Archives for January 2018

Artistic postcards: Here’s another from Sandra

Painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Yesterday, you may remember, we showed you some of the postcards our painting tutor Michel Willdridge makes for his grandchildren whenever he is away.  And today, I discovered another artistic postcard from our delightful artist in residence Sandra Strohschein. She’ll be with us for four weeks this May/June, so she’ll have plenty of time to make lots of cards, like the one above.

Why not come and join her? Her first two weeks here are sold out, but we’ve spaces on the week 9-16 June and 16-23 June. More details below.

Oh, and here’s yet another artistic postcard, or rather an artistic icon made into a postcard. I wonder what Michelangelo would have written?  “Ceiling taking longer than I thought. Client difficult. Wish I was at The Watermill.”

Blog Sandra michangelo postcards

Michelangelo won’t make it here, but you can!

Sandra Strohschein is our ‘painter in residence’ for most of June next year: she will be with us for four weeks, from May 26 to June 23. They promise to be the greatest fun. Sandra will teach in watercolour, but she says: “Students may choose to paint in acrylic or pastel as well as, or instead of, watercolour. I can instruct on how to put together a painting as far as composition, light, values etc… I cannot handle oil as I am allergic but pencil, acrylic, pastel…perfectly fine.”

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

Sandra under the rose pergola in the Watermill walled garden. Come and join our early Summer ‘artist in residence.’

We had a wonderful course with Sandra last year and our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A couple of their comments: “Sandra was full of enthusiasm and talent and made every day a joy.  To have two chances most days to paint was utter heaven and in such wonderful surroundings. I didn’t paint a masterpiece but thoroughly enjoyed my week.  I hope to remember some of the tricks Sandy taught us and use them in the future.”

 “Many thanks to you both for a fabulous week. Your forethought, hard work and professionalism are very much appreciated. Nothing was too much trouble and nothing was at fault. You have created a gem. Please pass on our sincere gratitude to all your lovely people.”Sandra garden and painting

Sandra Strohschein head and shouldersSandra 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. Another painting guest on her course at the mill said: “Watching your demonstrations was such an education and your kind and patient individual help was invaluable.”  

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!

 Sandra plus picSandra Strohshein

Watercolours

26 May to 2 June, 2-9 June, 9-16 June AND 16-23 June 2018

Please click here to learn more about Sandra’s painting holidays at The Watermill.

Come and join us and savour the magic of The Watermill!

 

PS. If you don’t want to make you own postcards, we’ll give you some of ours free — and provide free stamps!

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

The warm and sunlit Watermill courtyard, on a free postcard!

 

Join Mike and make your own postcard memories

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our enthusiastic and inspiring watercolour painting tutor Mike Willdridge has just been visiting his daughter and grandchildren in Australia and he tells me: “For the last eight years, wherever I’ve travelled, I’ve drawn postcards for all my grandchildren (now four of them) and I was surprised to find so many of the cards posted on my daughter’s kitchen cabinets here in Australia.” Above is a card that Mike sent last year from the Isles of Scilly, off the South-west of England. And here’s another:

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

Mike says: “Both are drawn in watercolour and ink and are based on found objects from the beaches.”

And here are a few more Mike found in his daughter’s house, made on an earlier trip to Australia, all influenced by indigenous art.

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

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

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

Mike says: “You may recall that I’ve often encouraged my students at the Watermill to make postcards for their loved ones. No doubt those coming to me this year will receive the same treatment!

Mike new head and shoulders FINALMike Willdridge 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. 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.

Blog Mike beginners 3

Mike 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 aperitivi, 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

 

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.

By popular demand, a second edition of Jo’s Write your Life Story course

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.Following yesterday’s article in the London Times newspaper, we have had a surge of enquiries for Jo Parfitt’s writing your life stories week at the Watermill. It was picked by the paper’s Italy travel expert Annabelle Thorpe as among the 50 best Italian holidays for 2018.

Jo’s first week with us, from 22-29 September, is now completely full, so ‘by popular demand’, we’ve opened a second week here for Jo. Her new Write Your Life Stories week will run from Saturday 18 August to Saturday 25 August 2018. We’ve been told that this is an ideal time for many people, such as people who work in schools and universities, who can only take time off in the academic holidays and, of course, anyone who want to come is welcome. You won’t regret it! As one student on Jo’s last course here said: “I can honestly say it’s been life changing for me and the setting could not have been more perfect.”

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

We already have bookings coming in for this new week, so if you would like to join us, please let us know as soon as you can and we’ll make sure you have a place reserved.

Jo’s Write Your Life Story creative writing courses are 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. To re-cap, the new course will run from 18 to 25 August 2018.

