Archives for October 2016

Colourful collages — and a new watercolour — from Sue Ford

Painting by Sue Ford, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Sue Ford, our delightful and talented painting tutor, has just sent me some of her recent creations, including some new colourful collages, like the Venetian scene above.

Sue is returning to the Watermill next year for an inspiring week-long painting course in watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic. Sue says: “I just love creating pictures in any medium – and I love passing on what I’ve learned to other people and to help them release their creativity.” Sue will be with us from Saturday 15 July to Saturday 22 July 2017. More details below – 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.

Here’s another of Sue’s collages, with a quite different watery atmosphere: a rainy day in York in the North of England.Blog Sue Ford collage York rainy dayAnd to reflect Sue’s versatility, here’s a gentle watercolour of the river near Stokesley, also in the North of England.Blog Sue Ford Stokesley landscape watercolour and pastel

Still on a watery theme, here’s a lovely pastel by Sue of the beach at Monterosso in the Cinque Terre, one of the locations for our Wednesday excursion during our week-long creative courses. We liked this so much it’s hanging on our sitting room wall at The Watermill.Sue Cinque Terre demo

We have fond memories of Sue’s last visit. Here’s a quote from a guest: “I had a wonderful time. Everything was superb – the accommodation, the trips out and the food! Utterly wonderful. It was an experience that I will treasure. Sue Ford is an exceptional tutor with a lovely manner and treats all with respect and kindness.”

Sue Ford was born in York, North Yorkshire and has experimented with almost every conceivable media in her career. She now a well recognised and admired professional artist and tutor. Here are some of her pupils at work in one of our great en plein air locations, an old monastery:Sue Ford Joy and Sanjana at Convento

Sue says: “Each student will be guided carefully throughout the day, from initial demonstration to getting started, followed by patient, professional tuition. I aim to help my students to create paintings which will give them the confidence in their abilities and help them to develop their own artistic vision.”Here’s Sue painting demonstration at another Watermill location, the castle and village of Verrucola.Sue Ford Watercolour demo of Castello Verrucola

New Sue Ford pic croppedSue Cinque Terre demo15-22 July Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic

with Sue Ford

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

Six people are already booked for this great course. Come and join them  — and enjoy the magic of the mill! (And enjoy the Early Bird discount.)

Enjoying painting tuition in the Watermill's walled garden

Enjoying painting tuition with Sue in the Watermill’s walled garden

 

 

Come and be part of Maggie’s plein air painting adventure

Painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.I have just been looking at some of the latest paintings by the celebrated Californian artist Maggie Renner Hellmann, who is coming to for her first painting course at The Watermill next June. More details below – and don’t forget our Early Bird discount: If you book before 31 December 2016 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on this fabulous 2017 painting holiday.

They are all oil paintings – and all created en plain air – a great adventure. Above is California Pampas, while below you can enjoy Summer Reflections.Painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Maggie calls her week-long course at The Watermill a Courageous Color Workshop and she says: “Come and share in the energy and inspiration of painting the Tuscan Landscape! A perfect blend of Art & Adventure!”

Maggie adds:In this plein air workshop we will paint in various spectacular Tuscan locations. Our emphasis will be on learning and practicing the core elements of successful paintings – Color, composition, focal point, light source, values, positive & negative shapes, volumes, edges, brushwork & perspective, as well as how to use contrasts to give excitement and drama to your paintings and much more!

“All levels of experience are welcome. The medium is your choice*. Maggie will share with you her craft & knowledge of painting. She will help you to free yourself from old patterns and move toward more exciting color choices.” *Oils, acrylics, pastels and drawing mediums.

Here’s another of Maggie’s en plein air oils, Three red barns:Painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Maggie Renner Hellmann is a contemporary California painter who paints with love, passion and energy. Her work is characterized by a unique blend of loose, energetic brushwork and strong compositions of exuberant color. She says: “I love the joy of color and the poetry of brushwork.”

Maggie is also a knowledgeable and enthusiastic tutor. She’s been teaching for more than 15 years – and she loves it! Her years of experience in painting in many mediums have distilled her teaching to the core fundamentals that will help guide any painter toward success. She will encourage the beginner and challenge the more advanced.

