Archives for April 2021

A bouquet of tulips announces Mary’s Watermill online arrival

We are delighted to welcome Mary Padgett, the renowned American pastellist, to the team of Watermill online tutors. We have been frustrated that the coronavirus pandemic has meant that she has so far been unable to meet us in person at the Watermill, but we are looking forward to welcoming her here in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, it is wonderful to have her talented tuition for our online courses. (Even though she spells colour funnily!)

For her first subject with us, Mary has chosen a vase of yellow, red and violet tulips, not just for the colo(u)r opportunities they present but “to remind us that spring is (almost) here.” Above is a photograph of the flowers and here below is Mary’s demonstration pastel.

Mary, from Syracuse, New York, says: “Pastel is the ideal medium to explore color. A pastel stick offers more vibrant color than a comparable amount of watercolor, oil, or acrylic paint. Pastel is versatile, it can be applied in a myriad of ways from a fine line to a thick buttery passage.”

Mary’s Zoom session is live on Thursday 22 April at 5 pm Italian time. (4 pm UK time. We know that may be quite early in the morning in the western parts of United States and Canada, and in the middle of the night in Australia and New Zealand! But, even if you can’t make the live session, you can still register and receive an edited video of the demonstration to paint along in your own time. See below.) Registration for this exciting online, interactive session is through the Eventbrite platform and you can join up by clicking here.

The logistical details of Mary’s course:

Just click here to find out more.

Unlike many online painting programmes, Mary’s will not expect you to ‘look over her 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 pastel techniques that Mary shows you, step-by-step. She 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, Mary will move onto the next part of the process. Lois Breckon from The Watermill at Posara will be on hand during the session to feed your questions. The session will last a couple of hours.

When you register for the session you will be asked for a donation. Some people ask how much this should be. Our answer? “Like the measure of a Scottish dram: it should offend neither the host nor the guest!” Our Zoom painting demonstrations do take quite a bit of time in preparation and administration and your support is very much appreciated. With your generosity we can plan and run further sessions and, more importantly, provide a regular meeting place for creativity, camaraderie and fun. We hope that you enjoy the international, online painting community that we have created.

When you register you will be provided with two links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session. The second link is where you will find Mary’s practice painting to show you where you are heading, two source photos, a colour wheel, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette.

After the event, you are invited to email us with your painting to add to the gallery. In addition, we will send you a link to a video that will enable to you revisit Mary’s step-by-step teaching. That Eventbrite link again: just click here.

When you have painted with Mary online, why not join her for real at the Watermill in Tuscany Italy next year, 30 April to 7 May 2022?

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

Mary Padgett 

Saturday 30 April Saturday 7 May 2022 

Pastels (and other portable media) en plein air

You can find out more by emailing us at info@watermill.net.

Painting by Mary Padgett, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Capture the colours of Tuscany in pastel with Mary.

Take a (virtual) painting trip to Oz tomorrow, but keep it simple!

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy
Mike’s demonstration sketch of tomorrow’s scene.

There is still time to take a trip (virtually) to Australia this Thursday with Mike Willdridge and his trusty sketchbook. Mike wants to show you how you can capture a scene quickly by simplifying what you see and being selective with the use of paint.

He will share with the joys of making pictures using pen and watercolour wash. Mike says: This is a great medium for working quickly; mistakes can easily be hidden by the pen and I like to use one with as large a nib as possible.”

Another photo of the scene you will be painting tomorrow.

You will also learn simple ways to tackle perspective, of great importance in the sketch above, of The Corso in Manly, Australia, with the street disappearing into the horizon, and with big and small trees and figures. As you can see, as well as sketching with his pen, Mike’s use a simple watercolour wash to add interest to the scene. He says:” I chose to use just one colour, but we could use more when we paint this scene together.”