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

Jo Parfitt
18 August to 25 August 2018 AND 

22 September to 29 September 2018

Write Your Life Stories

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

The Times commends Jo’s Watermill writing course

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.There’s an enthusiastic mention in The Times of London today about Jo Parfitt’s writing your life stories week at the Watermill, part of an article by the paper’s Italy travel expert Annabelle Thorpe, who has picked it as among the 50 best Italian holidays for 2018.

Here’s the piece: Writing in Tuscany
Most writing holidays tend to focus on fiction, but this Write Your Life Stories week at the Watermill at Posara (September 22 to 29) focuses on nonfiction, blogging and memoir. The course mixes sessions on the craft of writing with advice on how to pitch work to agents and publishers, and there’s a chance to explore the surrounding countryside with optional afternoon excursions. Non-writing partners are welcome.
The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

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.

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

Fast and loose Poppies for you from Andrew

Painting by Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our talented and inspiring English watercolour tutor Andrew Geeson has a reputation for painting ‘fast and loose’ and we thought you might like to see him in action, via one of his You Tube videos. This one is simply called Poppies and it’s fun to watch oits speedy creation. Grab a cup of tea and coffee, then click here and sit back and enjoy.

Blog Andre poppies 1

We are looking forward to watching Andrew work around the Watermill and in our lovely Tuscan countryside when he visits us this Summer. He will be with us from Saturday 23 to Saturday 30 June 2018. There’s a link to more details about his course here below.

Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Andrew Geeson, from Leicester in the UK, has been a professional watercolourist for more than 20 years. He has taught hundreds of students on holidays and in workshops and, increasingly, on-line were he enjoys a large following. He says: “I love the simplicity and joy of watercolours and my passion and aim is inspire and encourage students to paint in a loose a free manner. The joy it brings is unmatched and everyone should try it. I am keen to share my excitement with others.”  As one of his students says: Superb work. Beautiful loose style, this is how watercolours should be!”

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

Andrew specialises in a wet-into-wet style of watercolours: “This quick, fun and rewarding approach to watercolour painting allows you to capture your subject, whatever it may be, in the most atmospheric way without the constraints of over detailing.  Being spontaneous, immediate and atmospheric, it allows you to express more than the subject of the painting Come along and give it a try.  I think you may find a new world of painting.”

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!

Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Painting by Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.23-30 June 2018 

Andrew Geeson

Watercolours

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

Painting en plein air. What do I need to take? Practical advice from Terry Jarvis

Painting by Terry Jarvis, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.In one of our recent blogs Watermill painting tutor Terry Jarvis suggested we should write as well as paint on location! Intrigued? Click here to see the article.

Today he has some practical advice on what to take with you when painting en plein air. Terry says: You’ve got to take all you need to produce a lovely watercolour, but since you’ve got to carry it, cull it to the bare necessities! Don’t be tempted to take all the stuff you have at your disposal in your studio!”

Terry’s ‘outdoor’ kit usually includes: (the comments in brown are Bill’s).

  • A large block of 300gsm Cold Pressed Watercolour paper
  • A 24-set of Maimerie Blu watercolours (tubes and pans)
  • Brushes: One Squirrel Mop and one each of 8, 6, 3 and 1, all with good points
  • A rag to wipe the brushes
  • A collapsible water container (The Watermill provides these so it’s one less thing to bring.)
  • A sketchbook with a couple of 2B pencils
  • An easel (You can bring your own, but the Watermill will provide a folding, lightweight one to take on location.)
  • Insect repellent (The Watermill has some if you forget!)
  • Sun block (The Watermill has some if you forget!)
  • A hat (We have a few to lend if you forget yours!)
  • A coat if it’s cold (unlikely at the Watermill!)
  • Two litres of water, some to paint with, some to drink! (The Watermill will provide you with drinking water and there’s running water at every location for painting.)
  • Something to eat (You can take some fruit from the Watermill, but lunch is provided at at every location.)

Terry says: “I like to stand and paint so that I can step back and look at the work every now and then.” (Bill says: The Watermill provides lightweight folding seats, if you prefer to sit.”)

Don-t forget you hat!

Don’t forget you hat!

That’s all you need to get started. Terry says: “This is my en plein air painting kit, but a small board with some sheets of 300gsm watercolour paper taped to it and a small bag of supplies as listed would suffice and you are ready!” (The Watermill supplies drawing boards.)

Terry will provide all participants on his course at the Watermill with a materials list well before the starting date, with more notes about paper, paints and brushes etc., but these will only be suggestions and we’ll get along well with whatever you bring.

Terry will be with us again next year at The Watermill, so come and enjoy the fresh air of rural Tuscany with him and capture it with your brush.

Terry in studio 2017Terry 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 mediums too. He loves drawing and helping his students to develop their drawing skills.

