Archives for October 2017

The Watermill November is just out…

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

…with reports on: Extra Oomph! for Early Birds; Nel and Bec to team up here again; Why Terry and Lisa get ****** and why We Know our Chickens. Intrigued? Find out more by clicking here. You can subscribe , too. It’s free!: http://watermill.net/mill-forms/form-newsletter18-sub.php

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.

Wonderful,’ ‘heavenly,’ ’perfection.’ Just some of the praise for Lisa’s knitting week this year

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

We had a fantastic feedback from the participants on Lisa Richardson’s knitting course here this year. Our guests enjoyed themselves so much that no fewer than seven of them immediately booked for next year! Now the bookings have risen to 10 (nine knitters and one non-knitting partner), so we have room for only two more knitters and an nkp or two. Time to grab those last places!

Here are some comments from our guests on Lisa’s course this year: Had the most wonderful knitting holiday at the Watermill in Posara! Really everything was taken care of by our perfect hosts Lois and Bill as well as by the rest of the great staff. Having Lisa Richardson as our knitting tutor was a delight and great inspiration! A huge thank you all.”

“A simply heavenly knitting retreat at the Watermill with the lovely Lisa Richardson.” Many thanks to Lois and Bill for being the perfect hosts.”

“Such perfection, I am spoiled for anywhere else! A wonderful relaxing holiday with knitting. Everything was superb, and I was particularly touched by the warm friendly reception from Bill and Lois. The knitting was led by the talented and delightful Lisa Richardson, a calm presence who worked miracles with those of us who struggled from time to time. Our finished work is something we shall all treasure.”

“Knitting for a week. Sounds strange? Couldn’t have been better. Bill and Lois the most welcoming and generous hosts for whom nothing was too much trouble. Lisa Richardson a patient and experienced tutor. Our outings were all perfectly chosen. Our food divine. My room very special with gorgeous views. Lovely gardens and flowers everywhere. The sound of the river flowing by and the church bells ringing. Lovely group of people to spend time with. Perfect peace at The Watermill.”

’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 an enthusiastic, sympathetic and inspirational tutor and, as you can see, wins much praise from her workshop participants.

Lisa project 2For her week-long course at the mill next year she has devised two specially designed projects for you to knit: one that fully justifies her label as ‘slip stitch queen’ (left), the other demonstrates filet crochet (but with a knitted option for those that prefer to knit) (Picture at top of page).

Lisa says: “On my last visit to the Watermill I was inspired by the filet crochet which was on sale at the local market, which is used for beautiful table cloths and window dressings.

In addition, Lisa will be demonstrating the art of embellishment for those knitters who are happiest knitting in stocking stitch but want to add colour and pattern to their project with embroidery.

 

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.29 September – 6 October 2018 

Lisa Richardson Two places left

Knitting and La Bella Vita

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

If you’d like to fill one of those remaining spaces and, perhaps, bring your nkp, we’d love to welcome you here.

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

The Watermill sitting room, an ideal place to knit and chat. Picture: Phil Wright.

A writing tip (or three) from Jo Parfitt

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Jo Parfitt, who is returning to The Watermill next Autumn to take one of her unique courses on Writing your life stories, has sent us not one but three tips to help you on you writing journey. They are very short (succinctness is next to Godliness!), but you’ll never hear better advice.

Brande book coverJo says: “My favourite writing tip of all time comes from Dorothea Brande, the 1950s author of Becoming a Writer. She believes that if you truly want to be a writer you need to commit to writing at a specific time every day for just ten minutes. If you can’t commit to that then you don’t seriously want to be a writer.”

 Goldberg book coverJo adds: “Natalie Goldberg, in her seminal book on free-writing Writing Down the Bones, writes: ‘Put your pen on the paper and just go.’ That to me, is the most basic of all writing lessons.”

And thirdly; “Writers cannot afford to keep their writing secret. The only way you can find out what works and what doesn’t is to get feedback.” The highlight of any Jo Parfitt workshop is the feedback sessions. At The Watermill in Tuscany this takes place daily on the vine terrace with a glass of the house cocktail. What could be more perfect?”

Jo Parfitt has published 31 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors get into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. She’s an inspiring, compassionate and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.

Jo’s Write Your Life Story creative writing course is designed to help you produce your best work, to find your true writer’s ‘voice’ and to write authentically. Among other things, you’ll discover the secret of SPICE, the seven steps to writing life stories, and put this into practice right away. The course will run from 22 to 29 September 2018.

Jo says: “The course at the watermill will provide a safe haven in which to unlock your creativity, write from your heart and hone your writing craft. It will also help to remove blocks to your writing. Sessions at the mill will empower students to write in a compelling way that makes real experiences come to life.”

Bring your experiences of life to life!

Bring your experiences of life to life!

Jo adds: “The class will include several methods and genre and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.”

Jo plus picJo Parfitt
22 September to 29 September 2018 
Write Your Life Stories

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

 

Mike’s Scilly sketches capture the essence of the islands in a few strokes

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our friend and Watermill watercolour painting tutor Mike Willdridge and his delightful wife Sue have recently returned from a week on St Martin’s in the Isles of Scilly. Mike has sent me a couple of watercolours (with black ink) of part of St Agnes, the smallest and least inhabited island of the five main islands and the southernmost settlement in England.

Mike says: “I’ve tried to capture something of the ruggedness and isolation of this island using as few marks as possible and working quickly into my sketchbook.”

Mike Scilly 2

Mike will be back at The Watermill next year, from Saturday 8 September to Saturday 15 September 2018, and we’d love you to join us for his fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring week. Mike will teach primarily in watercolours, but he is skilled in, and happy to teach in, gouache and acrylics too.

Mike is particularly keen on all forms of drawing as a way of recording and responding to everyday events. As you seem, 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. Below are a couple of his ‘Posara’ sketches, which were demonstrations made when out ‘on location’.Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Blog Mike beginners 3

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.

A comment from a guest on one of Mike’s previous courses at The Watermill: A wonderful holiday. You were such generous and friendly hosts and Mike was an excellent painting tutor.”  Another said: “The food was exceptional and the mill itself is great, in such a beautiful setting. A truly wonderful week in every respect.”

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!

mike plus pic

8-15 September 2018 

Mike Willdridge

Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

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

Early Bird discount: book now!

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.

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

Mike’s picture of the millstream rushing beneath gardener Flavio’s famous bridge

Claire’s yoga retreat is inspired by the elements and the purity and beauty of our surroundings

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Claire Murphy: elemental themes

After what one of our guests called a fabulously revitalising week, on her yoga retreat this year, Claire Murphy has been working hard on an even more inspiring itinerary for next year. She tells us: “The title of the retreat is Nourish Your Elemental Self and it will include yoga, meditation, creative writing & art journalling.”

Inspired by the elements, Claire has been allotting themes for each day:

Sunday: Earth
Monday: Water
Tuesday: Fire
Thursday: Air
Friday: Ether

… all part of our aim to nourish your mind, body and soul.

We’ll nourish your soul and spirit on rural walks and visits to ancient walled towns and hilltop villages, castles and convents. You’ll also savour the relaxed atmosphere of la bella vita italiana in local cafes, shops, restaurants and markets. The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

We’ll venture a little journal writing and painting in The Watermill studio overlooking the river or under the shade of the vine verandah to nourish your mind and creativity.

Nourish creativityAnd we’ll nourish your body with fresh, home-cooked, nutritionally balanced meals lovingly prepared by the Watermill cooks, with many of the ingredients freshly picked from The Watermill’s own gardens. There will be vegetarian options for every meal, of course.