Archives for June 2020

Our demijohns look forward to a new awakening

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

Here is a lovely atmospheric picture by our daughter Lara Breckon, of some of our famous demijohns, looking very artistic in the wonderful new space we have created in the old frantoio, the olive press.

Work on this new project is on hold at the moment as we recover from the effects of coronavirus, but the picture is symbolic of the new awakening at the Watermill, where in the next month or so we plan to restart our renowned creative courses. We have six courses scheduled for the rest of this year, and now have every confidence that we will be able to run them. And thanks to the support of our Watermill fans and friends, bookings for next year are already looking buoyant.

As our finances begin to return to normal (it won’t be until next spring before we are back on an even keel, we suspect), we will be working on the ‘frantoio project’ to provide another exciting leisure area for our guests. And the demijohns, ancient wine containers, will play their part… Here’s another one, in the sunny Watermill courtyard, reflecting back the ancient buildings:

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

As Italy begins to open up to welcome back international guests to this beautiful country, we are looking forward to the Watermill life returning to its peaceful and inspiring creative normality. We still have some places left on the remaining courses for 2020 and will be delighted to welcome you here. There are details below.

Why not come and see those demijohns for yourself? We are ready when you are: buildings renovated, walls painted, furniture restored, window boxes filled, courtyard full of plants: we just need your company to make it all perfect.

Below you will first find details of our inspiring 2020 painting courses, followed by information on our creative writing and Italian language weeks.

Updated 28 June 2020

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



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

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
8 – 15 August 2020 – two or three places left
Scriptwriting
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill, please visit their 2020 Profile Page.



Francesca La Sala
22 – 29 August 2020 – three or four places left.
Italian from the Italians
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.



Mike Willdridge
29 August – 5 September 2020 – three or four places left
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


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

Rebecca de Mendonça
5 – 12 September 2020 – two or three places left
Pastels and Mixed media
To learn more about Rebecca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

Milind Mulick
3 – 10 October 2020 –  three or four places left
Colourful watercolours
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


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

Tim Wilmot
10 – 17 October 2020 –  two or three places left
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


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

We are also planning a full series of creative courses – painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language – for 2021 and you can see a preview of those courses by clicking here.

Inspirational, interactive, free and fun…

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

We have had a wonderful feedback from participants in Mike Willdridge‘s free, interactive, online sessions. We have run four of them already and there are more to come. In the last one before this newsletter went to press more than 120 people joined the Zoom session (hosted by Lois) and painted ‘washing on the line’ along with Mike. Above is Mike’s demonstration picture of the subject.

Some comments from guests on previous sessions:

“The perfect approach with or without the dreaded lockdown. I find both watching the ‘parts’ of the sessions AND painting alongside Mike really helpful. You get more of a sense how its ok to be freer. It gives you the confidence to be a bit chaotic and less prone to overpainting – always my problem. Interestingly, with no distractions I found it easy to concentrate and repeat what you were doing on zoom. Being set up beforehand, ready-to-go, and the concentrated session was just great.  Thank you so much.”

“What a fabulous way to bring the whole world together and coming, doing something happy.”

I’ve made one of those short, fun Facebook slideshows of some of the paintings made by some of our 120+ guests during the session, which you can see by clicking here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Some paintings by guests on our latest session

We have now organised more sessions, each of which can now take up to 150 people. They are designed to help you brush up your painting skills, are completely free, though many of our guests have generously sent us donations, for which many thanks. If you would like to donate (it is purely voluntary), Lois will tell you how to do so when you sign up for one or more of the sessions. (Details below.)

Mike’s next session is on Thursday 2 July at 2.30pm. The theme is a busy market in Le Marche.

The following session is on Thursday 9 July at 2.30pm, when the theme will be Moorish architecture.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Photographs of the subjects for the next two interactive sessions with Mike.

Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Please get in touch with Lois by using the Watermill contact form, which you can find by clicking here. {Please check the link.} Mark the topic as ‘Mike’s free interactive sessions.

Unlike many online painting programmes, Mike’s will not expect you to ‘look over his shoulder’ for a long demonstration, and perhaps be allowed to ask the odd question or two. No, you will be painting along at more or less the same time, trying out the watercolour techniques that Mike has shown you, step-by-step. He will demonstrate some basic techniques for only a few minutes before you start painting the same subject at home. Then, after you have had your turn, Mike will move onto the next part of the process. The session will last a couple of hours.