Here’s what one guest on Terry’s Watermill course this year had to say: “I wanted to thank you for a most wonderful stay at The Watermill.  Your treatment of us was terrific.  Six stars doesn’t come close!  I enjoyed every minute. Terry’s course was great.  He is an excellent teacher – very encouraging and knows how to bring out the best in his students.  He has a great personality.”

Another said: “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.”

terry plus pic7-14 July 2018 

Terry Jarvis

Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)

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

Come and join us and enjoy a six-star, sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring week!

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

A colo(u)rful reminder of Summer from Maggie

Painting by Maggie Renner Hoffmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.This magnificent sunflower was painted by Maggie Renner Hellmann, one of our talented Watermill painting tutors.We hope it brightens a Winter day.

We can promise you bright days and enthusiastic and inspiring tuition when Maggie joins us here again this May for another of her Courageous Colo(u)r workshops.

Here’s what some of her guests said about her course here last year: Maggie is good at teaching in all mediums and with all levels.   She did wonderful demos in watercolour, acrylic, pastel and oil.  Every day we did critiques together and learned from each other. I highly recommend this art workshop as well as the most wonderful accommodation with great food and wine. A little piece of heaven in experiencing Italy.”

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

Out on location in the glorious Tuscan countryside

Another commented: “Our experiences at the Watermill were definitely the highlights of our tours! Maggie’s gentle and helpful manner coupled with technical skill and aesthetic sense opened the gates of motivation for students, making them comfortable in their new surroundings and primed for an exciting creative experience in those beautiful hills of Tuscany. I also appreciated Maggie’s husband, Lou’s ready assists for our physical comforts. What a dream adventure, the two of you, along with Bill and Lois, prepared for all of us!”!

Maggie Monte 2

Here’s a lovely oil painting by Maggie, of the village of Vernazza in the Cinque Terre. It is based on a sketch she made there during her week here and finished off in her studio:

Painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy

Maggie H&SMaggie Renner Hellmann is a contemporary California artist who paints with love, passion and energy. Her work is characterized by a unique blend of loose, energetic brushwork and strong compositions of exuberant colour. She says: I love the joy of color and the poetry of brushwork.”

Maggie is also an enthusiastic tutor who has been teaching for more than 15 years – and loves it! Her workshop will cover oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolour. She will encourage the beginner and challenge the more advanced painter. Maggie says: In this plein air workshop, we will paint in various spectacular Tuscan locations. You’ll learn about, and practise, 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!”

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre-dinner aperitivi, 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!

We have 10 people already booked in for this course, two of whom are non-painting partners, so we have room for a couple more painters (and their mates!)

maggie plus pic

9-16 May 2018 

Maggie Renner Hellmann

Oils, acrylics, pastels, watercolours

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

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

Aphrodite kidnapped. A bust of the goddess, normally in the Watermill sitting room, placed artistically in the walled garden.

 

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Claire’s everyday tips to enhance your life: simple teatime meditataion

Blog yoga Tea-Coffee MeditationOur lovely yoga tutor, Claire Murphy, who will be back for another of her relaxing and inspiring retreats here later in the year, believes in incorporating yoga and meditation techniques into everyday life.

Here’s one you could try at teatime (or coffee-time come to that!) It will enhance you s senses and enliven you spirits and make your tea (or coffee) even more ‘the cup that cheers’.

Tea /Coffee Meditation

Listen to the sound of water as you fill the kettle

Take a moment to smell the tea / coffee before you place it in your cup

Notice the thoughts / feelings you have as you anticipate the taste of your drink

Pouring the hot water – listen to the sounds of the spoon as you stir in milk or sugar

Enjoy the warmth of your cup as you lift it and take a moment to savour the smell before taking a sip

If you can, try and enjoy your drink without any distractions (e.g.: looking at your phone).

Why don’t you join us to learn more on Claire’s unique seven-day  retreat, which will run from Saturday 25 August to Saturday 1 September 2018?

Claire Murphy H&SYoga, meditation and massage have been a way of life for Claire Murphy for more than 25 years and she’s passionate about teaching them. Together we’ve created a unique seven-day programme to Nourish your soul, mind and body.

We’ll nourish your soul 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.

As well as yoga and meditation, 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 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. Private sessions with a local Shiatsu practitioner are also available, at cost, on request

Claire’s yoga retreat is inspired by the beauty of this area and by the elements and she’s been working hard on an even more inspiring itinerary for next year. She tells us: The theme of the retreat is Nourish Your Elemental Self and it will include yoga, meditation, creative writing & art journaling.”

Claire has been allotting specific themes for each day: Sunday: Earth; Monday: Water; Tuesday: Fire; Thursday: Air and Friday: Ether. Claire’s working up the itineraries, which will include activities in the Watermill gardens, along the millstream and river and, of course, breathing in the wonderfully pure air of this environmentally protected area.

