Archives for June 2019

Cooling off in sunny Posara

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our friend and Watermill painting tutor Mike Willdridge has just arrived with his delightful wife Sue for his 10th painting course here. I rather think they enjoy it! Our painting guests certainly do.

We have a group of 12 guests, two of whom are non-painting partners, and we are all looking forward to another sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring week of painting and sketching around the mill and in the glorious countryside of Lunigiana which surrounds us.

Mike is keeping a sketchbook journal of his week and we both thought it would be pleasant to share it with you. It might inspire you to come and join us when Mike comes for his 11th visit in 2020! We would love to welcome you here.

We’re in the middle of that European heatwave at the moment, but thanks to our new air conditioning, we are cool in the communal dining room and in the studio. And the plunge pool, the old olive press reservoir, now filled with cold water from the mountains is a tempting way of cooling off. Above is Mike’s sketch. And here’s another sketch, which really captures the atmosphere of Italy: Mediterranean pines in front of the airport at Pisa.

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

Mike will be returning next yearfor a week-long course in watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics) from Saturday 29 August to Saturday 5 September 2020 and we are already taking bookings. If you book now you can enjoy this exciting 2020 course at 2019 prices.

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

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.

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

A lovely watercolour by Mike Willdridge of the mill stream bubbling under one Flavio’s famous wooden bridges.

A comment from a guest on one of Mike’s previous courses here:

“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.”

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!

Mike’s 2020 course at 2019 prices

 If you book now you can enjoy this inspiring 2020 painting holiday at 2019 prices.Please click here for more.

Preliminary details of all our 2020 sun-filled, inspiring painting holidays are on our website at https://watermill.net/.  (Or just type ‘watermill.net’ into your search engine, then click on 2020 Courses Preview.)

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

The Rosaro,wich flows past the Watermill, by tutor Mike Willdridge

 

 

 

Are you a painter or a writer? Grab one of the last few places on our Watermill 2019 creative courses.

Watermill creative courses: availability at 25 June 2019

Some 250 people have now booked up for one of our 2019 courses: painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language. But we still have a few spaces remaining: why not grab one of them for yourself and see what all the fuss is about?

Here’s the latest list of what’s available. It’s followed by details and links of the other courses that are currently fully booked. But there are invariably cancellations, so if there’s a tutor or a date in whom/which you are particularly interested, please don’t hesitate to let us know and we’ll put you on the waiting list. We are looking forward to an especially inspiring season this year and we love you to be part of it!

And why not bring your non-participating partners well? Not only is there a generous £250 reduction for them (sharing a room with you), but we have plenty of activities for them. Find out more about that by clicking here.

We are also now taking bookings for 2020 (and already some 40 people have signed up!) There is a preview of our 2020 courses, which you can see by clicking here and if you reserve your place now, you can take advantage of our ‘2020 courses at 2019 prices’ offer.

Meanwhile, in 2019:

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

What’s available: Painting courses

We’ve listed the painting courses where we still have availability first, the others that are full, but for which there is a waiting list, follow these.

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 One or two 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 Two or three places left
Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page

 

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

 

The painting courses below are currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come on one of them, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

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

Mike Willdridge
29 June – 6 July 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
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.

 

Jude Scott
24 – 31 August 2019 
Course full, watng list open

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 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.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

What’s available: Knitting courses

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

We’ve listed first the knitting course where we still have availability:

The knitting week below is currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come , please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

 

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

 

What’s available: Writing courses

 

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
7 – 14 September 2019 Four or five places left
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.

We’d be delighted if you could join us. Please click here for more details about all our 2019 creative courses. 

Meanwhile, here’s a warm and welcoming Maggie Renner Hellmann painting, of a corner of the sunny Watermill courtyard. Come and enjoy it for yourself! 

