Archives for May 2016

Still a few places left on our fantastic Watermill creative courses

Jan tutor in gardenWe are having  bumper season here at The Watermill, but we still have the odd place left in on the first half of our season and a few more for the second half. We’d love you to come and join us and savour the unique Watermill atmosphere.

Painting courses: current availability

Here’s the current availability of our exciting 2016 painting courses. But it is changing rapidly, do please contact us if you have a favourite tutor or favourite week and we’ll reserve your place.

Sarah Y plus paintingSarah Yeoman 4 June to 11 June Course full: waiting list AND 11 June to 18 June One place left

Watercolours

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

Sandra plus paintingSandra Strohschein 18 June to 25 June Course Full: Waiting List

Watercolours

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

Lea plus pictureLea Nixon 25 June to 2 July 2016 Course Full: Waiting List

Watercolours

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

Terry plus pictureTerry Jarvis 2 July to 9 July One place left

Watercolours

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

Amanda plus pictureAmanda Brett 9 July to 16 July Four places left

Watercolours

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

Keith plus pictureKeith Hornblower 13 August to 20 August Four places left

Watercolours

To learn more about Keith, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here

Mike plus pictureMike Willdridge 27 August to 3 September Course Full: Waiting List

Watercolours, oils and acrylics, drawing, sketching.

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

Sarah S plus pictureSarah Spencer 3 September to 10 September One place left

Oils and acrylics, drawing

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

Trevor plus pictureTrevor Lingard 24 September to 1 October Three/four places left

Watercolours

To learn more about Trevor, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here

Lea plus pictureLea Nixon 1 October to 8 October  Three/four places left

Watercolours

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

David plus pictureDavid Taylor 8 October to 15 October One place left

Watercolours

To learn more about David, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here

 

Knitting courses: current availability

Here’s the current availability of our exciting 2016 knitting courses. But it is changing rapidly, do please contact us if you have a favourite tutor or favourite week and we’ll reserve your place.

Sarah Hatton head and shouldersSarah Hatton 28 May to 4 June One place left

Knitting and La Bella Vita

To learn more about Sarah and her courses at the mill, please click here.

 

Lisa Richardson head and shouldersLisa Richardson 10 September to 17 September  Course full: waiting list

Knitting and La Bella Vita

To learn more about Lisa and her course at the mill, please click here.

 

 

Yoga and meditation retreats availability

Nataly courseNataly Kogan and Joanna Benevides 20 August to 27 August 2016 Two places left

Nutrition for your Soul

To learn more about Nataly and Joanna and their course at The Watermill, please click here

Claire Murphy head and shoulders 2Claire Murphy 19 September to 24 September 2016 – Please Note: this retreat will start on a Monday and end on a Saturday Four or five places left

Unplug and Unwind

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

 

Please come and join us and share our Tuscan idyll. We’d love to welcome you here.

 

A wonderful wedding gift from Keith

Painting by Keith Hornblower, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.How’s this for a charming and unique wedding present? English watercolour artist Keith Hornblower, who will be a tutor at The Watermill this Summer, has just painted this wonderful wedding gift.

He says: “I was recently contacted by a young lady who is getting married very soon; she wanted a painting of the spot where the proposal took place as a gift for her new husband. Lucky for me, he proposed in Fitzroy Square, which I know very well; the buildings are magnificent, having been designed by the great Robert Adam.”

Keith adds: “I didn’t want it to look too illustrative/photographic and it took me a great deal of effort to hold off the detail; my architectural illustrator hat had to be locked away in a cupboard. Instead, I wanted to capture the atmosphere of the place; the tracery of the tree shadows across the façade, the contrast of dark trees against light buildings. I wish the couple a long and happy life together and hope the painting is a constant reminder of the joyous day.”

Why not come and paint with Keith at his week-long course at The Watermill this August. We still have a few places left. We can’t promise you a classical Robert Adam Square. But we can offer sunlit Italian piazzas, castles, fountains, convents, mountains – and much else beside.

