Archives for September 2018

Ready for the off!

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

This was the scene this morning as we prepared for Lisa Richardson’s knitting course at the Watermill.

Lisa has produced two knitting projects for our group to try: the first, the lovely cushion in the foreground of this picture. It’s been a lovely sunny day today, not too hot, and our 10 knitters have been enjoying themselves tackling the project under the Vine Verandah and in other quiet corners around the mill.

We are looking forward to a week of fun and camaraderie. Our thanks to Lea Marissen for the photo.

Next year’s knitting courses at the mill are pretty full, though we do have some places on Sarah Hazel’s course in May 2019. You can see more by clicking here. We’d love you to join us!

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

Knitting concentration on one of Sarah’s courses, by guest Phil Wright

Are two weeks long enough for Sandra Strohschein?

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

Concentration in the studio. Picture Keith Strohschein.

We had a wonderful four weeks of painting earlier this year with Sandra Strohschein and we are delighted to say that she is returning to the Watermill again in 2019 for two special week-long courses in watercolours.

Now we are asking ourselves: are two weeks enough? Because, although we haven’t even finished our 2018 season, bookings in general for 2019 are flowing in fast. And for Sandra’s two courses (1-8 June and 8-15 June), we are already almost full!

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

Time for conversation in the Watermill Walled Garden. Picture: Sandra Strohchein

In fact, we have nine bookings for her first week, one of whom is a non-painting partner, so we only have room for four more painters (and any non-painting partners who may accompany them). And Sandra’s second week, from 8-15 June 2019, is completely full.

If you’d like to join us, it’s clear you better get your skates on, especially as you can now take advantage of our Early Bird discount offer: if you book before 31 December 2018 on Sandra’s course, there is £75 discount. So now is the time to bag one of those last four places on her first week.

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

Hard at work in the Watermill walled garden.

It’s hardly surprising that Sandra is painting weeks are so popular. Here are just a few of the comments from our guests on her courses this year (there were many more):

A lovely and memorable week at the Watermill. It was although everything was magically suspended for a week and all I had to do was to show up for one delightful painting session after another with Sandra.

An awesomely fantastic week at the Watermill. Sandy is a superb artist; which we all know from her works. Apart from that, she is an excellent instructor & doesn’t hold back even the tiniest secrets of how she has reached where she is now & shares all her big and small tips with her students.

What a very special week it was. It was all so well managed and thoughtfully organised, it was so peaceful and relaxed. The meals were especially delicious. Sandra was very charming, and I learnt a lot from her. 

It really was the most wonderful week, in a most beautiful and unique setting. Thank you both again for one of the best holidays I have experienced.

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

A welcoming smile from Sandra

Sandra 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.

Please click here to learn more about Sandra and her painting weeks at the Watermill.

And don’t forget that Early Bird discount!  If you book before 31 December 2018 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount (about $100) on Sandra’s 2019 painting holiday.  Come and join us and see what all the fuss is about!

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

A sudden squall on location!

A warm welcome to the new knitting tutor: Debbie Abrahams, blanket and cushion Queen!

Our new knitting tutor for 2019 is the inspiring and exciting Debbie Abrahams, who will be joining us from Saturday 25 May 2019 to Saturday, 1 June 2019. We are delighted to welcome her here.

Debbie has been designing and teaching handknitted textiles for more than 20 years and is a specialist in the field of colour work and beading. Throughout her entire career she has worked alongside renowned handknit company Rowan Yarns, both as a Designer and a Design Consultant for the brand. She has tutored workshops across the UK, Europe and USA.

Debbie is best known for her Mystery Blanket and Cushion Clubs which have been become a global success with more than 1,000 knitters from all over the world signed up to her annual projects. “Blanket squares are the perfect vehicle for my designing, giving me the freedom to explore colour, texture and embellishment within a set number of stitches and rows for each block – it’s just pure adventure!”

On her 2019 Watermill course Debbie will be working on on a specially designed project, incorporating several different knitting techniques, including intarsia, knitting with beads, surface embroidery and textured stitches.

You can see more about Debbie and her course at the Watermill by clicking here.