Mike’s Zoom session is live on Thursday 15 April at 3:30 pm Italian time. (2:30 pm UK time. That’s quite early in the morning in the United States and Canada, and in the middle of the night in Australia and New Zealand! But, even if you can’t make the live session, you can still register and receive an edited video of the demonstration to paint along in your own time. See below.) Registration for this exciting online, interactive session is through the Eventbrite platform and you can join up by clicking here. There are full details of the session below, but first I’d just like to show you a couple of other examples of how selecting and simplifying bring the scene to life, sketches made by Mike on his trips to Australia.

The logistics of Mike’s latest online session:

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. Lois Breckon from The Watermill at Posara will be on hand during the session to feed your questions. The session will last a couple of hours.

When you register for the session you will be asked for a donation. Some people ask how much this should be. Our answer? “Like the measure of a Scottish dram: it should offend neither the host nor the guest!” Our Zoom painting demonstrations do take quite a bit of time in preparation and administration and your support is very much appreciated. With your generosity we can plan and run further sessions and, more importantly, provide a regular meeting place for creativity, camaraderie and fun. We hope that you enjoy the international, online painting community that we have created.

When you register you will be provided with two links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session. The second link is where you will find a copy of the photograph that you will paint, Mike’s sketchbook painting to show you where you are heading, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette. There is no need to make a preliminary drawing before the session.

After the event, you are invited to email us with your painting to add to the online Gallery. In addition, we will send you a link to an edited video of the session that will enable to you revisit Mike’s step-by-step teaching. That link to register again: just click here.

Just click here to register

When you have painted with Mike online, why not join him for real at the Watermill in Tuscany Italy next summer? We would love to welcome you to the Watermill. You can find more details of Mike’s week-long courses, 28 August to 4 September, and 4 to 11 September, 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.

Arrive just in time for an aperitivo as a Watermill Patron. And win more rewards

Luca celebrates its saint with flowers every April. Picture: Two Parts Italy

Lost your spectacles? Find out how Santa Zita might help as Lois reads from Just in Time for an Aperitivo, our love letters to Italy. As we visit the beautiful city of Lucca, learn also about Zita’s flowery miracle and why there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Toscanini conducted Puccini. Just some of the delights of becoming a Watermill Patron.

Picture: Two Parts Italy

We have launched a new online venture: a subscription service to involve more intimately as Patrons the thousands of people who have expressed an interest in our Watermill activities, creating an even broader international online creative community — and giving them exclusive rewards for joining in. And we need your support to help get this new adventure off the ground. To be part of it, just click here. And ask Santa Zita where on earth you put those specs!

***

The Watermill Patrons project: the details of how YOU can be involved

We’ve created a friendly meeting place where YOU can be involved more fully with the Watermill’s creative adventures.  If you are keen for more news about Watermill exciting restoration projects, more mouth-watering recipes from the Watermill kitchen, more insights into Italian life and culture, more creative tips from our tutors – generally more ‘friends’ privileges’ at the Watermill – just sign up as a Watermill Patron and you will enjoy all these exclusive perks and MORE.  What’s more, your support will help us move The Watermill at Posara to the next level… 

As you probably know, we have lovingly restored our historic watermill in unspoilt rural Tuscany, Italy, and from here we run creative courses (in painting, writing, knitting and Italian Language). We have gained a reputation for inspiring tuition, warm hospitality, fantastic food and convivial company.

Our new venture is a way of helping the thousands of people who have been on one of our Watermill renowned week-long residential creative courses, or have joined in our weekly interactive online sessions, or simply expressed an interest in the Watermill, to become more actively involved in our activities throughout the year — and gain rewards for doing so.

Using Patreon, we are creating a new friendly meeting place, an international community of artistic, convivial people, – and we would love you to be part of it.

Lois will tell you more if you just click here..

Patreon is an online platform for people who would like to support creative causes – and ours is to continue our work in restoring this wonderful ancient Watermill (some of it dating from the 17th century), making it into one of the best centres of creative activities in the world. We would like you to help us in that task, by signing up as a Watermill Patron on the Patreon site. There’s a monthly subscription and you can choose between various tiers of participation, from Friend, to Supporter, Benefactor, Guardian and Angel. Each brings its own rewards.