Before each session Mike supplies a photograph of what is going to be painted, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette. We will send these beforehand to all the participants in the session. After the session we will send you a link that will enable to you revisit Mike’s step-by-step teaching.

And when you’ve enjoyed working with Mike online, why not join him for real, on his Watermill course this autumn?

The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A painting group with Mike Willdrige being less than serious
Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Mike Willdridge’s course, in watercolours and drawing (and gouache and acrylics) will run from Saturday 29 August to Saturday 5 September. Details and link below. Why not give yourself something to look forward to and join Mike here? We are sure that everything will be back to normal by then, but don’t forget the Watermill’s coronavirus promise:

  • Rest assured that if travel restrictions in your own country or in Italy mean that the course cannot run on these dates, or that appropriate flights are not available, we will postpone your course until 2021.
  • If a workshop is cancelled, rather than just being postponed, we will refund any payment in full.
  • If a workshop is postponed and you cannot make the new dates for the tutor you have chosen, we will offer you alternative courses with others inspiring tutors.

Mike Willdridge
29 August – 5 September 2020 – three or four places left
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.

Come and discuss your painting preferences with Milind

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

Which one do you prefer? That was the question posed by our inspiring Watermill painting tutor Milind Mulick when he posted the two pictures above on his Facebook page at the weekend.

So what is your verdict? The picture on the left? Or the one on the right? I like them both, but I find the ‘abstract’ elements in the picture on the left quite alluring.

I’m not quite sure where this Italian square is, but it looks very much to me like Lucca, which is one of our Wednesday excursion venues during a Watermill painting week.

We will be able to find out from the maestro himself when he takes his painting course here this October. And you will be able to express your preferences to him personally, not only on the paintings above but on your own efforts to capture the wonderful Italian architecture and stunning scenery for yourselves.

Another Milind Italian masterpiece: an atmospheric and vibrant picture of washing on the line.

We are delighted to welcome Milind, a watercolour artist from Pune in India, to the international team of Watermill painting tutors. He has gained a remarkable reputation in his own country and, increasingly worldwide, for his atmospheric paintings.

Milind has been painting in watercolours for more than 30 years, his artistic journey beginning in childhood, following his father, also a painter. As well as being influenced by the great British watercolourists like Edward Wesson and Edward Siego, Milind has absorbed the styles of Indian artists too. He has won many awards and written a dozen books on watercolour painting.

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

Milind has also been teaching for many years: “Teaching gives me great pleasure: I love meeting new people and helping them realise their artistic potential.” As a previous student says: “Milind pours his heart and soul into his paintings and believes in spreading his knowledge.”

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

Milind will be with us for his course, which he calls Colourful Watercolours, from Saturday 3 October to Saturday 10 October. We have eight people booked in, so we still have a few places free, You can find out more about Milind and his course at the Watermill by clicking here.

Painting by Milind Mulick a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A shiny bicycle on a rainy day.

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!

Milind Mulick

Milind Mulick
3 – 10 October 2020 –  a few places left
Colourful watercolours
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.

We can’t wait to welcome you to our Italian language week

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

it’s a funny expression but we like it very much: Non vedo l’ora. Being strictly translated it means ‘I can’t see the time.’ But what it really means is ‘I can’t wait,’ or ‘I’m looking forward to it.’

Our friends at the English-language online newspaper thelocal.it, have been thinking more deeply about it and tell us that it also implies excitement about the future event, so that we can’t even ‘see’ or imagine the time coming.

So, to put the verb into the plural here is what we at the Watermill would like to say to you all: Non vediamo l’ora di darvi il benvenuto in Posara. We can’t wait to welcome you to Posara.

And we would particularly like to welcome you on our Italian language week, with our good friend and enthusiastic teacher Francesca la Sala, soaking up knowledge in the dappled sunlight under the vine verandah and making forays into the towns and villages surrounding us, to learn Italian from the Italians.

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

As they say, Che fegata, How cool!

We’ll even try to find you some ripe figs in the garden and in the local market.

And talking of cool, don’t forget the mill is fully air-conditioned, powered by our hidden photovoltaic panels, which make us self-sufficient in electricity. 

Che figata, indeed!

We have teamed up again with Francesca to bring you a unique course which is both fun and illuminating.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Learning the language under the shade of the vine verandah-
The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Enthusiastic teaching from Francesca.