All this and a lovely linen dress too. An added bonus on Jo’s creative writing course

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Here is the farewell group photograph for Jo Parfitt’s Writing Your Life Stories course which finished on Saturday. Our thanks to Trevor Sanderson, who took the pictures. The bottom one shows several of our guests, and Jo, showing off the linen dresses that they had bought, at bargain prices, earlier in the week at the market in the nearby mediaeval walled town of Fivizzano. We go there on a Tuesday morning to people watch and to enjoy a panino and some home-made ice cream in the local gelateria.

Of course, the focus of the course is learning the secrets of successful writing, skilfully directed and encouraged by Jo, but the ambience of the Watermill, the beauty of its surroundings, the delicious Italian food and the camaraderie and conversation, are all also extra bonuses. To say nothing of a smart new dress!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.You, too, could be sampling the delights of the Watermill and learning the secrets of writing the stories of your life, when Jo returns next year. She will be with us from 9-16 May 2020. And if you book now, you can enjoy Jo’s inspiring 2020 course at 2019 prices. Four people have already booked up. You can see a preview of Joe’s 2020 course and, if you like, reserve your place, by clicking here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Jo Parfitt is an author, journalist, teacher, blogger, conference speaker and poet. She has published 32 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. Jo’s a compassionate, inspiring, and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.

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. You will be empowered to write in a compelling way, bringing your experiences to life.”

Here are some more comments from guests on Jo’s previous courses at the Watermill: “The most magical trip to Tuscany, which will stay with me forever!” “It is a very special and beautiful place and everything was organised so perfectly. Jo is a great tutor and we all had an amazing time.”

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

Sharing your experiences on the vine verandah

The workshop will include several methods and genres and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.

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!

Preliminary details of our 2020 sun-filled, inspiring painting holidays are on our website at https://watermill.net/.  (Or just type ‘watermill.net’ into your search engine, then click on 2020 Courses Preview.) And don’t forget that if you book now you can enjoy this inspiring 2020 writing course at 2019 prices.

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

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

A fun beginning to an oil painting week

We had great fun last night with members of the Vicki Norman’s oil painting group as we enjoyed our welcoming dinner a fuori at the Elvetico restaurant in the nearby walled mediaeval town of Fivizzano. Thanks to Mark Branigan the photo. Today Vicki has been demonstrating some of the key points of oil painting and, this afternoon the group have been hard at work putting them into practice in the Watermill courtyard.

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

Picture: Mark Branigan

You could put yourself in the picture, by joining Vicki’s painting course in oils (and other mediums) at the Watermill next year and, if you book now, you can take advantage of our ‘2020 courses at 2019 prices’ offer. We love you to join us for Vicki’s sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring painting course. She will be with us for a week-long special painting course in oils and watercolours, from Saturday 20 June to Saturday, 27 June 2020. We would love you to join us.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Our inspiring and talented English painting tutor Vicki Norman specialises in painting on location. She will teach primarily in oils and watercolours, but is happy to help with other mediums, too. Vicki has been teaching professionally for more than 15 years and offers plenty of help and individual attention.

Vicki’s paintings seek to capture the essence of the day and the sense of place through the colour and play of the light. You can see this in the Italian study below. Vicki says: “The mountains behind are the Alpi Apuane. I wanted to record the colours of the hills as they receded. The bright yellow of the ginestra at the front contrasted beautifully with the lilac of the marble- capped mountains behind. I knew if I could capture the colours of the moment, I could use them for subsequent studio paintings at home.

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

You, too, will be painting the sensational Alpi Apuane mountains on Vicki’s course — and all the other glorious scenery in this unspoilt part of Tuscany. Here’s a comment from one of our guests on Vicki’s week at the Watermill last year: “An excellent painting and holiday week. All the trips out to painting locations were well organised and Vicki was very good as a teacher and an inspiration due to her wonderful paintings.”

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! You can see preliminary details of our 2020 sun-filled, inspiring painting holidays by clicking here.

Vicki’s 2020 course at 2019 prices

 If you book now you can enjoy this inspiring 2020 painting holiday at 2019 prices. See here for more.

