Archives for May 2018

Capturing the atmosphere of a Watermill painting course

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Our thanks to Katherine Rice, a guest on Sandra Strohschein’s painting course here, for these atmospheric pictures taken out on location on Monday and Tuesday this week.

Above, the louring walls of Verrucola castle and the menacing clouds massing over the Apennines (the rain kept off). Below, scenes from Fivizzano on market day: first, a flower stall:

And here’s the Ricci gelateria, venue for scoops of delicious homemade ice cream after lunch:

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

Thank you, Katherine, for sharing these with us

Which reminds me. Why not enter the Watermill photographic competition, with first prize of a free holiday here in 2019?

It’s simple really: first prize goes to the photograph we judge to be the one that most reflects the ambiance of the mill. We are particularly interested in shots that show our ‘students’ in action, both at ‘work’ and play, although we’d also like to see great photos of the Watermill, its grounds and the surrounding countryside, and of the flora and fauna that abound in this environmentally protected area.

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

A swallowtail butterfly at the Watermill, by Lara Breckon

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

Knitting concentration by guest Phil Wright

The winner will be offered a free week-long creative holiday at the Watermill in 2019, of his or her choice, subject to availability.

There will be five runner-up prizes, of £GBP200 off a creative holiday at The Watermill in 2019, subject to availability. Find out more by clicking here.

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

Come drink the wine – and paint the demijohns!

Painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Here’s a wonderful watercolour demonstration painting of one of our collection of old demijohns (vessels for storing wine) in The Watermill courtyard made by our lovely American tutor Sandra Strohschein. She’s tutor to a fun group of eight Americans, three Canadians and two Brits. We are nothing is not cosmopolitan at The Watermill!

The demijohns are collected by our gardener Flavio Terenzoni (people use stainless steel drums these days to ferment their wine and throw these lovely old glass vessels away!) and displayed in the Watermill courtyard. Here’s a picture of them  by my daughter Lara Breckon.

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

Come and see them for yourselves (and drink our wine, served in more demure carafes!)

Due to last minute cancellations, we still have a place or two left on Sandra’s courses in the next few weeks.

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
2 June to 9 June 2018 1 place or two sharing
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
9 June to 16 June 2018 2/3 places
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
16 June to 23 June 2018 1 place or two sharing
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 

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!

Last minute cancellation frees Vasari for Sandra’s June 16 painting course

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

Due to a last minute cancellation, we now have our Vasari Suite free for Sandra Strohschein’s inspiring painting course. It is ideal for a couple or two people sharing. If there’s only one of you, we’ll jiggle our bookings and give you your own single bedroom, with en suite bathroom. Please click here for more details of Sandra’s course, and here for details of all our rooms.

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

The bedroom of the Vasari suite

We’d love to welcome you here. Sandra is our artist in residence for four weeks and our gusts on her first week, running now, are already having a wonderful time. Today everyone is painting in the nearby walled Medieval town of Fivizzano, enjoying the sights and sounds of the market. Above is Sandra’s wonderful painting of the sqaure on market day, which hangs in the Watermill sitting room.

Yesterday we visited the castle and village of Verrucola and, as well as painting, enjoyed a fabulous friendly meal in the al Castello trattoria. Here’s guest Sarah Haden’s picture of Sandra demonstrating there.

And here’ a lovely picture by another guest, Ros Harper of an early morning sun on the vine verandah:The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Please join for a fun-filled, sun-filled week:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
16 June to 23 June 2018 –1/2 places
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

Brightening our local town with a bicycle made for fun

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.This bright and flowery mauve bicycle has just been put in place outside the Caffe del Angelo half way up the via Roma in the nearby walled Medieval town of Fivizzano. Complimenti to the café owners for their aesthetic enterprise, which really adds to the town’s ambiance.

You can come and see the bicycle during one of our fun-filled, sun-filled creative weeks this year. We still have a few places left on our 2018 painting courses (and on our memoir writing course). Details below.

And we are already taking bookings for our 2019 creative courses, with a special offer of any 2019 creative week at 2018 prices. Please go to our 2019 courses preview section, by clicking here.

Availability on 2018 creative courses at the Watermill.