That’s the good news. The bad news for all Debbie Abrahams fans is that, at present, Debbie’s knitting week at the Watermill is completely booked out, a sign of her great popularity. We do, however, have cancellations and we have opened a waiting list for Debbie’s course. So if you’re keen to come, please let us know and we’ll make sure you’re on that list.

Today’s featured tutor: Keiko Tanabe – communicating an artistic vision

An atmospheric watercolour by Keiko of evening shadows slanting across the Watermill walled garden.

We are delighted to welcome back to the Watermill our lovely watercolour tutor Keiko Tanabe, for a special week-long course in watercolours. She will be with us from Saturday 18 May to Saturday 25 May 2019. We are looking forward to another magical week.

Painting by Keiko Tanabe, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Keiko was born in Kyoto, Japan but now lives in San Diego, California. Mostly self-taught, she embarked on a professional art career in 2005. Since then, her paintings have been in many national and international exhibitions, and she’s gained world-wide recognition. Keiko 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 week-long workshops at The Watermill are designed for students who would like to gain a better understanding of the methods and techniques to make watercolour paintings full of light and atmosphere.

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

Keiko’s watercolour of the River Rosaro that runs beside The Watermill

Here’s what one student had to say: “What a wonderful and memorable week I have had!! The ambiance was just perfect, and Keiko was a wonderful teacher.”  Another added: “Keiko is a fabulous artist and I learned a lot with her…  I had a truly wonderful week at the watermill. It was perfect in every sense… a magical experience.”

You can find out more about Keiko and her course at the Watermill by clicking here.  We already have four people booked into this week, but we still have plenty of room in our beautiful bedrooms (all with en suite bathrooms) and self-contained apartment suites. And don’t forget our enticing Early Bird 0ffer: there is a discount of £75 if you book this or any of our other 2019 creative courses before 31 December 2018.

Come and join us for a magical week with Keiko!

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

Keiko’s watercolour of Manarola in the Cinque Terre, one of the excursion venues during our week at The Watermill

The Watermill October newsletter is just out!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Yes, we are a little early this month (our marvellous Webmaster, Les van Jaarsfeldt has just sped off on a well-deserved break, so he put it all together before he left).

In this month’s edition, we are introducing some of the inspiring new tutors will be coming to the Watermill for the first time in 2019, so in this newsletter we bid a warm welcome to Jude Scott, Debbie Abrahams and Francesca La Sala.

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

This year we have had some extremely pleasing feedback from our guests at the Watermill this year and we are sharing some of their comments in a paean of praise! We’d love to welcome YOU to the Watermill next year, to sample our warm hospitality and inspiring tuition for yourselves. Please reserve your place now AND take advantage of our enticing Early Bird offer: £75 discount on any one of our 2019 creative courses, if you book before the end of 2018.

Knitting design by Debbie Abrahams, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Arabian Nights Mystery Blanket by Debbie Abrahams

Many courses are filling fast, so the Early Birds will not only save money but also ensure that they can capture a place on the course of their choice. Send that booking form in! You know it makes sense – and you deserve it! Please click here to see details of all our 2019 courses.

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

Francesca La Sala enjoying teaching Italian on the vine verandah

In this month’s newsletter there are also stories on:

A reminder of the Watermill photographic competition

A vivacious video from painting tutor Mike Willdridge

Details of all our 2019 creative courses

Some fun photos which may make you smile

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

Ben tornato to Francesca for our Italian language course

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

We are delighted that our old friend Francesca la Sala will be joining us again for our unique Italian Language week next year. She’s been travelling all over the world in the last few years but is now back in her native Lunigiana and will be with us for another inspiring language course. That’s Francesca above explaining the intricacies of the language on the vine verandah. You can join her, soaking up Italian and enjoying la bella vita Italiana from Saturday, 11 May to Saturday, 18 May 2019.

And don’t forget our enticing Early Bird discount offer: if you book this course for the end of 2018, we will give you £75 off the cost of your week. We already have nine people booked into this course, so we have room for only two or three more. Now really is the time to book!

