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

Last chance to claim your Early Bird discount on a Watermill painting, writing or knitting course

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

Get a move on! Pass it on!

Now is the time to grab your place on one of the Watermill’s fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring creative courses, especially as we only have four days to go for our Early Bird special offer: there’s a discount of £75 (English pounds) if you book any of our 2019 creative courses before 31 December 2018.

Nearly 220 people have now booked in for the Watermill’s 2019 creative courses. Since we only have some 240/250 places you can see that we are well on the way to being full! We do have availability on some of our inspiring painting courses, however, and on our creative writing courses, particularly the Scriptwriting course by those ‘living legends’ of comedy, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, which we have opened only recently.

So, have a look through the list and see if anything takes your fancy. And if you see below that your favourite tutor is fully booked, don’t worry too much, there are often cancellations. So please be in touch and we will put you on the waiting list.

On the other hand, to be sure of a place on a Watermill painting course, why not choose one of our other inspiring tutors where there are still places?

Painting courses

Paul Talbot-Greaves
27 April to 4 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Keiko Tanabe
18 – 25 May 2019 Fully booked, waitings list
Watercolours
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sandra Strohschein
1 – 8 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
8 – 15 June 2019
 Fully booked, waiting list open

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Vicki Norman
22 – 29 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please see our 2019 Courses Preview page.

 

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June – 6 July 2019 Two or three places left
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 visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 Three or four places left
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019 Four or five places left
24 – 31 August 2019
 One place left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 Four or five places left
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Claire Warner
14 – 21 September 2019 Four or five places left
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Maggie Renner Hellmann
21 – 28 September 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Charles Sluga
28 September – 5 October 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019 Five or six places left
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Knitting courses

 

Sarah Hazell
4 – 11 May 2019 Two or three places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Debbie Abrahams
25 May – 1 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Marie Wallin
6 – 13 July 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Marie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page

 

Writing courses

 

Find a quiet corner to start writing your life’s stories

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019 Four or five places left
Write Your Life Stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
7 – 14 September 2019 Still plenty of places
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and to register an interest in their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.

Italian language course

Langues services and Francesca la Sala 
11 – 18 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Italian language
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please click here.

 

We’d be delighted if you could join us. Please click here for more details about all our 2019 creative courses. And be an Early Bird to catch those remaining places.

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

Only a week to go for Watermill 2019 creative course Early Birds

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.Each week I like to keep you in the picture (ho, ho!) on our painting courses, on the same page for our writing courses, stitched up on our kniting courss and speaking the same language for our Italian week, here’s our latest update on availabilty.

Nearly 220 people have now booked in for the Watermill’s 2019 creative courses. Since we only have some 240/250 places you can see that we are well on the way to being full! We do have availability on some of our inspiring painting courses, however, and on our creative writing courses, particularly the Scriptwriting course by those ‘living legends’ of comedy, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, which we have opened only recently.

Now is the time to grab one of those remaining places, especially as we only have a week or so to go for our Early Bird special offer: there’s a discount of £75 (English pounds) if you book any of our 2019 creative courses before 31 December 2018.

So, have a look through the list and see if anything takes your fancy. And if you see below that your favourite tutor is fully booked, don’t worry too much, there are often cancellations. So please be in touch and we will put you on the waiting list.

On the other hand, to be sure of a place on a Watermill painting course, why not choose one of our other inspiring tutors where there are still places?

Painting courses

Paul Talbot-Greaves
27 April to 4 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Keiko Tanabe
18 – 25 May 2019 One place left
Watercolours
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sandra Strohschein
1 – 8 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
8 – 15 June 2019
 Fully booked, waiting list open

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Vicki Norman
22 – 29 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please see our 2019 Courses Preview page.

 

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June – 6 July 2019 Two or three places left
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 visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 Three or four places left
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019 Four or five places left
24 – 31 August 2019
 One place left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 Four or five places left
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Claire Warner
14 – 21 September 2019 Four or five places left
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Maggie Renner Hellmann
21 – 28 September 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Charles Sluga
28 September – 5 October 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019 Five or six places left
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Knitting courses

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

Sarah Hazell
4 – 11 May 2019 Two or three places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Debbie Abrahams
25 May – 1 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Marie Wallin
6 – 13 July 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Marie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page

 

Writing courses

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

Find a quiet corner to start writing your life’s stories

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019 Four or five places left
Write Your Life Stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
7 – 14 September 2019 Still plenty of places
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and to register an interest in their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.