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

An oil painting by Vicki called September in Posara

 

 

 

Jo Parfitt’s writing course: the last chapter this year. Come and write your own opening chapters with us next year

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.We have just said goodbye to the members of Jo Parfitt’s wonderful group on this year’s Writing your Life Stories course. Last evening they shared some of their stories on the Watermill vine verandah, later accompanied by a glass or two of cool prosecco. Thank you for your support, ladies and gentlemen, we thoroughly enjoyed your company. One of the group, Sue Reed, tells us: The vine verandah at The Watermill has been the perfect place to gather to write and share our stories. Last night we all shared a funny story, and the laughter rang out. I will say goodbye to these lovely people today, and return home, but my life feels so much richer for having met and shared stories with them.”

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

Thank you again to Sue Reed (www.suereedwrites.co.uk) for posting these lovely photographs on Facebook.

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

Time to relax: enjoying the cool mountain stream flows past that flows past the Watermill

You, too, could be sampling the delights of the Watermill and learning the secrets of writing the stories of your life, when Jo returns next year. She will be with us from 9-16 May 2020. And if you book now, you can enjoy Jo’s inspiring 2020 course at 2019 prices. Three people have already booked up. You can see a preview of Joe’s 2020 course and, if you like, reserve your place, by clicking here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Jo Parfitt is an author, journalist, teacher, blogger, conference speaker and poet. She has published 32 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. Jo’s a compassionate, inspiring, and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.

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. You will be empowered to write in a compelling way, bringing your experiences to life.”

Here are some more comments from guests on Jo’s previous courses at the Watermill: “The most magical trip to Tuscany, which will stay with me forever!” “It is a very special and beautiful place and everything was organised so perfectly. Jo is a great tutor and we all had an amazing time.”

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

Sharing your experiences on the vine verandah

The workshop will include several methods and genres and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.

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!

Preliminary details of our 2020 sun-filled, inspiring painting holidays are on our website at https://watermill.net/.  (Or just type ‘watermill.net’ into your search engine, then click on 2020 Courses Preview.) And don’t forget that if you book now you can enjoy this inspiring 2020 writing course at 2019 prices.

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

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

A peaceful spot for more contemplative writing

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Yesterday our Writing your Life Stories group, under the tutelage of Jo Parfitt, visited a nearby 16th Century monastery called Il Convento del Carmine, a little above the nearby mediaeval town of Fivizzano, with views over the town and the surrounding hills.

The convent (that’s what they call it, although the inmates were monks, not nuns) is of the Carmelite order and dates back to 1568. Now unoccupied (by monks at least), the Renaissance-style building has cloisters with sandstone columns and lunettes decorated with soft, faded murals. It is owned by friends of ours and now used for romantic wedding receptions. The convent is surrounded by graceful gardens and 17 secluded hectares of pines, walnut, chestnut, cypress and fruit trees, meadows and streams. It is the ideal spot to learn more about the secrets of writing and to practice in quiet solitude.

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

Thank you again to Sue Reed (www.suereedwrites.co.uk) for posting these lovely photographs on Facebook.

She asked, by the way, about this Latin quotation, seen on a plaque monastery wall.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.It’s a slight misquotation of one of Vergil’s most famous lines: Hoc opus, hic labor est, which means: ‘This is the task, this is the hard part’. It comes from the Aeneid where Aeneas descends to the underworld: Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the underworld lies open both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above – that is the task, this is the hard part.”

Quite a good allusion, I think to the task of writing your life’s stories. There is plenty of material there, but bringing it honestly out into the open is often quite difficult: that’s the task and that’s the hard part.

But enough of this literary allusion, the convent is a wonderful place just to relax for a few hours and enjoy a picnic in the sunshine and in the shade. Just another facet of a creative writing week at the Watermill.The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

You, too, could be sampling the delights of the Watermill and learning the secrets of writing the stories of your life, when Jo returns next year. She will be with us from 9-16 May 2020. And if you book now, you can enjoy Jo’s inspiring 2020 course at 2019 prices. Three people have already booked up. You can see a preview of Joe’s 2020 course and, if you like, reserve your place, by clicking here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Jo Parfitt is an author, journalist, teacher, blogger, conference speaker and poet. She has published 32 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. Jo’s a compassionate, inspiring, and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.

