Archives for October 2019

Olive trees, vineyards, mountains, ancient buildings: come and capture the atmosphere of unspoiled Tuscany with Vicki Norman

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

The vibrant oil painting above is of an olive tree in the gardens of the Convento di Carmine, an ancient monastery which is one of our venues during our painting weeks at the Watermill. This is just one of the stunning locations in unspoiled rural Tuscany we will be visiting with Vicki Norman during her week-long painting course, in oils and watercolours en plein air, next June.

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, of the Apuan Alps, the stunning marble mountains of Carrara, which you will also paint during your Watermill week with Vicki. She says; “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.

Vicki specialises in painting on location. She will teach primarily in oils and watercolours, but is happy to help with other mediums, too. Her paintings seek to capture the essence of the day and the sense of place through the colour and play of the light.

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

Why don’t you come and find a shady spot and paint the glorious Tuscan countryside bathed in sunlight? Vicki Norman will be with us from Saturday 20 June to Saturday 27 June 2020, tutoring in oils and watercolours (and other mediums on request). You can find out more by clicking here.

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.”

Now is the time to book and take advantage of our Early Bird Discount Offer: £75 (English pounds) off this holiday if you book before the end of this year. But our 2020 bookings are pouring in, so if you want to be sure of a place is probably best to book as soon as you can. We would love to welcome you here.

Painting by Vicki Norman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Vicki’s vivacious painting of Laundry Day.
Painting by Vicki Norman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Natural beauty in the palm of a hand

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

This lively little chap is a member of the Hemidactylus turcicus clan, a Mediterranean house gecko. Ain’t he cute? He looks more like a jewelled brooch than a cold-blooded insect hunter. He’s held in the palm of the hand of our ‘Man Friday’, Nathaniel (‘Nate’) Szekely (who took the picture with his other hand).

Geckos are just part of the fascinating wildlife you can see around the mill buildings and gardens: there are lizards galore and, in the season, amazing hummingbird moths and elegant swallowtail butterflies. And along the river and millstream, damselflies and pond skaters… all part of the abundance of nature in this ecologically protected area.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
An amazing hummingbird moth. Picture by Watermill guest Ron Ploeg.

Come and see for yourself when you join us on one of our sun-filled, fun-filled, caring and inspiring creative courses – painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language. You can find out more details of all our activities by clicking here. Places for 2020 are filling fast so if you’d like enjoy creativity and nature, now really is the time to book, especially as you can take advantage of our Early Bird Discount Offer: £75 (English pounds) off any of our creative courses if you book before the end of this year. But to be sure of the course you want, it is probably wisest to book now.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A swallowtail butterfly, photograph: Lara Breckon
A damselfly beside the millstream. Picture by Trevor Sanderson.

From Harrods Food Hall and Phantom of the Opera to the Watermill at Posara!

Painting by Rebecca de Mendonça, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

English pastellist Rebecca de Mendonça’s teaching and painting are the result of a varied career in the arts. Having completed her degree in Theatre Design, she worked on projects ranging from Harrods Food Hall to the Phantom of the Opera and has been commissioned to paint dancers at English National Ballet and actors in West End Shows. She also loves painting buildings and landscapes – and people. The pastel above is her stunning Sitting on the Steps.

We’re delighted to welcome Rebecca back next year for another of her highly popular week-long courses in Pastels and Mixed Media. It will run from Saturday 5 September to Saturday 12 September 2020. Her atmospheric pastel below is of an archway in the walled village of Verrucola, one of the locations on our painting weeks.

Painting by Rebecca de Mendonça, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Rebecca di Mendonça, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Rebecca will help you to capture the architecture and landscape of the beautiful Watermill painting venues with a combination of materials: soft pastels, pen and ink, Conte crayons and pastel pencils, separately and in combination, to achieve lively sketches and finished pieces. You can find out more about Rebecca and her course at the Watermill by clicking here.

A comment from a previous guest: “It really was one of the best courses I’ve ever attended. No, I’ll amend that, it WAS the best. Good company, but above all, I felt Rebecca really cared that we all really achieved something during our time with her.”

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation, pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation. You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

Even though it’s almost a year away, we already have nine people booked into Rebecca’s 2020 course at the Watermill. One of them is a non-painting partner, so we have room for four more painters (and their partners, if they’d like to come with them) so now is the time to avoid disappointment and book your place. And don’t forget we have an Early Bird Discount Offer: If you book before 31 December 2019 there’s a £75 (English pounds) per person discount on this fabulous 2020 painting holiday.

Rebecca, Lois and I would like to welcome you to the Watermill and tell you more about Harrods Food Hall, the Phantom of the Opera and much else beside!

Painting by Rebecca de Mendonca, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A dynamic pastel by Rebecca called ‘Freedom’