Italian language course

Picture credit: The Huffington Post

Langues services and Francesca la Sala 
11 – 18 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Italian language
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please click here.

 

We’d be delighted if you could join us. Please click here for more details about all our 2019 creative courses. And be an Early Bird to catch those remaining places.

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

An honourable mention for a Watermill painting guest

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Pam Paszke, who was one of our painting guests on one of Sandra Strohschein’s painting courses last year, has just emailed to tell us how much she enjoyed our Christmas newsletter and she also comments: I have such fond memories of my time there with both of you and Sandra.”  Her art is going along rather well, too: “I have won an honourable mention at our state fair for one piece!  Yippee!!”  That’s Pam’s picture above.

We remember Pam particularly because during the week she organised impromptu pre-breakfast Tai Chi sessions on the roof terrace above the courtyard dining doom. Another guest, Steve Harger, took the picture below of some of the group in gentle action. Now Pam has gone on to procure her Tai Chi certification and she says: Who knew that would come out of a painting holiday!” So, many congratulations to Pam on two counts.

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

I used to do Tai Chi myself when we lived in Scotland and I am thinking of taking it up again. Maybe see you on the roof terrace? Not a bad way to start the day, especially with stunning views of the Apennine mountains, the backbone of Italy, in the distance…

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

We can’t promise you Tai Chi every week, but we can promise you sun-filled, fun-filled, stimulating and inspiring creative weeks, whether it’s painting, writing, knitting or learning Italian. Come and join us in 2019! Find out more by clicking here.

 

The Watermill Christmas newsletter is just out

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Our Christmas newsletter has just been published and you can read all about it by clicking here. In this not-so-serious festive edition, there are stories on:
*Famous couples and the Watermill
*Forbidden fruit
* The advantages of simple origami and a bubbly talk
*Driven to abstraction
*Shedding new light on ancient Florence.

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

And, of course, all the latest information on the availability of our 2019 painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language courses. We are filling fast, so now is the time to reserve your place, especially as you only have a week or so to go before the end of our Early Bird discount offer of £75 off any of our creative courses if you book before the end of this year.

We love to welcome you to the Watermill, but in the meantime our warmest wishes to you and yours for a happy Christmas and a healthy and creative New Year. And bring a partner (octopus optional!)

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

 

A Monday morning musing on a Watermill writing retreat

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

Terry Anne looks out on the Watermill courtyard from her bedroom balcony

Terry Anne Wilson, one of the participants on Jo Parfitt’s Writing your Life Stories retreat last September, publishes with Jo an email every Monday morning musing about their daily life. They are both expat mothers and every week they share their thoughts about the journey of living a global life. They’ve even collected their musings in a lovely book called Monday Morning Emails: six months, twelve countries, a thousand thoughts…

Here are some of Terry Anne’s notes from the Watermill:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.On this Monday morning, I muse from a charming Tuscan courtyard.  A setting, where terracotta pots are stuffed with crimson geraniums, delicate hydrangea and ripening limes. A place where the morning sun glints on ochre stone walls, on tall Venetian shutters and on bunches and bunches of plump grapes. Their wayward tendrils float down from the trellis above the long wooden table. It’s where we writers The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.gather daily… a place I know well.  I’ve returned to this writer’s retreat in Tuscany where I first found the courage to discover my ‘voice’– to become a writer. Jo is once again leading the way, and as with the group six years ago, this one is also bursting with ideas, with tales and stories… with dreams. And indeed, if there is one place that can inspire, surely it is The Watermill at Posara.Three aged watermills and their buildings, the oldest from the 17thcentury, have been lovingly restored to create this soulful setting. Where once pasta and wheat were milled, olives and chestnuts pressed, now the flow of the Rosaro River is one of tranquillity, not labour. Nearby is a calming forest of tall ram-rod bamboo, with artichoke shrubs sprouting bright ‘sunflowers’ and old stone walls bound with history and sprawling ivy. 