Fabio Fiv market Jun 13  SUE Convent Caroline Chapman Monte 2Come and capture them all with Keith on his week-long painting course at The Watermill this Summer. He will be here from Saturday 13 August to Saturday 20 August 2016.

Keith painting picKeith Hornblower is an acclaimed English painter in watercolour, teaching and demonstrating to art societies and universities in the UK with enthusiasm and great humour. His approach is dynamic and spontaneous, dispelling the fear of white paper and encouraging people to let go and have fun. He stresses the importance of capturing the light and observation of tonal values, often using a very limited palette of colours to make things easier for his students.

Some comments from some of Keith’s previous students: “A magician with paint, your paintings always have the most wonderful light.” “Brilliant! This is what watercolour is all about for me — so free and fresh. What fun for you and your very lucky audience.” “A great tutor and so very helpful with techniques and tips.”

Keith plus pictureKeith Hornblower 13 August to 20 August 2016 

Watercolours

To learn more about Keith, his course at the mill and to see some of his pictures, 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.Painting by Keith Hornblower, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

Come and capture Italian cafes with Amanda

Painting by Amanda Brett, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our enthusiastic New Zealand painting tutor Amanda Brett is never happier than when painting an Italian cafe with a bright coloured umbrella.

She’s doing just that at the moment, staying in the lovely city of Lucca for a few months before coming to tutor her week at The Watermill this July. She says: “This is the Gabry Caffe here in Lucca – they do a darn fine ciocolatta calda too!!

And here’s some work in progress at the Caffe del Mercato in the Piazza San Michelle: a few more brushstrokes and it’s done!

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

We’ll find more cafes for Amanda – and you — to paint, as well as castles, fountains, convents, mountains and much else beside. And we can also make an excursion to Lucca ourselves one day to paint the Caffe Gabry – and enjoy a hot chocolate!

amanda washing panorama

We have still a few places left on Amanda’s week here. She says: I am very excited about my workshop at The Watermill this July. We will be studio painting to start with and then paint outdoors, on location (en plein air) for our morning sessions, and back to the studio in the afternoons.”

Amanda is a sympathetic and experienced tutor— and she loves passing on her passion to her students. She says: “I never knew I would love teaching watercolour as much as I do.She adds: “It’s my job to help you develop your style and create better art.”

Here’s a comment from one of her students: “Amanda shared all her super secrets with us so freely, and gave each student equal time and attention.” And here’s another:I am primarily a portrait artist but you’ve given me skills to work in other areas I want to pursue too and watching you paint was invaluable. You are a very talented and generous woman, and a wonderful tutor. Yours is only the second watercolour workshop I have ever attended – you can get good artists and you can get good art tutors but it is hard to find the two in one person, and you are gifted at both.”Painting by Amanda Brett, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

Amanda painting LuccaSaturday 9 July to Saturday 16 July 2016

Amanda Brett Watercolours

To find out more about Amanda and her 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.

 

 

Take five breaths with Claire today and contemplate five days with her on our Yoga & Meditation retreat at The Watermill

Blog yoga Take 5Claire Murphy, who is running our Unplug and Unwind yoga and meditation retreat here next September, invites you to Take Five with her today! It’s one of her simple and straightforward relaxation tips and techniques which you can incorporate as part of your everyday life. These contain elements of what Claire will be teaching during her five-day retreat here.

Take 5:

Wherever you find yourself as you read this, bring your feet flat to the floor, lengthen your spine gently and rest your hands in your lap

After reading the following instructions (!) close your eyes

Bring your focus to the breath as you feel it either at the nose or the abdomen

Stay present with the whole of the in-breath and the whole of each out-breath

Repeat for x 5 complete breath cycles.

Yoga Unplug and unwindWhy don’t you join us to learn more on our relaxing and inspiring Unplug and Unwind yoga and meditation retreat at The Watermill next September?  Take Five minutes to look at details of Claire’s retreat, simply by clicking here. It could lead you to five days of spiritual refreshment in the tranquil heart of rural Tuscany.

We think that Claire Murphy 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!

Claire 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.”

