Archives for July 2020

Early evening on a Watermill terrace. Time for an aperitivo!

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

As good as my promise, I collected my Hilary Mantell, put on the ice-making machine and spend a pleasant hour or so on our riverside terrace involved the machinations of Thomas Cromwell at the court of King Henry VIII. And then, as the shadows lengthened it was time for that ‘king of aperitivi’, a Negroni, invented by the Italian Count of that name. So you see, la Dolce Vita is alive and well and living in Italy!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
The scene pre Baron Cromwell and Count Negroni

Wish you were here? There is still time to do so. We have two of our inspiring painting courses running, one at the end of August/beginning of September and the other in October.

Come and join us to rekindle your creativity, tickle your tastebuds and enjoy the convivial company of like-minded people.

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.

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.

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



Painting by Tim Wilmot, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A vibrant watercolour of an old vineyard by Tim Wilmot.

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.

Early afternoon sun on a Watermill terrace. Time to read my book!

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

This was the scene on the Watermill’s riverside terrace this afternoon. I just skipped away to find my Hilary Mantel and re-immerse myself in Henry VIII’s court. It will soon be time for an aperitivo: a Negroni tonight, I think! I’d better put the ice-making machine on, too.

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

Wish you were here? There is still time to do so. We have two of our inspiring painting courses running, one at the end of August/beginning of September and the other in October.

Come and join us to rekindle your creativity, tickle your tastebuds and enjoy the convivial company of like-minded people.

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.

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.

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



Painting by Tim Wilmot, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A vibrant watercolour of an old vineyard by Tim Wilmot.

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.

Fresh from the tree: the figs couldn’t be better!

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

One of the many delights of summer at the Watermill is picking fresh figs from the trees which grow beside the millstream, with overhanging fruit-filled branches in our walled garden. They taste wonderful and we are only sorry that you are not here to share them with us.

We also enjoy delicious sweet tiny plum tomatoes from our garden, together with crispy lettuce and plump zucchini. And, of course, we grow our own basil, to make our own fresh pesto.

I suspect the figs will be finished by the time we run our final painting courses this year, but I’m sure will find some tasty tomatoes for you and, of course, serve you the most delicious pesto you’ve ever tasted.

Come and join us to rekindle your creativity, tickle your tastebuds and enjoy the convivial company of like-minded people.

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.

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.

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



Painting by Tim Wilmot, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A vibrant watercolour of an old vineyard by Tim Wilmot.

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.

‘From below upwards’, creating the illusion of space

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

Our thanks to Musei Italiani for this spectacular photograph of the ceiling of the church of Saint Ignatius in Rome, showing the saint’s apotheosis, painted by Andrea Pozzo in the 17th century

It is an outstanding example of trompe l’oeil painting known in Italian as di sotto in sù, ‘from below, upwards’, using the techniques of painting perspective and foreshortening to create the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface.

Andrea’s painting is a suitable celebration of the splendour of high Baroque, but my favourite painting in the style come from a little earlier, Andrea Mantegna’s ceiling in the Camera degli Sposi in the ducal Palace in Mantova, not least because it is a technical masterpiece, but also because it is such fun.

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

Can you see those laughing servants peering over the balustrade, ready to tumble a tub of flowers on our heads?

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

And look at those chubby naked putti clinging on, sticking out all sorts of body parts, poised for mischief.

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

We can’t promise you mastery of all the mysteries of perspective and foreshortening, but we can guarantee that you will improve your painting – and have fun – on one of our remaining fun-filled sun-filled inspiring painting weeks here at the Watermill.

Come and join us!

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.

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.

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



Painting by Tim Wilmot, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A vibrant watercolour of an old vineyard by Tim Wilmot.

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.

Coronavirus sanity? Lost in translation!

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

Life is returning very much to normal here in Italy, but we are still being very good in observing social distancing (difficult for Italians whose natural instinct is to hug and kiss whenever possible) and wearing our masks in the street and when ordering in café’s bars and restaurants (I find it easier to drink my Negroni without my mask).

Most establishments also have little bottles of sanitising gel to spray on your hands. Above you can see one such in our local ice cream shop/pastry shop/café/bar, the Ricci in Fivizzano, where we frequently go for an aperitivo. Apparently, if you clean your hands, you will become sane. Doesn’t seem to be working with Bill, though!

We will be at the Watermill this weekend, and we are planning to have our first painting course of the season, at last, at the end of August. That’s what I called sanity! To learn more, please click here.

A vibrant intruder among the hydrangeas

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

If our hydrangeas thought that they could bloom beautifully, but alone, in their sunny spot in front of the Vasari suite, they have had another think coming. This weekend we discovered the colourful intruder above, smiling above them. He is a sunflower, of course, and very welcome. Here he is in close-up:

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

Come and join us and see all our colourful flowers yourselves: we have two more painting courses this year and we will be delighted to welcome you here.

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.

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.

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



Painting by Tim Wilmot, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A vibrant watercolour of an old vineyard by Tim Wilmot.

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.

No dress code for Mike’s online painting courses!

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

Mike Willdridge’s free, online, interactive painting sessions, in collaboration with Lois Breckon at the Watermill, are going from strength to strength. Some 120 people joined in yesterday, painting Moorish architecture. I’ll tell you all about that and the other sessions you will be able to join in a blog later today, but for the moment I just like to share with you a couple of pictures from another, private, online painting session that Mike organises with his family.

He tells me: “All this Zooming business began with my experiences from a virtual art club that I set up for my grandchildren at the start of lockdown. It’s a great family favourite now with grandparents, parents, grandchildren, cousins, aunts and uncles all joining in every Sunday morning – chaotic but fun! Everyone takes turns in suggesting a topic and leading a session, especially the children who come up with really creative ideas. Last Sunday we were all making ‘Fairy Doors’ – as suggested by our 5-year-old granddaughter in Wales.”

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

Rather special doors, eh! As you can see at the top, even the youngest want to get involved! There is no dress code!

I’ll tell you more about the virtual painting sessions for the rest of us later today. You can wear your romper suit if you so desire!