Yet even with this colourful backdrop, we still have a canvas to colour in – with our words of poetry, childhood stories, personal journeys and musings for memoirs. However, for me today, despite being ensconsed in what truly must be paradise, and even with the support of old and new friends, I’ve found myself feeling unsure and challenged. Yes, on day two, how can I feel that I have nothing to say? Has it all been said? Can I do this again? Should I have returned? What may feel natural on one day, or during one experience, may not do so on the next. It was six years ago that I arrived with a suitcase-full of dreams, an empty notebook and my favourite Uniball pen. Why then today do I feel like I’m back at the beginning? Yes, I’m now a published author, but on this beautiful Tuscan morning, where the lyrical bells of Posara toll and the butterflies pause to say a fleeting ciao, somehow chains seem to clamp my fingers and shackle my creativity. 

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

Some of our guests on Jo’s earler 2018 creative writing course at the village of Verrucola

But then… the troop of us pile into two vans for a late Tuscan lunch. We wend our way uphill to a castle-town where fortressed Roman walls drip with ivy and chiselled stone tell yet more stories. Where a gaggle of writers linger in a trattoria, chilled local wine and cuisine our muse. We’re effusive in our discussion and generous in our advice and support.

 I’m reminded of the privilege of hearing people’s stories and their dreams. I’m pleased that I can now give the odd nugget of advice, yet still need wisdom and inspiration from Jo and all the others.

 How has it spoken to me? To be humble, to not become complacent as a writer, to be ever-curious and learning. Yet surely, this is not only a writer’s journey. Be mindful of listening and holding other people’s stories, like a grandmother’s treasured crystal. Be mindful that whatever someone may aspire to, it is their precious dream. You can help with kindness, with advice and a loving ear.

Oh, I have no doubt that I’m meant to be here and I’m thankful. I also have a feeling that by tomorrow, those ‘shackles’ will be unchained. But now, a familiar bell drifts from the courtyard below, up to my enchanting suite. It is the hour to reconvene with my fellow writers, time for apertivo. All of it, a treasure. 

Terry Anne Wilson

Terry Anne and Jo’s musings have been gathered together in a lovely book Monday Morning Emails. You can find out all about it by clicking here.

And you, too, can I enjoy the special atmosphere of the Watermill and the camaraderie of fellow writers on Jo Parfitt’s week-long  Writing Your Life Stories residential course at the Watermill next June.

If you’ve been itching to write some of the stories of your life, as a full-blooded memoir, a shorter journal, or a series of anecdotes or even a blog or two, we’d be delighted to welcome you here. Here are some comments from guests on Jo’s course at the Watermill earlier this year: Thank you so much for the most magical trip to Tuscany, which will stay with me forever!”   “The Watermill is a very special and beautiful place, and everything was organised so perfectly. Everyone was so hospitable, and Joe is a brilliant tutor. Thanks again to you and your team for such a life affirming week.” “What a joyful and inspiring world you have created there… magical days.”

The Write Your Life Stories 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. 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. Sessions at the mill will empower students to write in a compelling way that makes real experiences come to life.”

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

Jo Parfitt

Jo Parfitt is an author, journalist, teacher, blogger, conference speaker and poet. She has published 32 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 will be with us again from 15-22 June 2019 and we’d be delighted to welcome you on her course. And don’t forget, if you book now you can take advantage of our enticing Early Bird offer. Yes, there’s a £75 discount if you book on this inspiring writing course before 31 December 2018. You can find out more about Jo and her course at the Watermill by clicking here.

We already have seven people booked in to this inspiring course, so we have room for three or four more writers. We’d love you to join us.

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

Find a quiet corner to start writing your life’s stories

Come and paint Tuscan poppies with Claire

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.I’ve just been looking at a charming and instructive video on painting poppies by our lovely watermill tutor Claire Warner. You can see it to by clicking hereThat is a still from the video above and here’s the finished product below.Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

You can come and paint poppies yourself with Claire when she returns to the Watermill next year. Wild poppies abound in this part of the world and our gardener, Flavio Terenzoni, also carefully scatters their seeds in the walled garden so we have plenty of them for you to paint there too, even later in the year.

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

Poppies and borage in the Watermill walled garden

Claire will be with us again for her course in watercolours (and acrylics and oils) from Saturday 14 September to Saturday 21 September 2019. We already have seven people booked into this course, so now is the time to make your reservation, especially as you can still take advantage of our Early Bird discount offer: £75 off Claire’s inspiring week if you book before the end of this year. We’d love you to join us.

Claire Warner

14-21 September 2019 Still places

Watercolours, oils and acrylics

To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please click here.

Below is one of Claire’s lovely watercolours of the Watermill and the river Rosaro running beside it.