So when we say Non vediamo l’ora di darvi il benvenuto in Posara, we hope you will reply: Non vedo l’ora di tornare in Italia! We can’t wait to return to Italy,

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

Francesca La Sala

22-29 August 2020

Learning Italian with the Italians Three/four places left

To learn more about Francesca’s week, please visit her Tutor Profile Page by clicking here.

Come and paint the wonderful Watermill scenery with Tim

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

Our friend and Watermill painting tutor Tim Wilmot has just sent this lovely watercolour of an ancient vineyard in the hilltop village of Monte dei Bianchi, where we go on to paint on Fridays during our courses, before enjoying a gourmet lunch in a restaurant nearby, under the towering Apuan Alps.

We are looking forward to doing it again when Tim joins us for another of his fun-filled sun-filled inspiring courses this October. Ten people are already booked into the course, so we have a couple of places available. The dates are Saturday 3 October to Saturday 10 October and there is a link below for details. We would love you to join us.

Painting by Tim Wilmot a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Painting in the Watermill walled garden, by Tim Wilmot

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

Tim Wilmot is an artist from Bristol in the South-west of the UK, specialising in vibrant watercolours, using tone and light to bring out the best in the medium. Tim paints in a loose, impressionistic style.

As well as an exciting artist, Tim is also an inspiring teacher. He demonstrates regularly in England and, has more than 15,000 followers of his demonstrations on YouTube. He loves personal interaction with his students: “There are all sorts of reasons for coming on a painting holiday — it might be to improve your drawing skills, loosen up your style, learn how to incorporate figures in a landscape — and it’s my job to try to find what your personal objectives are and help you achieve them. Oh, and have fun with like-minded people on the way.”

Painting by Tim Wilmot, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Tim Wilmot’s impression of the riverside by The Watermill

Some comments from some of Tim’s previous students: “I’m quite impressed with how you transform a dull image into an impressionistic and beautiful study of light and shadow. You’re a great tutor!”  “I really like your loose style.” “Like most, I struggle with too much detail. This will help me to “loosen up”. “I can’t help being inspired by the careful and wonderfully measured strokes of a genius” 

Painting by Tim Wilmot, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Tim’s watercolour of a vineyard and the Apuan Alps near the Watermill

We already have ten people booked into Tim’s course, including one non-painting partner. So, we have room for a couple more painters (and their partners if they would like to join them).

Tim Wilmot
10 – 17 October 2020 – still a couple of places
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


‘Virtual’ is fine, but for better life story writing, you must try the real thing…

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

We have just completed a highly successful free online ‘writing your life story’ session with our renowned writing tutor Jo Parfitt (above).

Using her concept of the Life Story Jar, Jo led some 20 participants through the fundamentals of writing about your life in a way that really has impact. Jo and the Watermill offered this free session to our friends as part of our contribution to help people get through these difficult ‘lockdown’ times.

Our participants were inspired: “A great session; Jo’s tutorial was excellent,” said one of them. Another added: “How clearly Jo manages to put across her ideas.” And a third said: “It was wonderful to be with a group of enthusiasts once more and be prompted to pick up that lazy pen…”

Lois, who was host for the session, helped participants to share some of their work, which Jo considers a particularly important part of the learning process.

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

You can see a video of the session by clicking here, but for reasons of privacy we have had to edit out the sharing section.

But as life gets back to normal, you will know that, however helpful ‘virtual events’ are, they can’t beat the real thing, a week-long creative writing course with Jo at the Watermill. We had to postpone Jo’s Writing Your Life Stories course this year, but it will be running again next summer. It will run from Saturday 14 August to Saturday 21 August 2021, and for more details, please click here.

Many of this year’s participants have already transferred to Jo’s 2021 course, but we still have a few places.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
A collage of conversation on Jo’s last course,compiled by Sue Reed.

Jo Parfitt’s Writing Your Life Stories courses at the Watermill have provided some of the most inspiring and creative weeks in our calendar, with dozens of people learning new writing skills to help them capture the stories of their lives.

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

This 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 and making them leap off the page You learn how to:

  • Let it flow
  • Write about childhood
  • Write about people
  • Write about places
  • Write on a theme
  • Write humour
  • Write complete stories, with beginnings, middles and ends

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

As one of our previous guests said: “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.” Another said: “It was a great week: “Beautiful setting, perfect weather, delicious food and some super outings, who could ask for anything more — and I did quite a bit of writing!”

