Archives for January 2019

Do you want to improve your paintings’ composition? Ask a child — and Mike!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Our friend and Watermill painting tutor Mike Willdridge, who will be with us again this summer, tells me that he’s always been amazed by the natural ability that small children have mastering composition. He says: “Maybe we adults try too hard?”

 Mike says: “Imagine a standard child’s painting of a house in a landscape. The house is often placed near the bottom of the painting and has underneath it a green line for the grass and alongside the house: trees, fences, family pets etc. There’s often a line above the house which is painted blue (the sky) and then a yellow ball which is the Sun. This so often results in a pleasing and well balanced picture. Try taking any single object out of the painting (e.g. block out the Sun or remove a tree) and the balance of the painting suffers. For years I’ve been fascinated by this!”

Above is a child’s picture from the Internet. Mike says “It seems to me that if you were to take out the tree or get rid of the car or maybe the animal, not only would there be less of a story but also the composition of the drawing would be weaker.”

Evelyn (3) shows the way

And how about this one? It was painted by Mike’s granddaughter Evelyn last year when she was three.

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

Mike says: A beautifully composed picture – take away any part of this painting and it wouldn’t work as well. What a master stroke is that splash of green – how well it works against the red and it’s perfectly positioned.” Mike adds: “I spent 100 days last year trying to produce something as vibrant, loose and so completely natural as this – Grrrrr!”

Meet Mike and paint with him

You don’t have to be childish to paint well but perhaps a childlike approach might help in releasing your inner talent. Why not come on Mike’s course at the Watermill and try it out for yourself? He will be with us for a week, teaching watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics), from Saturday 29 June to Saturday 6 July 2019. We already have nine 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.

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 one 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.

 

 

 

Try your hand at colourful collage in Tuscany with Sue Ford

Painting by Sue Ford, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Sue Ford, our delightful and talented painting tutor from England, loves painting in any medium, but is particularly fond of collage. She says: I started working in collage when looking for a technique that could utilise my drawing skills, allow for working with lots of colour and provide a modern look.”

 The dynamic and vibrant collage above can be found hanging on the wall in the Watermill sitting room. It’s of the village of Manarola in the Cinque Terre and Sue created it on one of her inspiring painting weeks with us here. Here’s another one, this time of the seaside village of Staithes in Yorkshire in the north of England.

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

You can see the steps in creating the Staithes collage in a short slideshow of Sue’s work that I have created for our Facebook page. Please click here.

Multitalented, multimedia, multicoloured, multi-inspiring!

Sue Ford loves creating pictures in any medium – and she loves passing on what she’s learned to other people to help them release their creativity. So, we are delighted to welcome her back for another special week-long painting course here this year. She will with us from 13-20 July 2019 and will teach in watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic. We still have a few places left on her course and there are details below.

Here’s a pastel of Monterosso, one of the five villages of the Cinque Terre, an excursion venue during your Watermill week.

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

Relaxed, friendly, patient

As well as a multitalented, multimedia artist Sue is a very keen teacher. One of our previous guests on a previous course  at the Watermill said: Sue has a relaxed, friendly and very patient approach to tuition and encouraged us all to achieve as much as possible at our own level. She gave demo’s and one to one tuition when required. There was a wide choice of subject matter for sketching and painting both at the Watermill itself and on our excursions. All in all a most enjoyable week.”

Sue says: “Each student will be guided carefully throughout the day, from initial demonstration to getting started, followed by patient, professional tuition. I aim to help my students to create paintings which will give them the confidence in their abilities and help them to develop their own artistic vision.”

And the Watermill setting? One of our guests said: “I had a wonderful time. Everything was superb – the accommodation, the trips out and the food! Utterly wonderful. It was an experience that I will treasure.”

Put yourself in the picture

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

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! 

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 Two or three 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.

