Archives for December 2018

100 paintings in 100 days: a wonderful achievement by Mike

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Many congratulations to Mike Willdridge, who has just successfully completed his self-imposed challenge of creating 100 paintings in 100 days. You can see Painting 100 above.

Mike says: “100 days ago I set out on a Journey Towards Abstraction, making one painting a day for 100 days. Time now to sit back and try and make sense of what has been an experience of highs and lows. At times it has felt like treading through treacle and, at other times, paintings and ideas just slipped out as easy as pie. In this, my final painting, I’ve tried to convey my sense of ‘relief’ and ‘joy’ – because that’s how I’m feeling!” The painting is in acrylic, gouache and gold leaf and it is appropriately entitled The End.

Mike’s has been a wonderful journey and we are full of admiration not only of his creativity, but of his perseverance! You can see all of Mike’s 100 paintings by clicking here. And you can see Painting 100 at the Watermill. We liked it so much, we bought it and it will be hanging in pride of place here.

Of his artistic journey, Mike says: “For a long time I’ve enjoyed looking at abstract art and wanted to move in that direction myself, but I found it difficult to leave my representational style. Now that I have given up most of my teaching (except at the Watermill!), I’ve found a renewed energy towards abstraction.”

All in all, the Watermill has purchased five of Mike’s milestones on his road towards abstraction. Here’s another one of those: Picture Number 5.

You can see our five ‘Road to Abstraction’ pictures if you join us for one of our creative courses next year. And if you come in early June, you will be able to meet the artist himself.

You don’t have to go abstract to enjoy Mike’s course: he paints realistic landscapes and loves sketching around the Watermill and in the glorious Tuscan scenery beyond it. He is also a wonderful teacher. Mike will be with us again next year, for a week in watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics), from Saturday 29 June to Saturday 6 July 2019. We already have eight bookings for his course, so we have room for three or four more painters and their non-painting partners, if they would like to come.

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

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

Mike Willdridge works 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. He will concentrate on watercolours, but is also happy to help with gouache and acrylics too.

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.”

Here’s another of my favourite Mike Willdridge pictures, an exuberant watercolour of the mill stream flowing beneath one of our gardener Flavio Terenzoni’s famous wooden bridges, with their curvy handrails.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June to 6 July 2019
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)

To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please click here

Trying to capture Mike’s painting course in 30 seconds!

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.I’ve had a little bit of fun creating one of those short Facebook slideshows, this time trying in less than 30 seconds to capture some of the atmosphere on Mike Willdridge’s painting courses here. You can see it by clicking here. I hope you like it.

And, of course, you can capture the warm and welcoming atmosphere yourself as well as Mike’s enthusiasm and sense of humour if you join us next year on his watercolour course.

Mike will be with us from Saturday 29 June to Saturday 6 July 2019, giving tuition in watercolours (and also in gouache and acrylics for those who are interested), with a special emphasis on sketching and drawing on location.

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.

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. He will concentrate on watercolours, but is also happy to help with gouache and acrylics too.

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.”

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

Mike Willdridge
29 June to 6 July 2019  
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)

To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please click here.

And don’t forget our enticing offer for people who book before the end of 2018. Our ‘Early Bird’ discount gives you £75 off the cost of your holiday if you book before the end of the year. We recommend that you reserve your place as soon as you can. We already have eight people (two of them non-painting partners) booked in for Mike’s course, but there are lovely bedrooms and a self-contained apartment suite still available.

Come and join in the fun!

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

A painting group with Mike Willdrige being less than serious

Forbidden fruit at the Watermill

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

We call this ‘conceptual artefact’ Forbidden Fruit and you can see it in the Watermill sitting room along with all the wonderful paintings made by our inspiring tutors.

What’s it all about?

Well… We had the wooden bananas first, in Scotland, two yellow ‘ripe’ ones and one green one. We didn’t really know what to do with them and worried that, were they on show, someone might try to eat them. So why not display them under glass, as the Victorians did with their butterflies and stuffed birds?

But the bananas looked a little lonely in their glass case, so I got in touch with the delightful English woodturner Barry Charnley and asked him to provide more fruit to keep them company.

He also produced an apple with teeth-marks, which could only have been made by a wooden boy: Pinocchio, of course. (The young man denied this, but when confronted, his nose grew and grew…)

Come and see our forbidden fruit for yourself, but don’t try to eat it. We love to welcome you on one of our fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring courses where you can make your own creative artefacts, whether they are painted, written or knitted!

As ever, there’s more about everything if you just click here.

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

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

Famous couples and the Watermill

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

Cheer up! Let’s go to the Watermill!

We have been having a lot of fun recently with our Watermill newsletters, where we always have a paragraph urging you to bring your partner to join you on one of our creative courses. We seek out pictures of famous couples and make up our own captions and we thought we’d share a few of the latest ones with you.

That’s the Duke and Duchess of Urbino above, as painted by Piero della Francesca. And here are Omar Sharif and Julie Christie, as Dr Zhivago and Lara, looking a little chilly:

Let’s go to the Watermill. We won’t need our furs!

Our encouragement to bring your partner or friend holds good: there’s plenty for them to do while you are enjoying your painting, creative writing, knitting or Italian language course. They don’t have to participate in the course, but they will be able to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of the mill and whenever they want, come out with you to our beautiful locations. We also offer a range of Alternative activities for partners, as well as a generous £250 discount if they share a room with you. We think they’ll be amused:

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

We would be amused by a week at the Watermill.

And as Bogie might have said to Ingrid: “We’ll always have Posara!”

But seriously… Do come as a twosome and double your delights on a Watermill creative course. Our 2019 courses are booking fast, but you can find out more about current availability by clicking here.

And, as always, there’s more about everything at The Watermill website, which you can see by clicking here.