Painting:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
9 June to 16 June 2018 –1 place or 2 sharing
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 

Andrew plus pic

Andrew Geeson
23 June to 30 June 2018 –1 place or 2 sharing

Watercolours
To learn more about Andrew, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

terry plus picTerry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018 – still places
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

Nel and Bec plus picRebecca de Mendonça & Nel Whatmore
1 September to 8 September 2018 – 1 place
Pastels
To learn more about Rebecca & Nel, their course and to see more of their pictures, please visit their Profile Page

 

mike plus picMike Willdridge
8 September to 15 September 2018 1 place
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Claire Warner 
15 September to 22 September 2018 –1 place or 2 sharing
Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)
To learn more about Claire, her course and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page.

On our Writing you Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

Write Your Life Stories
Jo Parfitt

18 August to 25 August 2018 3 places

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

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

Terry Jarvis’ lovely watercolour of market day in nearby Fivizzano, where we go on location during our painting week

A friends’ reunion at the Watermill

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.This delightful picture shows Lana Marie Paris and Swanthra Cooke, two friends who met on a painting course here last year and who were reunited yesterday at the beginning of Sandra Strohschein’s week.

And here’s Sandra’s own picture of some of the group painting in the Walled Garden after her morning demonstration:

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

We’re looking forward to a fun-filled, inspiring week.

Sandra is with us for four weeks this month and we have one bedroom left on her week from 9 June to 16 June. So, if you’d like to make a last-minute booking, now is your chance.

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
9 June to 16 June 2018 –1/2 places
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 

And Sandra will be back for two weeks next year, from 1-8 June 2019 and 8-15 June 2019. There’s more in our 2019 courses preview, which you can see by clicking here.

And there’s a special offer: all our 2019 creative courses at 2018 prices if you book now!

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

Memories of a wonderful week

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Proudly showing off their work are members of our international painting group (from the USA, UK, Australia, Belgium and Kazakhstan) yesterday, on their last evening of Maggie Renner Hellmann’s Courageous Colo(u)r Workshop.

We had a wonderful week, with glorious weather on the last few days. Our thanks to all who attended and to Maggie and her husband Lou, for making the week so inspiring and fun-filled.

By the way, you can join Maggie next year: she’s with us from Saturday 21 September to Saturday 28 September 2019. There’s a special deal that you can enjoy this, or any of our other world-famous creative courses at 2018 prices if you book before September this year. But you’ll have to hurry: we’ve only one or two places left! For a preview of all our 2019 courses, please click here.

If you can wait until next year we still have a few places left on our creative courses this season.

Painting:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
9 June to 16 June 2018 –1/2 places
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 

Andrew plus pic

Andrew Geeson
23 June to 30 June 2018 – 1/2 places

Watercolours
To learn more about Andrew, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

terry plus picTerry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018 – still places
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

Nel and Bec plus picRebecca de Mendonça & Nel Whatmore
1 September to 8 September 2018 – 1/2 places
Pastels
To learn more about Rebecca & Nel, their course and to see more of their pictures, please visit their Profile Page

 

mike plus picMike Willdridge
8 September to 15 September 2018 1 place
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Claire Warner 
15 September to 22 September 2018 1/2 places
Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)
To learn more about Claire, her course and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page.

 

On our Writing your Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

Write Your Life Stories
Jo Parfitt

18 August to 25 August 2018 Three places

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

 

A panorama inside our local church, by Cliff Anderson

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.I don’t think anyone at the Watermill, in the 25+ years we have been here, has ever taken a picture of inside of the parish church of Fivizzano, the nearby walled Medieval town which is the administrative centre of our district.

But now, with the power of his iPhone X camera, Watermill guest Cliff Anderson has remedied that. Above is his splendid panorama of the interior of the church of Saints James and Antony in the Piazza Medicea in the centre of the town. Thank you for sharing it with us Cliff. And for this rather fine study of three local gentlemen enjoying each other’s company on market day in the rain.

Yesterday had quite a religious atmosphere, with our guests on Maggie Renner Hellmann’s wonderful painting course, enjoying the tranquillity of the nearby Convento del Carmine, a 16th Century monastery a little beyond and above Fivizzano, with views over the town and the surrounding hills.The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

The convent (that’s what they call it, although the inmates were monks, not nuns) is of the Carmelite order and dates back to 1568. The Renaissance-style building has cloisters with sandstone columns and lunettes decorated with murals. It is surrounded by lovely gardens and 17 secluded hectares of pines, walnut, chestnut, cypress and fruit trees, meadows and streams. A perfect place to paint and relax. Maggie sent me the pictures below.

