Fivizzano scene for yourself on one of our sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring painting holidays. Here’s the 2016 line-up.Here’s the full list of our inspiring 2016 painting tutors, with links to more details about them – and more of their stunning pictures.

 Janie Pirie head and shoulders14 May to 21 May 2016 Janie Pirie Painting plants with coloured pencils.

Please click here to learn more about Janie, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures.

 

 

Jennifer Polillo head and shoulders28 May to 4 June 2016 Jennifer Polillo Acrylics/gouache and oils.

Please click here to learn more about Jennifer, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures.

 

 

Sarah Yeoman head and shouldersJune to 11 June 2016 AND 11 June to 18 June 2016 Sarah Yeoman Watercolours

Please click here to learn more about Sarah, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures.

 

 

Sandra Strohschein head and shoulders18 June to 25 June 2016 Sandra Strohschein Watercolours

Please click here to learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures.

 

 

Lea Nixon head and shoulders25 June to 2 July 2016 Lea Nixon Watercolours

Please click here to learn more about Lea, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures.

 

 

Terry Jarvis photo2 July to 9 July 2016 Terry Jarvis Watercolours

Please click here to learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures.

 

 

Brett head and shoulders cropped9 July to 16 July 2016 Amanda Brett Watercolours

Please click here to learn more about Amanda, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures.

 

 

Mike new head and shoulders FINAL27 August to 3 September 2016 Mike Willdridge Watercolours, oils and acrylics, drawing, sketching

Please click here to learn more about Mike, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures.

 

 

Laraine Simpson head and shoulders2 September to 10 September 2016 Laraine Simpson Oils, pastels, watercolour etc.

Please click here to learn more about Laraine, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures.

 

 

Lisa Fu head and shoulders24 September to 1 October 2016 Lisa Fu Watercolours

Please click here to learn more about Lisa, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures.

 

 

How to book a 2016 painting holiday or find out more

If you’d like to book or find out more, please click here to visit our Painting Holidays website.  Or use our secure Painting Holidays Enquiry Form by clicking here. Or email us on info@watermill.net or call us on (UK number) 0207 193 6246.

 

 

 

 

Another inspiring Italian Language course next year, too!

Putting theory into practice: This year's language group enjoy an Italian lunch.

Putting theory into practice: This year’s language group enjoy an Italian lunch.

This year’s first-ever Italian language course at The Watermill was a great success. Some comments from our guests:

“A super language week. Well organised giving us a taste of ‘real Italy’. Francesca [our tutor] was amazing. Despite the disparity in ability she managed to help all of us towards a better understanding and production of the Italian language. The lessons were fun, interactive and helped me enormously. “The accommodation was great and the camaraderie which evolved was, I’m sure, due to your relaxed and welcoming approach to your guests.”

“We all had such Fun!  I had a wonderful time on the language course and laughed so much!  My confidence and knowledge has improved immensely over the week and Francesca has even sent us exercises to do at home to keep our learning going.  She was tireless and gave us so much. The standard of accommodation, food, drink and your hospitality was, as ever, excellent.”

language shoppingNext year’s Italian Language week will follow the pattern of our 2015 Italian Language week: There will not only be formal lessons under the vine verandah (some 20 hours in the week), but we’ll also be making trips and excursions to savour the natural beauty of Lunigiana, the area surrounding the mill, to explore its history and culture, to sample its traditional foods – and above all, to meet the people, speaking Italian, practising what we’ve learned.

We’ve teamed up again with the Florence language school, Langues Services, to design a week in which people can learn Italian in the most natural and enjoyable way ever. With our wonderful tutor Francesca La Sala, you’ll meet Italian people and interact with their daily lives.

Your immersion into the language and culture of real Italians will be customised for you, to suit your curiosity and your interests, helping you to treasure everything you learn and make it a seamless part of who you are. You will have the perfect opportunity to make new friends in the company of like-minded people learning and improving their Italian language skills… and enjoying unspoilt Italy and, of course, fantastic food and wine.

 

Language FrancescaSaturday 7 May to Saturday 14 May 2016

Francesca La Sala

Italian Language course

Please click here to learn more about out Italian Language course at the mill, including the itinerary for the week.

Taking the train for a Cinque Terre adventure

Taking the train for a Cinque Terre adventure

How to book a 2016 Italian Language course or find out more

If you’d like to book or find out more, please visit our Italian Language course website by clicking here or use our secure Italian Language course Enquiry Form by clicking here. Or email us on info@watermill.net or call us on (UK number) 0207 193 6246.

 

 

Our first-ever yoga and meditation retreat: Unplug and Unwind!

Yoga Claire pic 1Join us in the tranquil heart of rural Tuscany for spiritual refreshment on The Watermill’s first-ever yoga and meditation retreat. We’ve called it Unplug and Unwind.

Our Watermill guests have been urging us for a number of years to run a yoga/meditation/wellbeing course here. Now we’ve found a wonderful tutor, Claire Murphy and we are ready to go! We think that Claire and The Watermill are the perfect combination for a yoga and meditation retreat where you can not only ‘unplug and unwind’, but also savour the true Italian lifestyle in Lunigiana, the unspoilt region of Tuscany surrounding the mill.