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

Above are some members of Jo Parfitt’s writing group last year sharing snippets from their lives One of the group, Sue Reed, tells us: “The vine verandah 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. My life feels so much richer for having met and shared stories with these wonderful people.”

Of course, there’s not only laughter, but tears, too, as members of the group share emotional experiences from their lives, but in the secure and sympathetic surroundings of the Watermill, this sharing can become life-enhancing. As 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”. And there’s more laughter than tears, with the warm camaraderie of like-minded people

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
A writing group on the steps of the castle at Verrucola, where go to lunch on Mondays

So, come and add spice to your life stories and learn the secrets of compelling writing, when Jo returns next year. To recap, her Write Your Life Stories course will run from Saturday 14 August to Saturday 21 August 2021. We already have seven people booked into Jo’s course, so we only have room for four or five more. For more details, please click here.

***The Watermill is renowned for its inspiring teaching, its beautiful setting, its delicious food and wine, and its warm and welcoming hospitality. We are also Cool and Green! All the bedrooms and public rooms have air conditioning, powered by our hidden array of photovoltaic panels, harnessing the sun’s energy to makes us self-sufficient in electricity generation.

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

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

More blooming hydrangeas, as promised

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

A week or so ago I showed you some pictures of the hydrangeas in the courtyard outside the Vasari suite. They were just coming into bloom and I promised to show you them again as they blossomed. Well, there they are above, courtesy of a photograph by our green-fingered gardener, Flavio Terenzoni.

Why not come and see them for yourself? We have every confidence that our world-renowned creative courses will be up and running again very soon. Throw off the coronavirus blues and blossom once more with us! We are ready when you are: buildings renovated, walls painted, furniture restored, window boxes filled, courtyard full of plants: we just need your company to make it all perfect.

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

We do hope you will be able to plan ahead for when we are through this difficult time and you are ready for a relaxing and inspiring break away from it all. Please come and join us.

*Please rest assured that if travel restrictions in your own country or in Italy mean that the course cannot run on these dates, or that appropriate flights are not available, we will postpone your course to later in the year or even until 2021. You can find out all about our coronavirus strategy by clicking here. We’ll also be doing everything to keep you safe during your visit.

Below you will first find details of our inspiring 2020 painting courses, followed by information on our creative writing and Italian language weeks.

Updated 18 June 2020

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

Our inspiring 2020 painting courses


Mike Willdridge
29 August – 5 September 2020 – three or four places left
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


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

Rebecca de Mendonça
5 – 12 September 2020 – two or three places left
Pastels and Mixed media
To learn more about Rebecca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

Maggie Renner Hellman
19–26 September 2020 – a few places left
Oils, acrylics, watercolours and pastels
To learn about Maggie’s courses, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

Milind Mulick
3 – 10 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Colourful watercolours
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


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

Tim Wilmot
10 – 17 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Our enriching 2020 writing course


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

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
8 – 15 August 2020 – two or three places left
Scriptwriting
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill, please visit their 2020 Profile Page.


Our elevating Italian course

Langues Service and Francesca La Sala
22 – 29 August 2020 – still a few places
Italian from the Italians
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

We are also planning a full series of creative courses – painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language – for 2021 and you can see a preview of those courses by clicking here.

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Have a gander at Tricia’s geese

Talking of geese, as we were a few days ago when reporting on the success of Mike Willdridge’s latest interactive online painting session, one of the participants, Tricia Kaye, sent us the picture above of a three-dimensional goose (or two) that she has been working on.

A talented lot, these friends of the Watermill! Thank you for sharing your geese with us, Tricia. Here’s another mini-gaggle.

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

You may recollect that Mike’s last subject was a gaggle of geese in front of an old barn. Here is his painting:

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

If you click here you can see a fun 30-second Facebook slideshow of the efforts of some of our guests as they painted along with Mike.

And if you click again, you can find out more about the next fun-filled, free interactive sessions which Mike and Lois have prepared to keep you inspired during lockdown.