 

Book your place on a Watermill creative holiday: fantastic tuition in a safe and caring environment

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

Now is the time to book your place on a Watermill creative holiday – painting, writing, knitting and Italian language. Inspiring tuition, wonderful scenery, delicious food, a safe and caring environment.  We will look after your every need from the moment we pick you up at Pisa airport on the first Saturday, until we drop you off again at the airport at the end of your week.

Ninety per cent full and rising!

At the last count we reckoned we were more than 90% full, but we do have spaces on quite a few of our creative courses. And if there’s a particular tutor or a particular week you would like to come on and you find ithe course is fully booked, don’t hesitate to get in touch. There are often cancellations and we will put you on a waiting list and contact you as soon as a place becomes available.

Bring your partner or friend. Why not bring your friend or partner? 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, to come out with you to our beautiful locations. We also offer a range of Alternative activities for partners (please click here) on all our creative courses, as well as a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you.

What’s available: 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, waiting list open
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 Two or three 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 Three or four 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 Three or four 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 One or two 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  Fully booked, waiting list open
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  Two or three places left
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

What’s available: 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 One or two places left
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

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
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. We are ready for your call on (UK number +44 (20) 7193 6246) or email us at info@watermill.net. ) 

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

Students demonstrate their work on the last day of a painting course last year.

Remembering the warmth of the Italian summer: come and paint it with Mike!

Our friend and watermill painting tutor Mike Willdridge has just sent me three sunny paintings he has made in Italy, to brighten our Winter days.

 Mike says: “These paintings were all made either before or after a teaching week at the Watermill. With the UK now well into winter, it’s great to revisit these to be reminded the warmth and variety that one experiences almost wherever it goes in Italy.”

You, too, can experience the warmth of Italy and paint it in all its glorious variety, if you join Mike on his sun-filled fun-filled, inspiring painting holiday at the Watermill this June. We’d be delighted to welcome you here. There are more details below.

Mike’s painting above is a watercolour of Siena, while below is an oil painting of Arcoli Piceno in the Marche region of central Italy>Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

And this one is a gouache of Arezzo in eastern Tuscany>

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

Meet the artist and paint with him

Mike loves painting and 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 nine 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

There’s plenty to talk about if you are a Watermill Friend

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

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

As part of our efforts to look after our customers and to treat them as honoured guests and friends, we not only coddle you from the moment you arrive in Pisa airport and the beginning of your creative course, to the moment we drop you back there seven days later, with warm hospitality, delicious food, stunning scenery and sympathetic and inspiring tutors in between, we also like to give you ‘customer service’ before and after your visit to us as well.

To that end, we provide regular newsletters of all our activities and also produce a daily blog. We have a Facebook page and we Tweet, to say nothing of Instagramming, if that’s a word! But today I want to tell you about our Friends of the Watermill website page.

By signing up as a Friend, you’ll enjoy many exclusive benefits:

  • dozens of painting, creative writing and knitting tips from our internationally renowned tutors
  • recipes from the watermill’s mouth-watering menus
  • special offers exclusively for Friends
  • regular updates on availability of all our creative courses

Please sign up as a Friend of the Watermill: it’s easy and it’s free. Just click here to register and away you go.  We are sure you will enjoy your visit to our Friends page and, if you’ve already been to the Watermill, re-kindle happy memories and, if you haven’t yet sampled the delights of being looked after for a week in unspoiled rural Tuscany, perhaps it will whet your appetite…

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

Jumping for joy on a Watermill painting course!

 

Due to cancellations: two places left on Debbie Abrahams’ amazing knitting course

Two people have had to pull out of Debbie Abrahams‘ exciting knitting week at the Watermill in May, so now it’s your chance to grab a place on this new knitting venture of ours. There are more details and links below.

Debbie Abrahams 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.

Debbie Abrahams
25 May – 1 June 2019 Due to cancellations: two places available
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

 

Jump for joy on a Watermill creative holiday: fantastic tuition in a safe and caring environment

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

Jumping for joy on a Watermill painting course!

