Archives for October 2017

Sensational oil paintings from Vicki from our part of Tuscany. Come and join her next year!

Painting by Vicki Norman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Above is a beautifully evocative study in oils of the Alpi Apuane mountains near The Watermill, made by our new tutor Vicki Norman on a previous painting expedition to this beautiful area. Vicki says: “I got up very early one morning to make a study of the colours as I looked across the valley … I wanted to record the colours of the hills as they receded.”

In her paintings Vicki seeks to capture the essence of the day and the sense of place through the colour and play of the light and she’s certainly done so here. She says: “The bright yellow of the ginestra at the front contrasted beautifully with the lilac of the marble- capped mountains behind. I knew if I could capture the colours of the moment, I could use them for subsequent studio paintings at home.

You, too, will be painting those sensational mountains on Vicki’s course. The week-long course is primarily in oils but Vicki is happy to teach in other mediums, too. It will run from Saturday 6 October to Saturday 13 October 2018. Come and join us and share the magic. We already have seven people booked in for Vicki’s course, so now is the time to reserve your place and take advantage of our Early Bird booking discount (see below.)

Below is another great oil painting, called  Massa sunset. (Massa is the capital of the province in which The Watermill is located).

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

Vicki says: “Looking south from the coast below Fivizzano, it is possible to see the marble docks at Massa. This is where they took Michelangelo’s marble from the mountains and prepared it for transport sculptures, what an amazing place! And it’s still working now, I liked the sense of history and the colours of the industrial machinery against the sky at sunset was irresistible. The soft colours blended in the sky and I found repeating spots of orange and red along the beach that allowed me to play with mark making and small accents of colour. I’m very fond of this painting, it sums up so many things I love about Tuscany!”

Vicki Norman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.As well as a great painter, Vicki is also a great teacher. She’s been teaching professionally for more than 20 years and offers plenty of help and individual attention. As one previous student said: Vicki has a way of explaining complex ideas that makes them simple enough for a beginner to grasp easily, yet she can stretch the advanced painters in the group too.”

Vicki specialises in teaching en plein air and we have many great locations for you in the unspoilt countryside of Lunigiana surrounding The Watermill. Vicki will teach primarily in oils and watercolours, but she’s happy to help with other mediums, too.

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca or the Cinque Terre). You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

vicki plus pic

6-13 October 2018 

Vicki Norman

Oils (and other mediums)

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

Early Bird discount:

If you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on this fabulous 2018 painting holiday.  To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please use our Painting Holiday Enquiry Form by clicking here. Here’s another atmospheric Vicki Norman painting to whet your appetite:

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

‘My Florence’ in the National Geographic Traveller

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo: one of e great museums of the world

Museo dell’Opera del Duomo: one of e great museums of the world

My thanks to the National Geographic Traveller magazine for publishing a short piece on My Florence, where Lois and I live when we are not at the Watermill. Here it is:

National G

Since it won’t be easy to read the text in the picture above, here it is.

Florentine insider Bill Breckon tells you how to enjoy great art in the Renaissance city while avoiding the worst of the crowds.

1 Il Grande Museo del Duomo

Get up front and personal with some of the greatest masterworks of the Renaissance. While the crowds jostle outside trying to look at facsimiles, you can stand close to, for example, Ghiberti’s fabulous bronze doors for the Baptistry, described by Michelangelo as ‘truly worthy to be the gates of paradise’, plus dozens of other original masterpieces in the largest concentration of Florentine monumental sculpture in the world. https://www.museumflorence.com/museum

2 Bargello

You can see the true beginnings of Renaissance art within 10 metres in the Donatello room of the Bargello museum: Ghiberti and Brunelleschi’s winning entries in 1401 for the commission for the bronze doors for the Baptistry, Donatello’s marble St. George, ‘life itself stirring vigorously in the stone’ and in front of it, his amazing bronze David, cheekily homoerotic. And nearby, Verrocchio’s David, its model supposedly the young Leonardo da Vinci himself. Wow! http://www.sbas.fi.it/english/musei/bargello/

Donatello's St George. Ready to spring to life.

Donatello’s St George. Ready to spring to life.

3 Sassetti Chapel, Santa Trinità Church

Of course, the Uffizi and the Accademia galleries are treasure troves of art, but for great art and fewer people, you can’t beat the Sassetti Chapel of the Santa Trinità church. Here you can view the astonishing cycle of late 15th Century frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio, with scenes from the life of St. Francis. I particularly like the miracle of the raising of the fallen boy. It’s often so quiet you may have to put a Euro in the box yourself to illuminate the chapel.   http://www.museumsinflorence.com/musei/santa-trinita.html

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

A Ghirlandaio miracle

 

4 Ognissanti Church and Refectory

In the refectory of the monastery connected t0 the church, you can see another Ghirlandaio masterpiece, a Last Supper depicting the moment Jesus tells the disciples that one of them will betray Him. At the request of the monks Ghirlandaio also painted realistic plants, fruits and birds in the alcoves behind: all have religious symbolism. In the church itself, marvel at Giotto’s crucifix, its lapis lazuli pigment bluer than the bluest Italian sky.   http://www.museumsinflorence.com/musei/ognissanti_last_supper.html

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

The bluest blue

5 La Specola

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.The Museum of Zoology and Natural History, known as La Specola, is my quirkiest choice. After walking through corridors of stuffed creatures of all shapes and sizes, you reach room after room of human anatomical waxworks, made in the 17th and 18th centuries. All sorts of innards are on display in the ‘opened-up’ waxy bodies, based on real corpses and used for teaching medicine. I’d be terrified to be locked in and spend a Night in the Museum! http://www.msn.unifi.it/

So that’s my off-beat Florence. If you’d like to visit Florence, I’d be very happy to talk to you about how to get the best out of your visit to this lovely city, a treasure trove of art.

And why not spend a (non-scary week) with us before or after visiting Florence –after is probably better, so then you can relax after all your sightseeing.

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