Archives for April 2019

What Brunelleschi and Caillebotte have in common

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

Les Orangers, the orange trees, another tremendous painting by Gustave Caillebotte

We were talking recently about my contention that had Gustave Caillebotte had a more easily pronounceable name, he would have been much better known. How easy it was to remember the names of the other Impressionists like Monet, Dégas and Renoir.

I believe it is the same for another of my heroes, Filippo Brunelleschi, to my mind the towering genius of the early Renaissance.

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

Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome for Florence cathedral dominates the city

As well as designing and supervising the construction of the incomparable dome of Florence cathedral, Filippo invented linear perspective, designed the first new-classical building since Roman times, the Ospedale degli Innocenti and created the sublime space of the Pazzi chapel in the cloisters of Santa Croce. With his one-time apprentice Donatello (who re-created classical sculpture) and his patron Cosimo (Medici) the Elder (who led the re-discovery of Greek and Roman texts and promoted Humanism), Brunelleschi can truly be regarded as the father of the Renaissance.

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

The incomparable façade of the ospedale degli innocenti

Yet because his name is not straightforward to pronounce (Brew-nel-esk -i) you hear it mentioned far less often than, say, Fra Angelico or Botticelli.

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

The sublime interior space of the Pazzi chapel

Be that as it may, we have named one of the Watermill bedrooms after this wonderful Renaissance man. Not only does it have French windows opening on to the Watermill courtyard, there is also a large roof terrace outside its front door, from which you can see the magnificent Apennine mountains in the distance.

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

Why not come and see for yourself? We are already taking bookings for our 2020 courses and the Brunelleschi bedroom is still free on many of them. You can find out more by clicking here.

 

A smart way to bring back your oil paintings from a Watermill holiday

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

A wonderful oil painting by Vicki Norman called September in Posara

Some of our painting guests that have told us that they are a little chary of trying oil painting on a Watermill holiday, because they are concerned about how they’re going to get their wet paintings home.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Our lovely oil painting tutor Vicki Norman has sent us some very useful tips on how to safely transport wet oil paintings in your luggage and I thought it would be very useful to pass them on to you in case you were thinking of joining some of our inspiring tutors who teach in oils as well as other mediums.

At the Watermill this year the following tutors, as well as Vicki, give tuition in oil painting: Jude Scott, Varvara Neiman, Claire Warner, Maggie Renner Hellmann and Charles Sluga. More details and links to their courses below.

Here are Vicki’s tips: you will need some map pins (or panel pins) and a roll of masking tape. Don’t worry if you forget to bring them, we can provide them at the Watermill.

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

The first step is to lay your wet painting on a stable flat surface and carefully but firmly push a pin into each corner. Then, balance another wet painting of the same size face down onto the plastic caps of the panel pins to make a pair. See above. Note: you only need pins in one painting from each pair!

Next: Insert pins into the front of your third wet painting and place it back to back with the uppermost painting of the first pair, then carefully balance another wet painting face-to-face and so on until you have created a stack of pairs of wet paintings:

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

Vicki says: “Then, use the masking tape to secure all the way around the outside edge of the stack, repeat this on each of the four edges until you have nicely secured block of paintings. Place the paintings inside a plastic bag or wrap them in some way so that no other item in your luggage can slip between the wet surfaces of the paintings.”

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

She adds: “I have transported up to 20 paintings in this manner in my suitcase checked into the hold on many occasions. If you are concerned you can carry them in your hand luggage where you can keep an eye on them.”

Vicki has made a one-page, illustrated PDF of these tips and we will send you one: just ask in the comment section below. Our thanks to Vicki for providing these tips. Here’s another of her wonderful oil paintings of our local area:

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

Vicki’s course with us this year is completely booked, as are the courses of some of our other tutors who will help with oil painting. But there are often cancellations so if you’re keen to come and paint in oils, please get in touch via the links below and we will put you on a waiting list and be in touch as soon as a place becomes available.

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019 Two or three places left
24 – 31 August 2019 
One or two places left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude 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.

 

Claire Warner
14 – 21 September 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara 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.