When you join us, you will receive regular videos, podcasts and blogs with news, recipes, creative tips and Italian insights. And if you join one of our higher tiers, you’ll enjoy complimentary access to our online classes as well as discounts on our renowned creative courses at the mill itself.

Being a patron bring rewards: clockwise from top left: involvement in projects like restoring the olive press, top tips from our tutors, podcast insights into Italian life discounts on creative courses.

And don’t forget the delicious mouth-watering recipes you’ll receive from the Watermill’s kitchen:

As we move forward, you can help steer us to the next level, by giving us your views on forthcoming practical projects as varied as night-vision cameras to observe our wildlife, converting our olive press area into an eco-friendly hot tub and plunge pool, and installing a lift to our first-floor painting studio to make it more accessible to the less sprightly. 

Please come and add your vibrancy to our international community. The first step is to click here to take you to the Patreon site to see an introductory video and read more. Then join up to become part of our new Watermill adventures.

#painting, #watercolor, #watercolour, #watercolors, #acrylic, #pastel, #oilpainting, #writing, #writer, #creativewriting, # memoir, #Languages, #Italian, #knit, #knitting, #Italy, #Tuscany, #travel
Join in the fun! Picture: Francesco Lastrucci

Why do Lois’s gorgonzola soufflées never fall flat? Become a Watermill Patron and find out! And patrons also win rewards

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

Every Friday evening during our creative courses Lois serves these tempting gorgonzola soufflées, and they are always light, fluffy and delicious. What’s the secret? Become a Watermill Patron to find out — and enjoy many other privileges.

We have launched a new online venture: a subscription service to involve more intimately as Patrons the thousands of people who have expressed an interest in our Watermill activities, creating an even broader international online creative community — and giving them exclusive rewards for joining in. And we need your support to help get this new adventure off the ground. To be part of it, just click here. And enjoy the lightest of soufflées!

***

The Watermill Patrons project: the details of how YOU can be involved

We’ve created a friendly meeting place where YOU can be involved more fully with the Watermill’s creative adventures.  If you are keen for more news about Watermill exciting restoration projects, more mouth-watering recipes from the Watermill kitchen, more insights into Italian life and culture, more creative tips from our tutors – generally more ‘friends’ privileges’ at the Watermill – just sign up as a Watermill Patron and you will enjoy all these exclusive perks and MORE.  What’s more, your support will help us move The Watermill at Posara to the next level… 

As you probably know, we have lovingly restored our historic watermill in unspoilt rural Tuscany, Italy, and from here we run creative courses (in painting, writing, knitting and Italian Language). We have gained a reputation for inspiring tuition, warm hospitality, fantastic food and convivial company.

Our new venture is a way of helping the thousands of people who have been on one of our Watermill renowned week-long residential creative courses, or have joined in our weekly interactive online sessions, or simply expressed an interest in the Watermill, to become more actively involved in our activities throughout the year — and gain rewards for doing so.

Using Patreon, we are creating a new friendly meeting place, an international community of artistic, convivial people, – and we would love you to be part of it.

Lois will tell you more if you just click here..

Patreon is an online platform for people who would like to support creative causes – and ours is to continue our work in restoring this wonderful ancient Watermill (some of it dating from the 17th century), making it into one of the best centres of creative activities in the world. We would like you to help us in that task, by signing up as a Watermill Patron on the Patreon site. There’s a monthly subscription and you can choose between various tiers of participation, from Friend, to Supporter, Benefactor, Guardian and Angel. Each brings its own rewards.

When you join us, you will receive regular videos, podcasts and blogs with news, recipes, creative tips and Italian insights. And if you join one of our higher tiers, you’ll enjoy complimentary access to our online classes as well as discounts on our renowned creative courses at the mill itself.

Being a patron bring rewards: clockwise from top left: involvement in projects like restoring the olive press, top tips from our tutors, podcast insights into Italian life discounts on creative courses.

