Archives for September 2016

Painting outside: be clear about you intentions, says Watermill tutor Mark Warner

Painting by Mark Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Watermill tutor Mark Warner, who is joining us for a special week-long course in acrylics/watercolours incorporating conte/pastel next May, has just sent us this tip for painting en plein air – his passion.

Mark says: “Be clear about your intentions!”

He adds: “What are you planning to do when you are out in the elements? Complete a finished piece or work on a painted sketch? Perhaps continue in the studio or use to create another version? 

“Check out the weather and be prepared for the long haul. Take an umbrella to strap to the easel and enjoy the experience

Capture a sense of the place, standing (or sitting!) at the easel, responding to what is in front of you.

 “Don’t be afraid to change your colour palette as the colours/light in front of you change with time. You are just responding honestly to what you see.

 “You will learn and understand more as you go along.”

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

Marks painting Towards Cade Idris

 Mark plans to pass on more en plain air painting tips: watch this space !

Mark Warner is an artist and tutor who lives in Shropshire in England. He is not only a respected artist but also a highly professional tutor with many years of teaching experience.

Don’t forget our Early Bird discount: If you book before 31 December 2016 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on any of our fabulous 2017 painting holidays.

Mark Warner H&S croppedPainting by Mark Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.22 to 29 July 2017 Mark Warner

Acrylics/watercolours incorporating conte/pastel.

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

Come and join us  — and savour the magic of Tuscany and The Watermill. (And enjoy the Early Bird discount.)Lunigiana Bardellino

 

From quiet corners to exuberant fruits – Doranne captures the flavour of Italy

Painting by Doranne Alden, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Doranne Alden, the delightful watercolourist from Malta, is returning to The Watermill for another inspiring week-long watercolour course next year. She will be with us from Saturday 13 May to Saturday 20 May.

And she’s just sent me some lovely watercolours from her last visit here in 2015, capturing some local scenes and also some exuberant fruity still-lifes.

The painting above is of a quiet corner of Fivizzano, the nearby walled Medieval town where we paint one day during the week. The statue is of the 18th Century poet Giovanni Fantoni, one of the town’s famous sons. And here’s another quiet corner, of the village of Verrucola, which nestles around the brooding Malaspina castle, another of our painting venues.Doranne Verrusola archDoranne’s paintings are always bursting with colour, whether it’s fruits, flowers, portraits or landscapes. Here’s a still-life with fruits.Doranne still life jug tomsAnd here, some fishes and a glass of wine!Painting by Doranne Alden, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Doranne Alden is a professional artist, art teacher and graphic designer who particularly loves painting in watercolour. She now lives in Malta, but also worked for several years in Germany. Doranne is also a dedicated teacher, who has led many classes and workshops. She loves sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm, inspiring her students to produce their best work — and she’s happy to teach beginners as well as more experienced painters.

And don’t forget: There’s a £GBP 75 Early Bird discount on all our 2017 holidays if you book before the end of this year.

Doranne new head and shouldersPainting by Doranne Alden, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.13-20 May: Watercolours

with Doranne Alden

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

Come, savour Italy — and capture it with your brush

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

The Medici fountain in Fivizzano

 

Be suggestive, says Watermill painting tutor Charles Sluga!

Painting by Charles Sluga, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, ItalyWe have had a great painting tip from one of our talented and inspiring tutors on The Watermill team, Australian watercolourist Charles Sluga. He’ll be back with us for another fun-filled, sun-filled week next Autumn. More details below and about our special Early Bird booking discount offer.

Charles says: “My suggestion is suggest! Don’t be too literal when it comes to putting figures in a scene.” The challenge, he says, see how little you can put in for the marks on the page to be seen as people. How do you do it? Charles has three suggestions for suggesting:

 “1.Well, to start with, don’t worry about features like hands, facial features or feet. It is the overall shape that will suggest a figure. As long as you have the basic proportions, it will look correct. Be careful … don’t make the heads too big.

“2. Make sure you paint the entire figure in one go so that the colours blend. There is nothing worse than having a yellow shirt, blue jeans and the colour of the face all separated with clear hard delineation. Ghastly!

“3. Make sure the figures connect to the surrounding. Not all figures have to be clearly defined and they don’t have to have a crisp sharp line all the way around them. Let them blend a bit with the surrounding. This will create harmony and your figures will look like they belong.”

Take a close look at the figures below (taken from the larger image above) and check the points Charles made. It works!Blog Sluga painting tip SuggestWe’re delighted to welcome Charles back next year for a special week-long painting course in watercolours (and acrylics and oils) from Saturday 30 September to Saturday 7 October 2017. Here’s one of my favourite Sluga paintings, Lunch in Lucca, one of our excursion venues.Painting by Charles Sluga, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays, Tuscany Italy.