This truly is a ‘course with a difference’. Not only are there formal lessons on the vine verandah (some 20 hours in the week), but we also make trips and excursions to savour the natural beauty of Lunigiana, the area around the mill, to explore its history and culture, to sample its traditional foods – and above all, to meet the people, speak Italian, and practise what you’ve learned.

The Watermill has teamed up again with the prestigious language school Langues Services in Florence to design a week in which people can learn Italian in the most natural and enjoyable way. Your immersion into the language and culture of real Italians will be customised for you, to suit your curiosity and your interests, helping you to treasure everything you learn and make it a seamless part of who you are.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Your tutor Francesca la Sala has been teaching with Langues Services since 2007. She loves meeting people of all ages and cultures. She is also a nature lover and a cognoscente of Lunigiana, the land of her forefathers, where she was raised. This beautiful area of Tuscany surrounds the Watermill. Francesca has an artistic background and has a passion for the figurative and graphic arts, particularly from the Renaissance period and from prehistory; this love adds a further dimension to her teaching.

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

Learn Italian under the shade of the vine verrandah

Here’s a comment from a guest on this year’s course: “Our teacher was brilliant and the lessons were always engaging, and all the other staff were remarkable in their efforts to make the week so perfect. I enjoyed every second. I loved the tranquillity and the natural beauty of the river as well as the wonderful food and convivial company…”

To recap, are inspiring Italian language course will run from 11-18 May 2019To learn more, please click here. It’s rocambolesco!

Picture credit: The Huffington Post

 

Today’s Watermill creative tutor is Sarah Hazell: new techniques, new tips, new friends

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.The renowned knitting designer Sarah Hazell will be with us again next May for her third inspiring course at the watermill. She says: “I am delighted to be returning to the Watermill  and have created a brand-new workshop based on one of my most successful designs – The Phoebe Poncho. I have also been listening to your feedback and am aware that lots of knitters want to understand how they can alter an existing pattern to get a better fit.” That’s Sarah’s daughter Phoebe modelling it above.

So, this year’s project at the Watermill will focus on just that – by demonstrating how a simple folded poncho can be altered for different heights, body shape, arm length and necklines.

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

We call these weeks ‘Knitting and La Bella Vita’ and you will have a wonderfully relaxing holiday in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, with leisurely knitting days, wonderful food and wine as well as learning new skills from Sarah. Her course will run from Saturday 4 May to Saturday 11 May 2019.

Sarah Hazell is an English knitting and crochet designer, and author of several books. You will also have the perfect opportunity to make new friends in the company of like-minded people learning new knitting techniques and tips from Sarah … and enjoying the true, unspoilt Bella Vita. Here’s a comment from a guest on Sarah’s course in 2018: Thanks for such a wonderful week!  It had everything: fun, knowledge, good food and drink.  Like a week out of time!”

You can find out more about Sarah’s sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring week by clicking here.  We’d love you to join us. And don’t forget our tempting Early Bird discount offer: if you book a place on Sarah’s week (or any of our other creative weeks) before 31 December 2018, there is a generous £75 discount. We already have seven people booked into this course, so if you want to be sure of a place, now is the time to book.

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

Knitting concentration on one of Sarah’s courses, by guest Phil Wright

Watermill painting tutor of the day: Paul Talbot-Greaves: patterns and vibrant colours

ainting by Paul Talbot Greaves, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

With the watermill 2019 website now published, giving details of all our creative courses next year (this year’s courses are completely booked up!), we are going to be introducing to you each day the tutors for our famous painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language weeks.

And first up, in chronological order, is painting tutor Paul Talbot-Greaves, who was with us this year for a fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring week. Here are some of the comments the comments from our guests who attended his course last May. One said: “The combination of the place, the excellent art course with Paul Talbot-Greaves and the care from you and your staff made a really lovely experience.” Another added: “I have never received such great treatment on a holiday. You all couldn’t have been kinder. Everything was 5 star, from the food to the bedrooms, to all of your staff. It couldn’t have been any better.”

Paul’s picture above is called Through the Woods. He says: “I like to find interesting subjects in the least expected places. In this picture, I used simple dynamic shadows combined with contrast and appealing colours to create a quick impression of light streaming through the woodland.”