And don’t forget the delicious mouth-watering recipes you’ll receive from the Watermill’s kitchen:

As we move forward, you can help steer us to the next level, by giving us your views on forthcoming practical projects as varied as night-vision cameras to observe our wildlife, converting our olive press area into an eco-friendly hot tub and plunge pool, and installing a lift to our first-floor painting studio to make it more accessible to the less sprightly. 

Please come and add your vibrancy to our international community. The first step is to click here to take you to the Patreon site to see an introductory video and read more. Then join up to become part of our new Watermill adventures.

#painting, #watercolor, #watercolour, #watercolors, #acrylic, #pastel, #oilpainting, #writing, #writer, #creativewriting, # memoir, #Languages, #Italian, #knit, #knitting, #Italy, #Tuscany, #travel
Join in the fun! Picture: Francesco Lastrucci

What’s the difference between the colour of Lois’s coat and our latest restoration project? Become a Watermill patron and find out more!

Here is Lois, in an exclusive video for Watermill Patrons, telling us all about our latest restoration project, in the old olive press. But what’s the connection between the colour of her coat and our plans for this extraordinary space? Become a Watermill Patron and find out more.

We have launched a new online venture: a subscription service to involve more intimately as Patrons the thousands of people who have expressed an interest in our Watermill activities, creating an even broader international online creative community — and giving them exclusive rewards for joining in. And we need your support to help get this new adventure of the ground. Just click here to be part of it, just click here.

***

The Watermill Patrons project: the details of how YOU can be involved

We’ve created a friendly meeting place where YOU can be involved more fully with the Watermill’s creative adventures.  If you are keen for more news about Watermill exciting restoration projects, more mouth-watering recipes from the Watermill kitchen, more insights into Italian life and culture, more creative tips from our tutors – generally more ‘friends’ privileges’ at the Watermill – just sign up as a Watermill Patron and you will enjoy all these exclusive perks and MORE.  What’s more, your support will help us move The Watermill at Posara to the next level… 

As you probably know, we have lovingly restored our historic watermill in unspoilt rural Tuscany, Italy, and from here we run creative courses (in painting, writing, knitting and Italian Language). We have gained a reputation for inspiring tuition, warm hospitality, fantastic food and convivial company.

Our new venture is a way of helping the thousands of people who have been on one of our Watermill renowned week-long residential creative courses, or have joined in our weekly interactive online sessions, or simply expressed an interest in the Watermill, to become more actively involved in our activities throughout the year — and gain rewards for doing so.

Using Patreon, we are creating a new friendly meeting place, an international community of artistic, convivial people, – and we would love you to be part of it.

Lois will tell you more if you just click here..

Patreon is an online platform for people who would like to support creative causes – and ours is to continue our work in restoring this wonderful ancient Watermill (some of it dating from the 17th century), making it into one of the best centres of creative activities in the world. We would like you to help us in that task, by signing up as a Watermill Patron on the Patreon site. There’s a monthly subscription and you can choose between various tiers of participation, from Friend, to Supporter, Benefactor, Guardian and Angel. Each brings its own rewards.

When you join us, you will receive regular videos, podcasts and blogs with news, recipes, creative tips and Italian insights. And if you join one of our higher tiers, you’ll enjoy complimentary access to our online classes as well as discounts on our renowned creative courses at the mill itself.

Being a patron bring rewards: clockwise from top left: involvement in projects like restoring the olive press, top tips from our tutors, podcast insights into Italian life discounts on creative courses.

And don’t forget the delicious mouth-watering recipes you’ll receive from the Watermill’s kitchen:

As we move forward, you can help steer us to the next level, by giving us your views on forthcoming practical projects as varied as night-vision cameras to observe our wildlife, converting our olive press area into an eco-friendly hot tub and plunge pool, and installing a lift to our first-floor painting studio to make it more accessible to the less sprightly. 

Please come and add your vibrancy to our international community. The first step is to click here to take you to the Patreon site to see an introductory video and read more. Then join up to become part of our new Watermill adventures.