Charles 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. Charles is also skilled in acrylics and oils and is happy to teach in those media, too. Charles not only teaches technique, but also how to think and see as an artist, which he considers just as important. His friendliness, sense of humour and willingness to impart his knowledge makes his classes relaxed, informal and inspiring.

Here’s what some previous students had to say: In addition to being a very talented artist, Charles is an extremely capable and professional teacher: we all benefited from his instruction and guidance during the week.” The most relaxing holiday I have had for a long time: lovely accommodation and exceptional food.”

Charles New photo 2012Sluga Fivizzano belltower demo pic30 September-3 October Watercolours (and acrylics and oils)

with Charles Sluga

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

Come and join us and be suggestive at The Watermill!

holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

Charles Sluga’s painting of the back of the Watermill

 

 

 

Amazing art and hilarious Hilaire with Janie

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

Janie’s picture of strawberries: good enough to eat!

 Belloc cautionaryWe are delighted to welcome back Janie Pirie, who tutored a stunning ‘Painting plants in coloured pencil’ week earlier this year. Not only was wonderful art produced, but the group also had a week of bubbly fun, thanks in no small part to Janie’s spirit after-dinner renditions of Hilaire Belloc’s comic verse!

Janie will be with us for another extra-special week from Saturday 9 September to Saturday 16 September 2017. And don’t forget our Early Bird discount: If you book before 31 December 2016 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on any of our fabulous 2017 painting holidays.

Janie Pirie must be unique among painting tutors by being a double Gold Medallist of the UK’s Royal Horticultural Society! It reflects her love of plants, and of drawing them.  Janie Work page (2)

Janie’s work is now exhibited worldwide and she teaches in the UK and USA – using only coloured pencils. Although enjoying much success with her plant illustrations and botanical paintings, Janie also draws beautiful portraits (like the Tibetan Shepherd below) and still lifes. You’ll have an opportunity to practice all this on her week-long course, as well as visiting stunning locations in the beautiful scenery around the watermill.

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

Janie will take you through every stage of the process to achieve the very best results, from first observation to the creation of a rich and gloriously coloured picture. Her course is ideal for beginners and intermediates.

Here’s a comment from one of her students: Everyone always finishes Janie’s courses on such a high, inspired and eager to create more beautiful paintings with real passion.” Another said: “Janie is extremely helpful, a wonderful, stimulating tutor, always ready to offer advice and support.”

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

Rainy day blues by Janie Pirie

Janie Pirie head and shouldersPainting by Janie Pirie, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.9-16 September Painting plants with coloured pencils

with Janie Pirie

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

All this and Belloc, too!

Keiko garden 2 Jess -reduced

Join Mike to capture the colour, light and movement of an Italian market — and much more besides

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our good friend and Watermill painting tutor Mike Willdridge has just sent me some vibrant sketches of the weekly market in the nearby walled Medieval town of Fivizzano, where we go with our painting groups on Tuesdays.Mike market 2 Sep 16Mike made these sketches during his visit to The Watermill a few weeks ago – and he’ll be back again for another sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring course next year, too. His special week-long painting course in watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics) will run from Saturday 2 September to Saturday 9 September 2017. And don’t forget our Early Bird discount: If you book before 31 December 2016 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on any of our fabulous 2017 painting holidays.Mike market 3 Sett 16Mike says: These were all sketches/demonstrations of working quickly in a market to try and capture something of the colour, light and movement of a market in a painting. Each was completed in about 15 minutes in watercolour and ink.”

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. He will concentrate on watercolours, but is also happy to help with gouache and acrylics, too.

As you can see, 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, as well as the bustling market in Fivizzano.

A comment from a guest on this year’s at The Watermill: We much enjoyed our stay with you – the way you and your lovely staff looked after everyone, the delightful mill and excellent facilities, not to mention the charming and instructive Mike.”

Mike new head and shoulders FINALPainting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.2-9 September Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

with Mike Willdridge

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

And don’t forget: There’s a £GBP 75 Early Bird discount on all our 2017 holidays if you book before the end of this year. Come and capture the magic!Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

 

A lovely painting that incorporates the essential elements of Sandra’s work

Painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Sandra Strohschein, who will be joining us once again next year for another of her truly inspiring watercolour workshops (details below), recently sent me this wonderful painting, “A Still Life.” She says: “This painting embraces what I love to incorporate into my work.”

First of all comes inspiration: “If I am not inspired, my work will be academic but lack energy.  I was inspired by the way the light was striking the objects in this and very excited about my healthy geranium plant.  Combined with my love of lemons and the beautiful contrast in the blue plums this arrangement I had all the inspiration I needed.”  