That is one of our guests last year, Emily Muhlberger, expressing her exuberant delight on a painting course. We don’t expect you to jump for joy, but we are sure you will love our inspiring creative courses. There is not only superb tuition and wonderful scenery, but we will look after your every need from the moment we pick you up at Pisa airport on the first Saturday, until we drop you off again at the airport at the end of your week.

Watermill creative courses: jump at the chance to book

If there’s a particular tutor or a particular week you would like to come on and you find it is fully booked, don’t hesitate to get in touch. There are often cancellations and we will put you on a waiting list and get in touch as soon as a place becomes available.

Bring your partner or friend. Why not bring your friend or partner? 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, to come out with you to our beautiful locations. We also offer a range of Alternative activities for partners (please click here) on all our creative courses, as well as a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you.

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 Two or three 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 One or two 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  Fully booked, waiting list open
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  Two or three 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 Due to cancellations: One or two places left
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

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
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. We are ready for your call on (UK number +44 (20) 7193 6246) or email us at info@watermill.net. ) 

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

There won’t be snow but you will be a cool scriptwriting dude!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.These two ‘cool dudes’ (according to my daughter Lara Breckon, at least) were recently snapped at the top of the funicular in Champéry in Switzerland. In case you hadn’t recognised us, it is Lois and me – and we were not about to whizz down the black slopes: we were here for an après ski lunch, even though we hadn’t skied. And very tasty it was too: cheesy fondue washed down by a glass or two of Sancerre.

We were indulging in the high life with Laurence and Brigitte Marks, taking a few days break to keep Laurence company as he watched dozens of films in his role as a judge for BAFTA.  In the four or five days that we were there we watched 16 films: good bad and indifferent. It’ll be interesting to see which of them wins the BAFTA awards this year. We were very taken with Cold War, a black-and-white Polish film which capture the atmosphere of Poland behind the Iron Curtain, with stunning cinematography. We also liked Green Book, charting a journey of a black musician and a white Italian driver through the deep South the worst days of segregation. And I liked The Favourite, even though Laurence and Lois didn’t warm to it at all.

A fearsome threesome of femmes in The Favourite.

Become a better scriptwriter

In between our watching, eating, drinking and great conversation, we also discussed this year’s special unique week-long Scriptwriting course, which is to be run in September by Laurence and his long-time writing partner Maurice Gran.  We think this is going to be one of the great creative courses at the Watermill this year. If you aspire to join the scriptwriting greats, particularly writing comedy drama for television, now is the time to bag your place on Laurence and Maurice’s course.

We can’t offer you snow, but we can offer beautiful scenery, first-class accommodation, wonderful food, good conversation and above all advice from the experts on how to become a successful scriptwriter for TV, films and the theatre.

Comedy and drama legends

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran are famous for such TV hits as Birds of a FeatherGoodnight SweetheartThe New Statesman and Shine on Harvey Moon. And in a new incarnation, they’ve written hit stage musicals, such as Dreamboats and Petticoats and Save the Last Dance for Me, as well as film scripts and award-winning stage, TV and radio plays. It’s not just comedy: Marks and Gran are producing serious dramatic works as well.

Laurence and Maurice’s 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.Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran

7-14 September 2019

Scriptwriting

To find out more about this unique course please click here

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

Tessa at another student to listen to words of wisdom on the vine verandah.

How Laurence and Maurice helped Tessa to scriptwriting success

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Our congratulations to Tessa Coates, who is currently writing a pilot comedy show for the ABC television network in America. She is being tipped by the trade papers over there as ‘the discovery of the 2018-2019 development season.’

Tessa, who was one of our students on a Scriptwriting course at the Watermill, gained the prestigious ABC contract after wowing a Hollywood audience with her one-woman show, called Primates and inspired by her college degree in anthropology.

Tessa tells me that she attributes no small part of her success to the support and advice of Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the ‘comedy writing legends’ who run the Watermill scriptwriting course.