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

 

How to be a violent and original writer

I’m grateful to Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn blog  for passing on this perspicacious writing tip from the great 19th-century French novelist Gustave Flaubert: “Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

I’m not sure that Flaubert (left) practised what he preached: although outwardly regular and orderly, he had a rackety hidden side, what with a mistress in Paris and male prostitutes in the Middle East. But I’m sure he was regular and orderly during his writing days, producing such masterpieces as Madame Bovary. And it is good advice: as well as an art, writing is a craft and it’s something that should be practised every day. It is better to set aside some time each day when you actually get down to writing, instead of just thinking about it.

I am sure that Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, who will be leading a unique Scriptwriting course at the Watermill this September, lead regular and orderly lives. I know for a fact that they try to meet each morning and work together, as if they were in an office, have lunch together, then continue in the ‘office’ in the afternoon.

And when they join us for their unique Scriptwriting course this September, we’ll enjoy a regular and orderly rhythm to our days, writing under the vines in the mornings, enjoying delicious meals, more writing in the afternoons and, after dinner in the courtyard dining room, watching classic films and TV programmes to analyse just what makes them so good.

One of the great advantages of a week-long residential course is that you can shut away the rest of the world and really concentrate on improving your scriptwriting.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Laurence and Maurice have been described by the British Comedy Society as ‘Living Legends.’ They are famous for such TV hits as Birds of a FeatherGoodnight SweetheartThe New

Their week-long course will show you how to craft your work from your original idea through structure, character, plot and finally, script. They will lead you slowly through what makes classic television comedy, using one-to-one tutorials, team writing sessions, and most enlightening of all, studying films and TV series that have become ‘classics’.

They cannot guarantee success, of course, but they promise that you will leave the Watermill a considerably better scriptwriter than when you arrived.

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

Listening to words of wisdom on a previous Scriptwriting course

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

7-14 September 2019

Scriptwriting

To find out more about this unique course please click here.  

PS: Flaubert’s Mme Bovary didn’t lead a regular and orderly life – and look what happened to her!

Latest availability for Watermill 2019 creative courses

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.Each week I like to keep you in the picture (ho, ho!) on our painting courses, on the same page for our writing courses, stitched up on our kniting courss and speaking the same language for our Italian week, here’s our latest update on availabilty.

Nearly 220 people have now booked in for the Watermill’s 2019 creative courses. Since we only have some 240/250 places you can see that we are well on the way to being full! We do have availability on some of our inspiring painting courses, however, and on our creative writing courses, particularly the Scriptwriting course by those ‘living legends’ of comedy, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, which we have opened only recently.

Now is the time to grab one of those remaining places, especially as we only have a fortnight to go for our Early Bird special offer: there’s a discount of £75 (English pounds) if you book any of our 2019 creative courses before 31 December 2018.

So, have a look through the list and see if anything takes your fancy. And if you see below that your favourite tutor is fully booked, don’t worry too much, there are often cancellations. So please be in touch and we will put you on the waiting list.

On the other hand, to be sure of a place on a Watermill painting course, why not choose one of our other inspiring tutors where there are still places?

Painting courses

Paul Talbot-Greaves
27 April to 4 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Keiko Tanabe
18 – 25 May 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sandra Strohschein
1 – 8 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
8 – 15 June 2019
 Fully booked, waiting list open

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Vicki Norman
22 – 29 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please see our 2019 Courses Preview page.

 

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June – 6 July 2019 Two or three places left
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 visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 Three or four places left
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019 Four or five places left
24 – 31 August 2019
 One place left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 Four or five places left
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Claire Warner
14 – 21 September 2019 Four or five places left
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Maggie Renner Hellmann
21 – 28 September 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Charles Sluga
28 September – 5 October 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019 Five or six places left
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Knitting courses

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

Sarah Hazell
4 – 11 May 2019 Two or three places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Debbie Abrahams
25 May – 1 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Marie Wallin
6 – 13 July 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Marie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page

 

Writing courses

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

Find a quiet corner to start writing your life’s stories

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019 Four or five places left
Write Your Life Stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
7 – 14 September 2019 Still plenty of places
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and to register an interest in their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.

Italian language course

Picture credit: The Huffington Post

Langues services and Francesca la Sala 
11 – 18 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Italian language
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please click here.

 

We’d be delighted if you could join us. Please click here for more details about all our 2019 creative courses. And be an Early Bird to catch those remaining places.

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

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