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

And, of course, the aim is also to inspire you to look ahead and book for the real thing: one of our world-renowned Watermill creative courses. We have every confidence that we will be up and running again very soon. We have just been talking to Laurence Marks, whose Screenwriting course with his partner Maurice Gran starts on 8 August, who tells us that they bought their air tickets and cannot wait to be with us again. Perhaps you’d like to join us and brush up your writing skills with the Masters. We also have an exciting series of painting courses, details of which are below. Throw off the coronavirus blues and reinvigorate your life! We are ready when you are: buildings renovated, walls painted, furniture restored, window boxes filled, courtyard full of plants: we just need your company to make it all perfect.

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

We do hope you will be able to plan ahead for when we are through this difficult time and you are ready for a relaxing and inspiring break away from it all. Please come and join us.

*Please rest assured that if travel restrictions in your own country or in Italy mean that the course cannot run on these dates, or that appropriate flights are not available, we will postpone your course to later in the year or even until 2021. You can find out all about our coronavirus strategy by clicking here. We’ll also be doing everything to keep you safe during your visit.

Below you will first find details of our inspiring 2020 painting courses, followed by information on our creative writing and Italian language weeks.

Updated 16 June 2020

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

Our inspiring 2020 painting courses


Mike Willdridge
29 August – 5 September 2020 – three or four places left
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


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

Rebecca de Mendonça
5 – 12 September 2020 – two or three places left
Pastels and Mixed media
To learn more about Rebecca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

Maggie Renner Hellman
19–26 September 2020 – a few places left
Oils, acrylics, watercolours and pastels
To learn about Maggie’s courses, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

Milind Mulick
3 – 10 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Colourful watercolours
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


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

Tim Wilmot
10 – 17 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Our enriching 2020 writing course


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

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
8 – 15 August 2020 – two or three places left
Scriptwriting
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill, please visit their 2020 Profile Page.


Our elevating Italian course

Langues Service and Francesca La Sala
22 – 29 August 2020 – still a few places
Italian from the Italians
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

We are also planning a full series of creative courses – painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language – for 2021 and you can see a preview of those courses by clicking here.

After the gaggle of geese, it’s washing on the line!

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A gaggle of geese and an old barn: Mike’s picture for the latest interactive session.

We have had a wonderful feedback from participants in Mike Willdridge‘s latest free, interactive, online session, where they painted a gaggle of geese in front of an old barn, along with Mike. We’d like to share just a few of the comments.

That was really good fun and so lovely to lose oneself in a painting and not worry about the world for a couple of hours.

The perfect approach with or without the dreaded lockdown. I find both watching the ‘parts’ of the sessions AND painting alongside Mike really helpful. You get more of a sense how its ok to be freer. It gives you the confidence to be a bit chaotic and less prone to overpainting – always my problem. Interestingly, with no distractions I found it easy to concentrate and repeat what you were doing on zoom. Being set up beforehand, ready-to-go, and the concentrated session was just great.  Thank you so much.

What a fabulous way to bring the whole world together and coming, doing something happy.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
One of our guest’s paintings.

I have made one of those short, fun Facebook slideshows of some of the paintings made by some of 70+ our guests during the session, which you can see by clicking here.

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

You can see the video Mike made during his interactive session on YouTube, by clicking here, you will be able to see videos from our other interactive sessions with Mike as they become available. And if you would like to see more of our guests’ interpretations of ‘geese and the barn’, please click here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
A still from the video.
The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Here come the geese!

We have now organised another three sessions, each of which can take up to 100 people. These interactive sessions, which are designed to help you brush up your painting skills, are completely free, though many of our guests have generously sent us donations, for which many thanks. If you would like to donate (it is purely voluntary), Lois will tell you how to do so when you sign up for one or more of the sessions. (Details below.)

Mike’s next session is on Thursday 25 June at 2.30pm. The theme is ‘washing on the line’.  It is the first of three sessions where Mike will explore sunshine and shadows.  Further sessions will be:

Thursday 2 July at 2.30pm – a busy market in Le Marche

Thursday 9 July at 2.30pm – Moorish architecture

We are encouraging our guests to come to all three so that they can hone their skills. 

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

Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Please get in touch with Lois by using the Watermill contact form, which you can find by clicking here. Mark the topic as ‘Mike’s free interactive sessions.

Unlike many online painting programmes, Mike’s will not expect you to ‘look over his shoulder’ for a long demonstration, and perhaps be allowed to ask the odd question or two. No, you will be painting along at more or less the same time, trying out the watercolour techniques that Mike has shown you, step-by-step. He will demonstrate some basic techniques for only a few minutes before you start painting the same subject at home. Then, after you have had your turn, Mike will move onto the next part of the process. The session will last a couple of hours.