*Please Note: this retreat will start on a Monday and end on a Saturday. So come and ‘take five’ with us!

Claire Murphy head and shoulders 219 September to 24 September 2016

Claire Murphy Unplug and Unwind

Please click here to learn more about Claire and her course at The Watermill.

*** Why not bring your non-participating 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.Tom riverside photo Jun 13

A ‘come and paint with me’ video from Lea

Blof lea video May 16Our talented and enthusiastic Watermill painting tutor Lea Nixon has just made a little video to tempt you to join him on his inspiring week-long watercolour painting course with him this October.  you can see it by clicking here. We hope you find it irresistible!

Lea’s first week-long watercolour painting course here in June is now completely full, so we have opened up a second week for him later in the year. It will run from Saturday October to Saturday 8 October 2016.

Lea Nixon head and shouldersLea Nixon is an exceptional watercolour painter from Wigan in the north-west of England for whom mood, character and atmosphere are particularly important.  The magic of watercolours excites him again and again. He has been a school teacher for the past 30 years in art and music, so creativity is in his blood – and he likes nothing more than to help others to achieve their artistic goals. Lea says: There are many different styles and ways to paint a picture and your own personal style defines you as an artist. I like to spot the originality in my students and work with them to develop their skills. It is fantastic fun.” 

Lea’s course at The Watermill is for all levels of experience. He says: “We’ll learn about all the qualities to make a good watercolour and I’ll give you a procedure which will simplify the whole painting process. It’s a brilliant journey to take and I can’t wait to get started. Watercolour is a captivating medium and there are so many ways to use it to make beautiful pictures.”

 Painting by Lea Nixon, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.Saturday 1 October to Saturday 8 October 2016

Lea Nixon Watercolours

To find out more about Lea 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.Lunigiana Bardellino

A merry Mayday dance around Watermill bamboo

Blog bamboo2Our friend Paul Fowler, who lives in a farm in the hills near us, is always helping out with exciting projects for the children of the area. And he often has calls on our bamboo for the children to build things in these projects (like a working trebuchet at a recent festa).

Those of you who have been to the Watermill will know that, thanks to the bamboozery (you have shrubs in a shrubbery, so bamboo in a bamboozery), we are ‘long’ on bamboo and always happy to help. The last ‘Mayday’ call from Paul was just before… Mayday!

Paul wanted the kids to make – and dance round – a traditional English maypole. So some more of our bamboo was called for. You can see the end result above – and here’s a picture of the happy Mayday dance.Blog bamboo 1

A real pleasure to help, Paul — and a happy Rites of Spring to everyone!

When in Rome… When to eat your green salad in Italy

A Watermill salad with nasturtium flowers from the garden.

A Watermill salad with nasturtium flowers from the garden.

Our friend and Florence Add-on tour guide Freya Middleton knows just about all there is to know about Italian life – and here’s a tip from her on how to be a true Italian (unless you are in Rome!).

Pic of Freya MiddletonFreya says: In what is a fairly steadfast rule, leafy salads are eaten last in Italy – not as a side dish or starter.

“Salads are almost exclusively dressed with olive oil and vinegar and their position in last place is because they are thought to cleanse the palate and aid digestion.

“One of the few exceptions is a crispy Roman salad of puntarelle, [a sort of chicory] dressed in anchovies and olive oil which is usually served as a starter.”

puntarelle all romana: eat me first!

Puntarelle alla romana: eat me first!

At the Watermill we also serve our own fabulous version of a classic Tuscan salad, called panzanella.panzanellaWe serve it buffet style and I reckon is tastes good together with the other delicious dishes in the lunch table, including fennel cooked in wine white and cream; bresaola with parmesan shavings and rucola. and that salad with nasturtium flowers above

But we are very relaxed: eat your salad whenever you like!

Dinner at the watermill..Great tastes, good company.

Dinner at the watermill..Great tastes, good company.

Come and join us for one of our delicious week-long creative courses — painting, knitting, yoga, Italian language– more details about everything by clicking hereBuon appetito!