Paul, and his delightful wife Dawn, will be back with us for a special week-long painting course in watercolours from Saturday, 27 April to Saturday, 4 May 2019. We are delighted to welcome them back.

Below is Paul’s picture of daffodils: there should be plenty of them blooming in the Watermill gardens next May.Painting by Paul Talbot-Greaves, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Paul Talbot-Greaves is a professional English painter who works primarily in watercolour. He says: I seek out compositions employing patterns of light, shade and contrast and I aim to achieve vibrancy in the colours that I use.”  His picture above is called Through the Woods. Paul says: I like to find interesting subjects in the least expected places. In this picture, I used simple dynamic shadows combined with contrast and appealing colours to create a quick impression of light streaming through the woodland.”

As well as receiving many accolades for his work, Paul is also an inspiring and sympathetic tutor. As another of his students said: You are immaculately prepared, but more than this you understand intuitively how people learn. All this added to the fact that you are an amazing artist makes you an inspirational teacher.”  Paul says: “I get an enormous amount of pleasure seeing people improve and enjoy their own work.”

The town square in Roussillon in France, painted by Paul from an unusual angle

 And don’t forget we have an Early Bird discount offer: if you book before 31 December 2018 there’s a £75 per person discount on this fabulous 2019 painting holiday. To learn more about Paul, to see some of his work and to check on availability and/or make a booking enquiry, please click here.

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!

To learn more about all our 2019 creative courses please click here  (or just type watermill.net into your search engine!)

We’d love to welcome you here.

A chapel of rest and a ‘resting’ student: unusual sights on a Watermill painting course

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Here are a couple of rather unusual photographs from Ali Farr, who is one of our delightful guests on Claire Warner’s painting course here this week.

The one above is of the interior of the Mortuary Chapel in the village of Verrucola, where we go to paint on Mondays. The chapel, which is used to house the body after a death in the village for a few days to allow friends and neighbours to mourn and pay their last respects, is usually closed, but Ali was able to take this unusual picture through the grille of one of the windows.

On a more light-hearted note, here is Ali’s picture of one of this week’s painting students ‘resting’ after a hard day’s work on the ‘rockface’ of watercolour. (The beer bottle is purely coincidental!) Thanks Ali for sharing these unusual photographs with us.The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

We are having a fun time with Claire Warner this week and are looking forward to welcoming her here again next year. You can find out all about Claire’s 2019 painting course by clicking here.

As well as Claire, we have a wonderful line-up of tutors for 2019, some old friends and others exciting artists new to the Watermill. We’ve had so much interest in our creative courses that we’ve already taken some 150 bookings for our 2019 courses already! So, if you’re keen to come next year, now really is the time to get your booking in and reserve your place.

And there’s a special Early Bird offer: £75 off the cost of every creative holiday if you book before the end of this year. Please click here for more on our fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring holidays in 2019.

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

Paint…

 

A vivacious video from Watermill painting tutor Mike Willdridge

The picture above is of a chapel in the village of Verrucola, where we go out on location on Mondays during our painting weeks. You can see the whole video, which lasts little more than 30 seconds, by clicking here.

We had a wonderful time with Mike last week and we’re looking forward to welcoming him again next year. You can find out all about Mike’s 2019 painting course by clicking here.

If you’d like to join him and make your own vivacious painting of Verrucola and all the other beautiful locations near the mill, we’d be delighted to welcome you here. We already have six bookings for Mike’s 2019 course, so if you’re keen to come now really is the time to reserve your place. To recap, you can find details of Mike’s course and more about the Watermill by clicking here.

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

Mike’s sketch of market day in the town of Fivizzano, near the Watermill

We have a wonderful line-up of tutors for 2019, some old friends like Mike and others, exciting artists new to the Watermill. We’ve had so much interest in our creative courses that we’ve already taken some 150 bookings for our 2019 courses already! So, if you’re keen to come next year, now really is the time to get your booking in and reserve your place.

And there’s a special Early Bird offer: £75 off the cost of every creative holiday if you book before the end of this year. Please click here.

We’d be delighted if you could join us for Mike’s course or any of our other sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring creative courses. We look forward to meeting you here.

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