Yoga, meditation and massage have been a way of life for Claire for more than 25 years and she’s passionate about teaching them. Together we’ve created a unique five-day programme, with fresh and inspirational yoga and meditation sessions, plus inspiring visits to local historic and scenic attractions – and beautiful home-cooked Italian food and wines!  ** Please Note: this retreat will start on a Monday and end on a Saturday. You can find all about the course and Claire on our new Yoga retreats website, by clicking here.

Mill courtyard

Your yoga and meditation guide Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy head and shoulders 2 Claire Murphy ’s company, Esprit Yoga came into being in 1992: “The name epitomises all that I bring through my teaching – wisdom; intelligence; inspiration; mental balance; enthusiasm and devotion”

Claire’s style of teaching is very eclectic, borne out of studying and training in various traditions over the years across the UK and in many other areas of Europe and extensively in the USA. She has extensive training and teaching credentials which ensure that she is able to provide a fresh approach, based on current teaching methodologies and research. She brings a sense of humour and imagination to her teaching in order to make it accessible to everyone.

The sessions at The Watermill will be friendly and welcoming and no prior experience of yoga is necessary: all levels from beginner to intermediate will be catered for and we’ll also tailor our sessions to your particular needs. The classes are secular (non-denominational).

Yoga generic 3Claire says: “My aim is to offer classes that are fresh and inspirational, always being informed by the latest developments in yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices.”

Claire adds: “I am not aligned with any particular yoga school / tradition or teacher, as this allows me the freedom to be able to practise and teach the yoga that is respectful of who I am, which in turn, allows me to be respectful of the needs of my students.”

Come and Unplug and Unwind with Claire at The Watermill team next September!

Claire Murphy head and shoulders19 September to 24 September 2016

Claire Murphy Unplug and Unwind

Please click here to learn more about Claire and her course at the mill .

 

How to book a 2016 yoga and meditation retreat or find out more

If you’d like to book or find out more, please visit our Yoga retreats website by clicking here Or  use our secure Yoga retreat Enquiry Form, by clicking here. Or email us on info@watermill.net or call us on (UK number) 0207 193 6246.

Mike looser 3

 

More knitting and more Bella Vita!

Knit Judy and Jean show their work - square

We’ve two knitting courses planned for next year – and, given the continuing international popularity of our knitting weeks, there will probably be even more and we’ve two new tutors to entice you, Sarah Hatton and Lisa Richardson – and, of course, as ever, you’ll enjoy both knitting and La Bella Vita Italiana at The Watermill and its stunning Tuscan surroundings.

Yes, La Bella Vita means ‘The Good Life’ in Italian and that’s just what you’ll be savouring when you take one of our wonderfully relaxing and inspiring week-long knitting holidays in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. You’ll work at The Watermill on projects from top designers and you’ll also be knitting at a privately owned ex-monastery and in the grounds of a fabulous hill-top restaurant.

Knit 2015 Where to begin

You’ll be treated to an all-day excursion to the beautiful fishing villages of the Cinque Terre and enjoy a morning’s ramblings through the market at the nearby walled medieval town of Fivizzano. You will have the perfect opportunity to make new friends in the company of like-minded people learning new knitting techniques and tips from our tutors… and enjoying unspoilt Italy and, of course, fantastic food and wine: truly La Bella Vita Italiana.

Your inspiring 2016 knitting tutors

Sarah Hatton head and shouldersSarah Hatton is a designer for the Rowan Yarns and also teaches knitting classes worldwide. She learnt to knit as a child and has always been passionate about fashion. After gaining a degree in fashion design she began working in the handknit industry and has done so for over 15 years.

Sarah is also an enthusiastic, sympathetic and inspirational tutor and for her week-long course at the mill she has devised two specially-designed projects for you to knit: a lace scarf and a cable classic Aran project. She will also pass on professional tips and techniques to take your knits from ‘homemade’ to ‘handmade’.

*** We’ve already had nine bookings for Sarah’s course, so there are only two places left! If you are keen to grab those places, see How to Book below.***

Lisa Richardson head and shouldersLisa Richardson ’s name is instantly associated with the Rowan pattern house. In addition to her designer role, she manages the pattern editing process and mentors newer members of the design team. She says, “My biggest drive is to people create something that they will cherish for years to come.”

Lisa is also an enthusiastic  tutor, winning much praise from her workshop participants. For her week-long course at the mill she has devised two specially designed projects for you to knit: one inspired by Italian lace work; and the other that fully justifies her label as ‘slip stitch queen’.

 

Lisa Richardson’s slip stitch bag, one of the projects for her knitting week.

Lisa Richardson’s slip stitch bag, one of the projects for her knitting week.

These are the dates for our two (so far) knitting weeks in 2016:

Sarah Hatton head and shoulders21 May to 28 May 2016

Sarah Hatton

Knitting and La Bella Vita

Please click here to learn more about Sarah and her course at the mill.