Here’s some praise from some of her former students: “What I liked best about the workshop was Maggie’s approachable manner and encouragement, her clear understanding about color and light, her experience in simplifying landscapes and the discipline of first studying the subject in values – and how to make poetry out of a simple landscape.”

“What I particularly like about your teaching is that you seem to be able to distil the learning into meaningful chunks that are understandable and then you demonstrate the concept and have us practice it. Your methodology is very effective. I really like getting your feedback. You give it in a very helpful and constructive way and always let us observe you painting.”

RENNER H&SPainting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.17-24 June Oils, acrylics, pastels and drawing mediums

with Maggie Renner Hellmann

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

Come and take Maggie’s Color Challenge and share the magic at the mill!

Keiko garden 2 Jess -reduced

 

 

Before you paint: stop and think why, says Keiko Tanabe

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

Keiko’s wonderful watercolour from the hilltop village of Monte dei Bianchi, one of our Watermill painting locations

Our delightful Japanese watercolour tutor Keiko Tanabe is returning next June for her third visit to the Watermill: she will be with us for a special week-long course in watercolours from Saturday 10 June to Saturday 17 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.

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

An atmospheric watercolour of the Watermill

When people come on a Watermill painting holiday they are always keen to put brush to paper quickly, to begin to capture the glorious scenery of the mill and the surrounding Tuscan countryside. But, says Keiko in a recent painting tip, just take a moment’s pause before you start. She says: “Of all the choices we could make in our lives, we painters choose to spend a lot of time painting.  There’s got to be a very strong reason why we make that choice if time is indeed money.  Of course before anything, there is or would have to be innate passion about the act of painting.  That cannot be taught or forced upon because that being non-existence wouldn’t most likely sustain us for a long time. For most of us, it’s really that passion, not the aspect of it being a task, which keeps motivating or driving us.  

“So let’s make the time spent painting really worthwhile before we actually do it by thinking why: Why do we choose a particular subject?  Why is it so appealing?  Why do we think it’s worth our time (or life, really)?  The reason why we paint may be different, depending on who you ask, but we all can, or should, take a moment before putting anything on paper or canvas, to think what is really inspiring us to spend the next hours of our life with.  

“Knowing that also helps us make an even stronger statement in our painting as it should be a focal aspect of our visual expression.”

Boats in Vernazza, Cinque Terre, one of our excursion venues

Boats in Vernazza, Cinque Terre, one of our excursion venues

keiko tanabe head and shoulders reducedKeiko Tanabe was born in Kyoto, Japan but now lives in San Diego, California. Her paintings show stories of everyday life in different corners of the world. Keiko is a much sought-after instructor and has led more than 130 workshops around the world. She says:Watercolour painting is a vehicle to communicate my artistic vision on the joy of living and the ingenuity of human creations.”

Keiko is also an inspiring and sympathetic tutor. Her workshops at The Watermill are designed for students who would like to gain a better understanding of methods and techniques to make watercolour paintings that are full of light and atmosphere. Here’s what one student had to say about one of her previous courses: “What a wonderful and memorable week I have had!! The ambiance was just perfect and Keiko was a wonderful teacher: it’s really been a perfect painting holiday.” Another said: “I loved once again my stay in your gorgeous mill as well as your fantastic hospitality and the company of new friends and such a talented teacher and guide.” atmosphere.

Keiko painting en plein air

Painting by Keiko Tanabe, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.10-17 June Watercolours

with Keiko Tanabe

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

Come and join us and savour the magic of the mill.Keiko garden 2 Jess -reduced

 

 

How Mike looks after beginners as well as more advanced painting students

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our friend and inspiring Watermill paining tutor Mike Willdridge, who will be returning to for another sun-filled, fun-filled course next September (details below), is keen to emphasise that he is more than happy to help and encourage beginners as well as more experienced painters.