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

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

 

 

The spirit of the Watermill

Painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.This delightful watercolour demonstration painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann captures the essence of the Watermill: our sunny courtyard, comfortable cushions, the interplay of light and shade…

Mind you, it hasn’t always been sunny this week. We’ve endured heavy rain and noisy thunderstorms.  But it looks like being good weather today as our guests go off to paint at the tranquil Convento di Carmine.

If you’d like to join us this year, we still have a few places left on our 2018 painting courses (and on our memoir writing course). Details below.

And we are already taking bookings for our 2019 creative courses, with a special offer of any 2019 creative week at 2018 prices. Please go to our 2019 courses preview section, by clicking here.

Availability on 2018 creative courses at the Watermill.

Painting:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein

2 June to 9 June 2018
  1/2 places

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
9 June to 16 June 2018 –1/2 places
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 

Andrew plus pic

Andrew Geeson
23 June to 30 June 2018 – 1/2 places

Watercolours
To learn more about Andrew, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

terry plus picTerry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018 – still places
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

Nel and Bec plus picRebecca de Mendonça & Nel Whatmore
1 September to 8 September 2018  1 place
Pastels
To learn more about Rebecca & Nel, their course and to see more of their pictures, please visit their Profile Page

 

mike plus picMike Willdridge
8 September to 15 September 2018 1 place
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Claire Warner 
15 September to 22 September 2018 1/2 places
Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)
To learn more about Claire, her course and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page.

 

On our Writing you Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

Write Your Life Stories
Jo Parfitt

18 August to 25 August 2018 3 places

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

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

‘Last light Tuscany’, by Maggie Renner Hellmann

A walk from a castle to a pilgrim church

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.This stone angel can be found at the parish church in Pognana and was taken by Watermill guest Cliff Anderson when he and his fellow non-painting partner Richard Hausman took the walk across the valley of the Mommio river while the painters on Maggie Renner Hellmann’s week painted the castle and village of Verrucola. Thank you for sharing it with us, Cliff.

The walk begins below the castle on an ancient path across a Medieval arched bridge over a river gorge.  It ends at the 12th Century Romanesque church of Santa Maria Assunta di Pognana, one of the churches on the pilgrim trail to Rome, the Via Francigena.

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

Cliff’s panoramic view down the valley from Pognana church.

As well as the ancient bridge over the river gorge and the great views down the valley from Pognana to Fivizzano and beyond, our walkers were able to enjoy the church bell phenomenon. On a good day, with little wind, you can hear four different churches tell you the time. But they are not synchronised, so each strikes the hour (and the half hour) at slightly different time. 1230 is an exciting time to be here!

Meanwhile the painters were looking for somewhere to paint in Verrucola:

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

Photo: Maggie Renner Hellmann

The Pognana walk is just one of the fun activities we offer non-painting (or non-writing, non-knitting, non-language-learning) partners. You can see more by clicking here. There is also a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you. Our 2018 courses are pretty full, but there are a few places left:

Painting:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein

2 June to 9 June 2018
 – 1/2 places

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
9 June to 16 June 2018 –1/2 places
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 

Andrew plus pic

Andrew Geeson
23 June to 30 June 2018 – 1/2 places

Watercolours
To learn more about Andrew, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

terry plus picTerry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018 – still places
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

Nel and Bec plus picRebecca de Mendonça & Nel Whatmore
1 September to 8 September 2018 – 1/2 places
Pastels
To learn more about Rebecca & Nel, their course and to see more of their pictures, please visit their Profile Page

 

mike plus picMike Willdridge
8 September to 15 September 2018 1 place
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Claire Warner 
15 September to 22 September 2018 1/2 places
Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)
To learn more about Claire, her course and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page.

 

On our Writing you Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

Write Your Life Stories
Jo Parfitt

18 August to 25 August 2018 Still a few places

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

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

 

A sunny courtyard between the showers!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, yoga holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Here’s a colourful oil painting by Watermill guest Michelle Haussman of our courtyard and flowers. We’ve been dodging the thunder showers, but there have been many sunny periods for painting and the rain hasn’t dampened the spirits of our international painting group (from the USA, UK, Australia, Belgium and Kazakhstan) on Maggie Renner Hellmann’s Courageous Colo(u)r Workshop.

By the way, you can join Maggie next year: she’s with us from Saturday 21 September to Saturday 28 September 2019. There’s a special deal that you can enjoy this, or any of our other world-famous creative courses at 2018 prices if you book before September this year. But you’ll have to hurry: we’ve only one or two places left! For more details, please click here. Maggie’s acrylic below is called, appropriately, Tuscan Magic:

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