 

Lisa Richardson head and shoulders10 September to 17 September 2016

Lisa Richardson

Knitting and La Bella Vita

Please click here to learn more about Lisa and her course at the mill.

 

How to book a 2016 knitting holiday or find out more

If you’d like to book or find out more, please visit our Knitting Holidays website by clicking here. Or use our secure Knitting holidays Enquiry Form by clicking here.

 

Announcing our inspiring 2016 painting holidays programme

 

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

Mike Willdridge’s wonderful watercolour of Flavio’s bridge and millstream gushing towards the river.

 

As ever, we are very excited about our new season of painting courses. We’ve lots of inspiring new tutors and many of our old favourites are also returning again. The newcomers are Janie Pirie (from England) who has a wonderful new course in Painting plants with coloured pencils; Jennifer Polillo (from the USA) who specialises in acrylics/gouache and oils; Lea Nixon (from England) whose atmospheric watercolours we love; Amanda Brett with her colourful and quirky watercolours and Lisa Fu (from the USA) who always brings romance to her watercolours.

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

Janie Pirie’s extraordinary coloured pencil painting The Magnificent Savoy.

Our highly popular and inspiring retuning painting tutors are the wonderful watercolourist Sarah Yeoman (from the USA); Sandra Strohschein (from the USA), another ‘knock-out’ watercolourist; Australia’s popular watercolourist and good friend of The Watermill, Terry Jarvis, and two English old friends, both extremely versatile teachers: Laraine Simpson, who will teach in oils, pastels, watercolours and a number of other media; and Mike Willdridge, who is skilled in watercolours, oils and acrylics and will also encourage drawing and the use of a sketchbook.

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

Painters at the mill: Watercolour by Sandra Strohschein

Here’s the full list of our inspiring 2016 painting tutors, with links to more details about them – and more of their stunning pictures.

 Janie Pirie head and shoulders14 May to 21 May 2016 Janie Pirie Painting plants with coloured pencils.

Please click here to learn more about Janie, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures.

 

 

Sarah Yeoman head and shoulders4 June to 11 June 2016 AND 11 June to 18 June 2016 Sarah Yeoman Watercolours

Please click here to learn more about Sarah, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures.

 

Sandra Strohschein head and shoulders18 June to 25 June 2016 Sandra Strohschein Watercolours

Please click here to learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures.

 

 

Lea Nixon head and shoulders25 June to 2 July 2016 Lea Nixon Watercolours

 

 

Please click here to learn more about Lea, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures.

Terry Jarvis painting cropped more2 July to 9 July 2016 Terry Jarvis Watercolours

Please click here to learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures.

 

 

Brett head and shoulders cropped9 July to 16 July 2016 Amanda Brett Watercolours

Please click here to learn more about Amanda, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures.

 

 

Mike new head and shoulders FINAL27 August to 3 September 2016 Mike Willdridge Watercolours, oils and acrylics, drawing, sketching

Please click here to learn more about Mike, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures.

 

 

Laraine Simpson head and shoulders3 September to 10 September 2016 Laraine Simpson Oils, pastels, watercolour etc.

Please click here to learn more about Laraine, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures.

 

 

Lisa Fu head and shoulders24 September to 1 October 2016 Lisa Fu Watercolours

Please click here to learn more about Lisa, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures.

 

 

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

Lea Nixon’s atmospheric watercolour of Venice

How to book a 2016 painting holiday or find out more

If you’d like to book or find out more, please click here to visit our Painting Holidays website.  Or use our secure Painting Holidays Enquiry Form by clicking here. Or call us on (UK number) +44 (0)207 193 6246

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

The Watermill courtyard, by Sarah Yeoman

 

 

The importance of connection in art, by Charles Sluga

Our friendly and enthusiastic Australian painting tutor Charles Sluga is returning to the mill for another of his famous watercolour courses this October (Special offer! See below.)

And he’s just posted another fascinating tip in his monthly newsletter, on staying connected in your painting.

Charles says: Just as we like to connect with people in the world, we must connect shapes in our paintings. It is a way of allowing and controlling the way the viewer’s eye travels through the painting. It also unifies the painting and makes it work as one and read well.

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

Adagio in C by Charles Sluga

Charles adds:Now, it is important to note that not everything in your picture needs to be touching or connected. You can have spaces like in the painting of the Scuba Lesson below. However you do want some overlap in areas. This would be a very different painting and not work as well if each of those figures were a separate entity. So weather you are painting groups of people, like in the paintings below, buildings, still life, landscapes…. it doesn’t matter.  HAVE SOME CONNECTION.”

Charles says: “Just as we like to connect with people in the world, we must connect shapes in our paintings. It is a way of allowing and controlling the way the viewer's eye travels through the painting. It also unifies the painting and makes it work as one and read well.”

The scuba lesson, by Charles Sluga

New photo of Charles 2012Charles 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. He’s a great teacher, with a friendly and enthusiastic approach and an eagerness to impart his wide knowledge.