Next, Sandra creates a plan on how she is going to engage the viewer and direct them though a painting: “Casually placing things in a pleasing yet uncontrived arrangement, I carefully composed where I wanted the focal point (s) to be.  This is my second requirement in my work….composition.”

Lastly, Sandra says: “I like to incorporate many lost edges into my design.  Things running and merging together where the values are similar.   When you do this, it creates a sense of mystery and the viewer gets to finish the story.”

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

But how, you ask?  Sandra touches on all of these things during her workshops.   It is never her goal to create more painters the same as herself: My goal is to get my students to find inspiration, determine a solid plan and lose two thirds of their edges.   Employing this process with their own particular style, or medium for that matter, will produce more refined art. 

“It is my goal to help all of my students learn how to bring this approach to their own work and hopefully find their paintings more rewarding and stronger!  I love to demonstrate how I paint but in my workshops you will hear why I paint and what I hope to accomplish with each painting.”  

Sandra will be back at The Watermill for a special week-long course in watercolours from Saturday 27 May to Saturday 3 June 2017.

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. A painting guest on her course at the mill last year said: Watching your demonstrations was such an education. Your speed at putting together a beautiful painting while talking us through your process and answering questions was testament to your talent”. Another said: An unbelievable week. I felt so relaxed and pampered. I appreciate your kindness and warmth.”

Sandra Strohschein head and shouldersA painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor on painting courses at The Watermill at Posara, Tuscany Italy27 May – 3 June Watercolours

with Sandra Strohschein

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

 

And don’t forget: There’s a £GBP 75 Early Bird discount on all our 2017 holidays if you book before the end of this year.

Come and join us and enjoy the magic of The Watermill:

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

A morning sketch on a Watermill balcony

 

A little knitting ditty

lisa knit sep 16

We had a cracking knitting party with Lisa Richardson last week, with 11 knitters enjoying Lisa’s tuition and skilled advice, and two NKPs – non-knitting partners who found plenty to amuse and entertain them as the knitters klicked, klacked and chatted on the vine verandah, in the walled garden or in the spectacular locations of a hilltop village and an atmospheric monastery. Thanks to Lisa and all our guests for making it such a lovely week.

And special thanks to one of the NKPs, Bob Humphries, for composing this celebratory ditty, which made us laugh at the end of the week:

THE KNITTING PARTY

A knitting week at Posara Mill

Hosted by Lois and that bloke Bill

Eager knitters who got on with ease

And a couple of chaps known as NKPs

 

Difficult to mention all by name

But Janice from Barnsley enters the frame

Not sure about her knitting, embroidery or darn

But she had us all in stitches when spinning a yarn

 

Bill on the bell would have made old Pavlov proud

Ringing it timely, clearly and loud

At each ring of the bell at breakfast and lunch

Aperitivo and dinner – a salivating bunch

 

We have to mention young Lisa of course

The patient designer leading the course

Amidst Klicks and Klacks and idle natter

She brought sense and focus to a serious matter

 

The various projects progressed apace

Slip stitched bags and Italian lace

Lisa even brought along some spares

To allow creation of embroidered squares

 

Did we eat well? – did it suffice?

The pasta, zucchini, porcini and rice

Washed down with vino, bianco and red

And then a digestivo before heading for bed

 

The answer is clear but deserves a toast

Bill and Lois are the hosts with the most

And now as the week inevitably ends

Ciao and saluti to a new group of friends

 

Thank you for that Bob, much appreciated.

NKP or knitter, why don’t you join us next year for one of our celebrated (in prose and poetry!) knitting weeks next year? But hurry, we’ve only a few places left – and now is also the time to take advantage of our Early Bird special offer  — a £GBP 75 discount is you book on any of our 2017 knitting courses before the end of 2016.

If you want to book, let us know and we’ll reserve a 2017 place.

Lisa Richardson head and shouldersLisa Richardson Saturday 6 May to Saturday 13 May 2017

Knitting and La Bella Vita Four places left

Please click here for more about Lisa and her course at The Watermill.

 

Marie Wallin head and shoulder croppedMarie Wallin

Saturday 20 May to Saturday 27 May 2017

Knitting and La Bella Vita Course full, waiting list

Please click here for more about Marie and her course at The Watermill.

Sarah Hatton head and shouldersSarah Hatton

Saturday 16 September to Saturday 23 September 2017

Knitting and La Bella Vita Three places left.

 Please click here for more about Sarah and her course at The Watermill.

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

Poised to knit!

Poised to knit!

Terry makes the time fly by!