Here’s an example of the thought he puts into making the Posara experience fulfilling for everyone. Mike says: “On Monday, we visited a local village called Verrucola which is dominated by a magnificent medieval castle with many visually intriguing old buildings and narrow streets – all surrounded by hills and trees; wonderful material for the artist but, at first glance, possibly a little daunting for the beginner. On my first visit to the Watermill (some years ago) I made two drawings in a small sketchbook (above and below). These should give an idea of the dominance of the castle.”Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Mike says: “This year, in order to assist those with a little less confidence, I selected a more simple subject – a small hamlet on the hillside overlooking the castle. I painted this view as a demonstration and asked my students to paint alongside me. I ‘broke’ the painting into four or five stages and encouraged my students to paint each phase after me. Normally, this painting would take me between 20-30 minutes but because of the nature of the demonstration, it took little longer.

“The plan was that, after this initial painting, my students might feel more confident to tackle something of the castle/village.”Blog Mike beginners 3Mike’s 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 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.

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 course 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.

 

No hidden extras – that’s a Watermill guarantee

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

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

We would like to emphasise again that

EVERYTHING is included in the cost of your creative holiday at The Watermill:

  • all tuition fees and accommodation
  • local transportation (including transfers to and from Pisa airport; including our mid- week excursion by train to a Tuscan beauty spot or historic town.)
  • all meals including breakfast, gourmet picnics on location, pre-dinner aperitifs, dinner at the mill or at small and friendly local restaurants with regional Italian dishes and wines.

All you have to do is to get to Pisa and we do the rest!

That means ALL meals, ALL week, no hidden extras!

ALL transportation to ALL venues, no hidden extras!

ALL accommodation, cleaning, linen, towels – no hidden extras!

ALL wines, aperitivi, digestivi, — no hidden extras!

One of our great locations: Verruccola castle

One of our great locations: Verrucola castle

We’ll even give you the ingredients for a packed lunch and fruit on your excursion to the Cinque Terre or Lucca on the Wednesday of your week (although some people seem to prefer to choose their own café or restaurant for lunch on Wednesday and enjoy a leisurely Italian meal in the heat of the day.)

And we’ll even take a picture of the group and make postcards for you to send home — and give you the stamps!Mike group 2015No wonder so many people keep coming back.

Here’s what one recent guest on a yoga course had to say: “I was extremely impressed by the beauty of the Watermill itself and of its location. The buildings are beautiful and comfortable and the location is green and luscious, with a stream running nearby and plenty of walks available around the mill. A pretty village is a few km away and can be seen from the Watermill but the Watermill itself is surrounded by beautiful grounds and well tended gardens where you can sit or lounge and relax or go for peaceful walks and the only noises you hear are birds, water, and the occasional rutting deer! The yoga studio is airy and peaceful and the yoga tutor was all we could have hoped for. Also, great food and wine. And all, and I mean all, even a meal in a local restaurant and transfers to/from Pisa airport, is included in the price you pay, no hidden costs.”

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.

Here’s a list of our inspiring painting, knitting and Italian language courses next year.

First painting. Here’s the exhilarating line up of inspirational tutors for next 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.

 

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.

 

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

with Sarah Spencer

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

 

Keiko painting en plein air

Painting by Keiko Tanabe, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.10-17 June Watercolours

with Keiko Tanabe

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

 

RENNER H&SPainting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.17-24 June Oils, acrylics, pastels and drawing mediums

with Maggie Renner Hellmann

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

Lea Nixon head and shouldersPainting by Lea Nixon, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.24 June- 1 July Watercolours

with Lea Nixon

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

 

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.

Bradley H&SBradley Orange Flamenco8-15 July Watercolours

with Sue Bradley

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

 

New Sue Ford pic croppedSue Cinque Terre demo15-22 July Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic

with Sue Ford

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

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.

Neiman H&SNeiman Daumazon promenade26 August-2 September Watercolours

with Varvara Neiman

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

 

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.

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

Nel and Rebecca head shotPainting by Nel Whatmore, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.23-30 September Pastels

with Nel Whatmore and Rebecca de Mendonça

To learn more about Nel and Rebecca and their course at The Watermill, please click  here.

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.

 

 

Knitting holidays: but hurry, we’re almost full for our knitting weeks:

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

Knitting and La Bella Vita 

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

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

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

And last, but by no means least, our unique Italian language course:

Language FrancescaSaturday 729 April to Saturday 6 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

 

Come and share the magic of The Watermill

Sandra demonstrates to enthusiastic students in the Watermill walled garden

Painting tutor Sandra Strohschein demonstrates to enthusiastic students in the Watermill walled garden

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