Before each session Mike supplies a photograph of what is going to be painted, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette. We will send these beforehand to all the participants in the session. After the session we will send you a link that will enable to you revisit Mike’s step-by-step teaching.

And when you’ve enjoyed working with Mike online, why not join him for real, on his Watermill course this autumn?

The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A painting group with Mike Willdrige being less than serious

Mike’s painting group last year, not being too serious!

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

Mike’s course, in watercolours and drawing (and gouache and acrylics) will run from Saturday 29 August to Saturday 5 September. Details and link below. Why not give yourself something to look forward to and join Mike here? We think things will be back to normal by then, but don’t forget the Watermill’s coronavirus promise:

Rest assured that if travel restrictions in your own country or in Italy mean that the course cannot run on these dates, or that appropriate flights are not available, we will postpone your course until 2021.

If a workshop is cancelled, rather than just being postponed, we will refund any payment in full.

If a workshop is postponed and you cannot make the new dates for the tutor you have chosen, we will offer you alternative courses with others inspiring tutors.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A lovely watercolour by Mike Willdridge of the millstream bubbling under one of our gardener Flavio’s famous wooden bridges.

Mike Willdridge
29 August – 5 September 2020 – three or four places left
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Below is Mike’s beautiful demonstration painting of the nearby church at Pognana. Come and see for yourself. We would love to welcome you here.

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

Another photovoltaic milestone! 14,000 kWh in a year.

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

This week our new photovoltaic electricity-producing system will be one year old. When we commissioned it on 12 June 2019, we set ourselves a target of making 14,000 kilowatt hours of electricity from the sun in our first year.

The picture above, from our handy little monitoring app, shows that we reached our target with a few days to spare! What’s more, we have also saved nearly 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide production.

Our arrays of photovoltaic panels, hidden away on our south-facing roofs overlooking the river make us totally self-sufficient in electricity generation, even powering the new air-conditioning units in all our bedrooms and public rooms. We’ve commissioned the air-conditioning system, and we now have another little app which enables us to control each unit remotely, even from Florence!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Solar power to keep you cool. Some of our panel embedded in the roof of the 19th century Mill 2.

As you know, the Watermill is renowned for its inspiring teaching, its beautiful setting, its delicious food and wine, and its warm and welcoming hospitality. Now, whatever the weather, you will be Cool and Green with us.

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

Trouble is that at the moment we have no guests at the Watermill to enjoy the fruits of our photovoltaic labours. Still, we are putting the bulk of our production back into the electricity grid, giving us plenty of credit for when we are able to keep you cool. Very soon, we hope.

We reckon that everything will be back to normal in the next few weeks and we are confident of running our courses here from August onward.

We are ready when you are: buildings renovated, walls painted, furniture restored, window boxes filled, courtyard full of plants: we just need your company to make it all perfect.

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

We do hope you will be able to plan ahead for when we are through this difficult time and you are ready for a relaxing and inspiring break away from it all. Please come and join us.

*Please rest assured that if travel restrictions in your own country or in Italy mean that the course cannot run on these dates, or that appropriate flights are not available, we will postpone your course to later in the year or even until 2021. You can find out all about our coronavirus strategy by clicking here.

Below you will first find details of our rearranged inspiring painting courses, followed by information on our creative writing and Italian language weeks.

Updated 10 June 2020

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

Our inspiring 2020 painting courses


Mike Willdridge
29 August – 5 September 2020 – three or four places left
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


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

Rebecca de Mendonça
5 – 12 September 2020 – two or three places left
Pastels and Mixed media
To learn more about Rebecca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

Maggie Renner Hellman
19–26 September 2020 – a few places left
Oils, acrylics, watercolours and pastels
To learn about Maggie’s courses, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

Milind Mulick
3 – 10 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Colourful watercolours
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.



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

Tim Wilmot
10 – 17 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Our enriching 2020 writing course


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

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
8 – 15 August 2020 – two or three places left
Scriptwriting
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill, please visit their 2020 Profile Page.


Our elevating Italian course

Langues Service and Francesca La Sala
22 – 29 August 2020 – still a few places
Italian from the Italians
To learn more about Federica and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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