Terry rose demo 1We had a lovely painting course this year with our good friend the Australian watercolourist Terry JarvisIt was a full, fun-filled course and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what one guest (who immediately booked to return next year) had to say: We had a fantastic week and time flew over so quickly. Terry was a great tutor had we had lots of fun with him. Looking forward to next year already.”

Yes, Terry will be back in 2017 with a special week-long painting course in watercolours (& oils, pastels and acrylics) from Saturday 1 July to Saturday 8 July 2017. Why not come too and join in the time-flying fun and the inspiration?

Don’t forget our Early Bird discount: If you book before 31 December 2016 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on any of our fabulous 2017 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 Jarvis painting cropped morePainting by Terry Jarvis, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.1-8 July Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)

with Terry Jarvis

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

Come and join us and make time fly!Terry rose demo POV

 

 

Mark is passionate about painting en plein air

Painting by Mark Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.We are delighted to welcome another inspiring English artist to the distinguished list of Watermill painting tutors in 2017. He is Mark Warner and he’s introducing tuition in even more mediums. He’s a specialist in acrylics/watercolours incorporating conte/pastel. Mark’s course here will run from Saturday 22 July to Saturday 29 July 2017.

This course is already attracting consderable interest, so why not join us for a new artistic experience? And also share Mark’s passion for painting outdoors?  Isn’t his ‘Cloud Migration from Stiperstones’, above, sensational?

Don’t forget our Early Bird discount: If you book before 31 December 2016 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on any of our fabulous 2017 painting holidays.

Mark Warner is an artist and tutor who lives in Shropshire in England. He is not only a respected artist but also a highly professional tutor with many years of teaching experience. Here’s another great Warner painting, ‘Towards Cader Idris.’Painting by Mark Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mark is passionate about working outside, tutoring numerous day and residential plein air holidays. His sessions are very popular — and he leads by example, creating a relaxed and encouraging environment.  He says I adore using colour while interpreting the light, weather and a love for the materials. I work directly in the field (literally on many occasions!) from sketches created outside as well as notes/photographs taken on location.”

Sketching is at the heart of Mark’s work: “This is important in the development of a piece and on many occasions, forming an integral part of the painting itself.” Mark works on coloured grounds, incorporating aspects of mark-making and directional brushstrokes within the work. He says: “I continue to draw inspiration from the landscape, although subject matter can be broad and at times very different.” Here’s Mark’s ‘Harbour Boat Sketch.’Harbour Boat Sketch (4)

Mark Warner H&S croppedPainting by Mark Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.22 to 29 July 2017 Mark Warner

Acrylics/watercolours incorporating conte/pastel.

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

Come and join us  — and savour the magic of the mill! (And enjoy the Early Bird discount.)

Roses for blog

 

A perfect course for oil and acrylic painters

A panorama of Sarah's students exhibition in the Watermill studio

‘A panorama of Sarah’s students exhibition in the Watermill studio

We had a lovely time last week with our talented, enthusiastic and inspiring painting tutor Sarah Spencer. As one guest said: “Thank you for taking such good care of us. The group was lovely and Sarah Spencer was very helpful with the tips on techniques.”

So were delighted that Sarah is joining us again for another sun-filled, fun-filled course next year. Her special painting week, in oil and acrylic painting mediums, will be from Saturday 3 June to Saturday 10 June 2017 – and don’t forget our Early Bird discount: If you book before 31 December 2016 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on any of our fabulous 2017 painting holidays.

Capturing the sunlight in the Watermill courtyard

Capturing the sunlight in the Watermill courtyard

Award-winning English artist Sarah Spencer RAS, NEAC* is internationally known for her landscapes, portraits and still lifes. She has had no fewer than 10 solo exhibitions in London since graduating from the Royal Academy Schools. Her work has won national and international acclaim. (*Alumnus of the Royal Academy Schools, elected member of the New English Art Club and Federation of British Artists) Here’s her lovely study of lemons:Painting by Sarah Spencer, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

She also tutors painting courses and leads masterclasses for, among others, the UK Royal Academy and the University of the Creative Arts. She is a passionate and inspiring tutor and will take her Watermill students to paint en plein air at wonderful nearby locations, as well as teaching the art of portraiture and still-life in the Watermill studio. She will teach in oils and acrylics and in various drawing mediums.

Sarah’s course is suitable for beginners as well as more experienced painters. She says: I love sharing my passion and passing on what I’ve learned about oil and acrylic painting and about drawing.”

Sarah S H&S for tutor profilePainting bysarah Spencer, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.3-10 June 2017 Oils and drawing mediums

with Sarah Spencer

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

Come and join us  — and enjoy the magic of the mill! (And enjoy the Early Bird discount.)Caroline Chapman Monte 2