Tessa says: “I had the most fantastic week at the Watermill, the food, location and sheer hospitality are second to none and you could not ask to be better looked after. To sit under the vines and learn from Living Legends is an opportunity that does not come round very often. They truly are not only two of the best writers around, but enormously generous with their knowledge. I’m incredibly lucky to say I now write comedy for a living, and I do that in no small part because of the support and wisdom for Laurence and Maurice.”

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

Tessa at another student to listen to words of wisdom on the vine verandah.

From Edinburgh to London to Los Angeles

Tessa describes herself as a ‘writer, performer, freelance journalist, enthusiastic teller of anecdotes that may or may not have happened.’ She was one-third of the sketch group Massive Dad and performed Primates,  her debut solo show, at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, followed by a run at the Soho Theatre in London early 2018.

Last June, ahead of the 2018-19 US TV development season, Tessa flew in to Los Angeles to perform her show at the Lyric Theatre and Improv Lab and, thanks to wildfire word-of-mouth, the later performances of the show where a sell-out and Tessa found herself performing to a room full of Hollywood executives. It all led to her being commissioned to writing the pilot for ABC. Again, our many congratulations to Tessa. We shall be watching her progress with interest and admiration.

If your ambition is to become a successful scriptwriter like Tessa, you could do no better than to attend Laurence and Maurice’s inspiring Scriptwriting course at the Watermill this September.

Comedy legends

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran are famous for such TV hits as Birds of a FeatherGoodnight SweetheartThe New Statesman and Shine on Harvey Moon. And in a new incarnation, they’ve written hit stage musicals, such as Dreamboats and Petticoats and Save the Last Dance for Me, as well as film scripts and award-winning stage, TV and radio plays. It’s not just comedy: Marks and Gran are producing serious dramatic works as well.

Laurence and Maurice’s 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.Lawrence Marks and Maurice Gran

7-14 September 2019

Scriptwriting

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

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

Tessa in full Sound of Music mode in the mountains near the Watermill

How we oldies took selfies and were ready to talk on the phone

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Our Facebook friend and Watermill guest last year, Nancy Kimsey Anderson, recently posted the picture above to try to persuade her younger friends that this was the way we oldies used to take selfies. I wonder if they believed her!

Talking of phones, I thought I might share with you part of a blog post I did some time back about telephones and the Italians. Here it is.

Why do the Italians say ‘Pronto’ when they answer the phone?

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

I’m ready. Where is Bill?

If you’ve ever heard an Italian answering the phone, you may have been mildly surprised to hear that the first thing most of them say is Pronto. That means ‘Ready’ or ‘I’m ready.’ But why do they say this instead of ‘Hello’ or even just giving their number?

The answer goes back to the early days of the telephone when to make calls across Italy one had to go through an operator. You’d call him or her and give the number, then hang up. In due course your phone would ring and the operator would say: “Are to ready to accept a call to (the number)?”  And of course, you would reply: Pronto. ‘Ready.’

Somehow that response has stuck in the Italian telephonic psyche, so even in these days of instant mobile communication just about anywhere in the country (or the world) they still say Pronto when answering a call.

Watermill creative courses: find out more on the Interweb!

These days, of course, we don’t have to communicate solely on the telephone, we oldies can use what I like to call, infuriating my children, the Interweb, so I’m going to use this post to keep you up-to-date on availability on all the Watermill’s creative courses this year.

We are filling fast but still have plenty of places with different tutors. If there’s a particular tutor or a particular week you would like to come on and you find it is fully booked, don’t hesitate to get in touch. There are often cancellations and we will put you on a waiting list and get in touch as soon as a place becomes available.

Bring your partner or friend. Why not bring your friend or partner? 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, to come out with you to our beautiful locations. We also offer a range of Alternative activities for partners (please click here) on all our creative courses, as well as a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you.

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 Two or three 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  Fully booked, waiting list open
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  Four or five 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 Due to cancellations: One or two places left
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

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019 One or two 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. We are ready for your call on (UK number +44 (20) 7193 6246) or email us oldies using the Interweb, on info@watermill.net. ) 

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