The air, the sun, the sound of the church bells brought a special feeling of lightness and childlike joy to the proceedings.” That’s a comment from one of the participants on Claire’s retreat at The Watermill last year. Another said: “The Watermill is such a stunning, peaceful, green and quiet. We are pampered and well looked-after” 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.As for the yoga, here’s what another of this year’s guests had to say:  “The yoga retreat was the perfect mix of physical postures, meditation and thoughtful contemplation in glorious mountain surroundings. I particularly appreciated how you created a gentle space for all attendees no matter where they were on their yoga journey or what physical issues they were dealing with. The journaling and art prompts offered the opportunity for creative experimentation and expansion. All in all, a fabulously revitalising week.”

Yoga in the Watermill studio

Yoga in the Watermill studio

goes on.

Claire plus picNourish — mind, body and soul

Claire Murphy

25 August – 1 September 2018

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

Clair yoga video 2

 

 

The Watermill January newsletter is just out…

Blog Jan 18 newsletter…with reports on

  • why The Week online thinks our painting courses are among the best in the world
  • our first-ever ‘painter in residence’, Sandra Strohschein
  • why you should WRITE when you paint, by Terry Jarvis
  • why you should dress like an onion in the wintry weather
  • how a yoga week with Claire Murphy can revitalise your life.

Intrigued? Find out more by clicking here.

Happy in the rain. An arresting watercolour from Sandra Strohschein

Sandra Hurrying in the rainIsn’t this a vibrant and evocative painting from our wonderful watercolour painting tutor Sandra Strohschein? She calls is Happy Rain and looking at the lively figures, we can see exactly what she means.

Thinking of rain, one of my favourite paintings by Sandra (you can see it hanging in the Watermill sitting room) is of a red house in the main square of Fivizzano, a nearby walled medieval town, also painted in the rain.

A painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor on painting courses at The Watermill at Posara, Tuscany Italy

The square in nearby Fivizzano on market day

I can’t guarantee it won’t rain at all during Sandra’s week-long courses, but the vast majority of your days here in June with Sandra will be sun-filled, to say nothing of fun-filled and inspiring.

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

Sandra in the sunshine beside the rose pergola in the Watermill walled garden.

Sandra Strohschein is our ‘painter in residence’ for most of June next year: she will be with us for four weeks, from May 26 to June 23. They promise to be the greatest fun – and the first two weeks are completely booked up already.

Sandra says:  The Watermill is one of my favourite place to paint and the hospitality is out of this world.I  love the idea of being there for four weeks. What fun! I’ve made so many great friends over the years at the Watermill and I am looking forward to meeting many of them again as well as making new friends during our painting weeks. I enjoy painting at home or abroad with friends: it is all wonderful.

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

Poppies as the Watermill, a demonstration picture by Sandra Strohschein

*Sandra will teach in watercolour, but she says: “Students may choose to paint in acrylic or pastel as well as, or instead of, watercolour. I can instruct on how to put together a painting as far as composition, light, values etc… I cannot handle oil as I am allergic but pencil, acrylic, pastel…perfectly fine.”

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

Painters at the mill: Watercolour by Sandra Strohschein

 As I said, the weeks May 26 to June 2 and June 2 to June 9 are fully booked (you can join a waiting list if these are the only dates you can make.) We already have eigt guests booked in for the week June 9 to June 16 (and a couple more in the pipeline), and three for the week June 16 to June 23, so now is the time to book on these amazing courses.

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

The warm and sunlit Watermill courtyard

We had a wonderful course with Sandra earlier this year and our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A couple of their comments: “Sandra was full of enthusiasm and talent and made every day a joy.  To have two chances most days to paint was utter heaven and in such wonderful surroundings. I didn’t paint a masterpiece but thoroughly enjoyed my week.  I hope to remember some of the tricks Sandy taught us and use them in the future.”

 “Many thanks to you both for a fabulous week. Your forethought, hard work and professionalism are very much appreciated. Nothing was too much trouble and nothing was at fault. You have created a gem. Please pass on our sincere gratitude to all your lovely people.”

Sandra Strohschein head and shouldersSandra 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. Another painting guest on her course at the mill said: “Watching your demonstrations was such an education and your kind and patient individual help was invaluable.”  

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!

 Sandra plus picSandra Strohshein

Watercolours

26 May to 2 June, 2-9 June, 9-16 June AND 16-23 June 2018

Please click here to learn more about Sandra’s painting holidays at The Watermill.

Come and join us and savour the magic of The Watermill!

Painting on a balcony overlooking the garden

Painting on a balcony overlooking the garden