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. You will be empowered to write in a compelling way, bringing your experiences to life.”

Here are some more comments from guests on Jo’s previous courses at the Watermill: “The most magical trip to Tuscany, which will stay with me forever!” “It is a very special and beautiful place and everything was organised so perfectly. Jo is a great tutor and we all had an amazing time.”

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

Sharing your experiences on the vine verandah

The workshop will include several methods and genres and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.

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!

Preliminary details of our 2020 sun-filled, inspiring painting holidays are on our website at https://watermill.net/.  (Or just type ‘watermill.net’ into your search engine, then click on 2020 Courses Preview.) And don’t forget that if you book now you can enjoy this inspiring 2020 writing course at 2019 prices.

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

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

Enjoying words and music at the Watermill

Picture: Sue Reed

We added an extra aesthetic dimension yesterday to Jo Parfitt’s Writing Your Life Stories week, with a little light evening music to entertain our guests during their Tuesday evening aperitivi. Local teenagers Letizia and Harry, sitting under the rose pergola, played tunes ancient and modern as we sipped our pre-dinner drinks under the vine verandah.

You, too, could enjoy convivial company, relaxed conversation, inspiring tuition – and incidental music – when Jo returns next year. She will be with us from 9-16 May 2020. And if you book now, you can enjoy Jo’s inspiring 2020 course at 2019 prices. Three people have already booked up. You can see a preview of Joe’s 2020 course and, if you like, reserve your place, by clicking here.

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

A collage of conversation compiled by Sue Reed.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Jo Parfitt is an author, journalist, teacher, blogger, conference speaker and poet. She has published 32 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. Jo’s a compassionate, inspiring, and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.

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. You will be empowered to write in a compelling way, bringing your experiences to life.”

Here are some more comments from guests on Jo’s previous courses at the Watermill: “The most magical trip to Tuscany, which will stay with me forever!” “It is a very special and beautiful place and everything was organised so perfectly. Jo is a great tutor and we all had an amazing time.”

The workshop will include several methods and genres and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.

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!

Preliminary details of our 2020 sun-filled, inspiring painting holidays are on our website at https://watermill.net/.  (Or just type ‘watermill.net’ into your search engine, then click on 2020 Courses Preview.) And don’t forget that if you book now you can enjoy this inspiring 2020 writing course at 2019 prices.

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

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

The perfect place to write your life’s stories

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

The writing group on the steps of the castle at Verrucola, where we went to lunch on Monday

Our thanks to Sue Reed, a guest on Jo Parfitt’s Writing Your Life Stories course this week, who has posted this charming note on Facebook. She says: It is just wonderful. The setting magnificent, food sublime, and our hosts charming. The attention to detail and beauty are a sure recipe for a wonderful stay.”

The group seem to be having an inspiring time, learning the secrets of successful communication,  writing exercises prescribed by Jo and enjoying the wonderful scenery of Lunigiana surrounding the mill, as well as delicious food prepared by the Watermill cooks and in little local trattoria.

Today, after writing under the vine verandah in the Watermill walled garden, they are off to investigate the weekly market in the nearby walled mediaeval town of Fivizzano, before enjoying a panino and home-made ice cream in the gelateria.

Life is just a basket of cherries: freshly picked by our gardener. Picture Sue Reed.

You, too, could be sampling the delights of the Watermill and learning the secrets of writing the stories of your life, when Jo returns next year. She will be with us from 9-16 May 2020. And if you book now, you can enjoy Jo’s inspiring 2020 course at 2019 prices. Three people have already booked up. You can see a preview of Joe’s 2020 course and, if you like, reserve your place, by clicking here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Jo Parfitt is an author, journalist, teacher, blogger, conference speaker and poet. She has published 32 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. Jo’s a compassionate, inspiring, and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.

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. You will be empowered to write in a compelling way, bringing your experiences to life.”

Here are some more comments from guests on Jo’s previous courses at the Watermill: “The most magical trip to Tuscany, which will stay with me forever!” “It is a very special and beautiful place and everything was organised so perfectly. Jo is a great tutor and we all had an amazing time.”

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

Sharing your experiences on the vine verandah

The workshop will include several methods and genres and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.

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!

Preliminary details of our 2020 sun-filled, inspiring painting holidays are on our website at https://watermill.net/.  (Or just type ‘watermill.net’ into your search engine, then click on 2020 Courses Preview.) And don’t forget that if you book now you can enjoy this inspiring 2020 writing course at 2019 prices.

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

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

Current availability on this year’s Watermill creative courses: only a few places left

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

The roses are looking particularly good this year.

Secluded gardens, sun-drenched terraces, a cool vine verandah, a gurgling river, beautifully restored historic buildings … bright airy bedrooms with new en suite bathrooms, and lovely views over the river, the gardens or the mountains … delicious food prepared from fresh local ingredients…

Shady and cool along the Millstream

We specialise in relaxing, inspiring and fun-filled painting, creative writing and Italian language weeks, with internationally renowned tutors. “The most wonderful week, in a most beautiful and unique setting. One of the best holidays I have experienced.”  To learn more, please click here.

Here’s the latest list of what’s available. It’s followed by details and links of the other courses that are currently fully booked. But there are invariably cancellations, so if there’s a tutor or a date in whom/which you are particularly interested, please don’t hesitate to let us know and we’ll put you on the waiting list. And why not bring your non-participating partners well? Not only is there a generous £250 reduction for them (sharing a room with you), but we have plenty of activities for them. Find out more about that by clicking here.

What’s available: Painting courses

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.We’ve listed the painting courses where we still have availability first, the others that are full, but for which there is a waiting list, follow these.

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

 

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

 

The painting courses below are currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come on one of them, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

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 Fully booked, waiting list open
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.

 

Jude Scott
24 – 31 August 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
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 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.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

What’s available: Knitting courses

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

The knitting week below is currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come , please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

 

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

 

What’s available: Writing courses

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

Some of our guests on a creative writing course at the village of Verrucola

 

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

Come and join us!! Image: fanpop

 

The Watermill is getting greener!

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

More yellow than red means green: supply easily outstrips demand

As of this week, we are proud to announce, the Watermill is becoming self-sufficient in electricity. We have just commissioned our new photovoltaic energy generation system and we are now happy to say that overall, thanks to the power of the sun, we are producing much more electricity than we are using.

Our sincere thanks to the architect Stefano Santini and his team, and our brilliant builders Nico and Danielle, who aesthetically incorporated the photovoltaic panels in our ancient roofs.The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

As well as helping to save the planet, our solar powered electricity will help to make our guests even more comfortable. We have already made a start on installing air-conditioning units in the Watermill rooms. There is now air conditioning in the studio and in the communal dining room (and in our industrial kitchen, to keep our cooks cool and calm as they prepare your delicious meals). We also now have units in the Lippi Suite and in the Brunelleschi and Donatello bedrooms. We will be working again in October to complete the whole system, so that by the beginning of the 2020 season we should have air-conditioning everywhere, all powered by the sun.

In the first couple of days of operation, as you can see from the picture at the top, we used some 90 kWh of electricity, half of which we generated ourselves and half of which we had to buy from the electricity company. But we also generated more than 100 kWh of extra electricity, which we fed back into the national grid, and for which we will be paid. (Of course, electricity companies pay less for the electricity we supply them than they charge for the electricity they supply us, but even so we think will make more money than we pay, as well as helping to save the planet. On today’s reckoning, we’ve already avoided the production of nearly 140 kg of CO2. A drop in the ocean, it’s true, but you have to start somewhere…)

Here’s a green snapshot of our photovoltaic production at the height of a sunny Tuscan afternoon:

Along with our moves to cut down on the use of plastic, notably with our reusable vacuum flasks and our delivery system for cool natural and fizzy water, we are working hard on the “greening” of the Watermill. Come and enjoy the fruits of our labours yourself!