#painting, #watercolor, #watercolour, #watercolors, #acrylic, #pastel, #oilpainting, #writing, #writer, #creativewriting, # memoir, #Languages, #Italian, #knit, #knitting, #Italy, #Tuscany, #travel
Join in the fun! Picture: Francesco Lastrucci

Keep it simple to make the best impressions

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

We are travelling (virtually) to Australia this Thursday with Mike Willdridge and his trusty sketchbook. Mike wants to demonstrate how you can capture a scene by simplifying what you see and being selective with the use of paint.

He will share with the joys of making pictures using pen and watercolour wash. Mike says: This is a great medium for working quickly; mistakes can easily be hidden by the pen and I like to use one with as large a nib as possible.”

You will also learn simple ways to tackle perspective, of great importance in the sketch above, of The Corso in Manly, Australia, with the street disappearing into the horizon, and with big and small trees and figures. As you can see, as well as sketching with his pen, Mike’s use a simple watercolour wash to add interest to the scene. He says:” I chose to use just one colour, but we could use more when we paint this scene together.”

Mike’s Zoom session is live on Thursday 15 April at 3:30 pm Italian time. (2:30 pm UK time. That’s quite early in the morning in the United States and Canada, and in the middle of the night in Australia and New Zealand! But, even if you can’t make the live session, you can still register and receive an edited video of the demonstration to paint along in your own time. See below.) Registration for this exciting online, interactive session is through the Eventbrite platform and you can join up by clicking here. There are full details of the session below, but first I’d just like to show you a couple of other examples of how selecting and simplifying bring the scene to life, sketches made by Mike on his trips to Australia.

The logistics of Mike’s latest online session:

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. Lois Breckon from The Watermill at Posara will be on hand during the session to feed your questions. The session will last a couple of hours.

When you register for the session you will be asked for a donation. Some people ask how much this should be. Our answer? “Like the measure of a Scottish dram: it should offend neither the host nor the guest!” Our Zoom painting demonstrations do take quite a bit of time in preparation and administration and your support is very much appreciated. With your generosity we can plan and run further sessions and, more importantly, provide a regular meeting place for creativity, camaraderie and fun. We hope that you enjoy the international, online painting community that we have created.

When you register you will be provided with two links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session. The second link is where you will find a copy of the photograph that you will paint, Mike’s sketchbook painting to show you where you are heading, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette. There is no need to make a preliminary drawing before the session.

After the event, you are invited to email us with your painting to add to the online Gallery. In addition, we will send you a link to an edited video of the session that will enable to you revisit Mike’s step-by-step teaching. That link to register again: just click here.

Just click here to register

When you have painted with Mike online, why not join him for real at the Watermill in Tuscany Italy next summer? We would love to welcome you to the Watermill. You can find more details of Mike’s week-long courses, 28 August to 4 September, and 4 to 11 September, 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.

How to get the very best from your Watermill experience: before you come, during your stay and for ever after!

Among the things that Michael Meyer and Randy Hale have in common is that they have never been to the Watermill! But they are already enjoying our inspiring creative activities; they will do so even more when they visit us later this year; and they will continue to be part of the Watermill creative community in the future.

They are both planning to be with us this physically August: Randy to take his first-ever watercolour course at the Watermill, and Michael, with his wife Nancy, to join us for Mike Willdridge’s course a week later.

In the meantime, Michael has been taking part in many of our inspiring online, interactive sessions, while Randy has been tutor on half a dozen of them. But they’re not just content with hosting or participating in our online sessions, nor enjoying the pleasant anticipation of coming to the Watermill later this year, but they’ve been actively involved in enjoying other Watermill delights.

Michael, for example, couldn’t resist painting a picture (above) of a photograph we published on the Watermill Facebook page of the ancient frantoio, the olive press. And after the intensity of teaching his latest online session on Thursday, Randy poured himself a glass of red wine (below) and settled down to listen to a Watermill podcast. What’s going on?

Both these pictures enable me to give you a ‘sneak preview’ of a new Watermill initiative we are launching on Monday. We’ve created a friendly meeting place where YOU can be involved more fully with the Watermill’s creative adventures.  If you are keen for more news about Watermill exciting restoration projects, more mouth-watering recipes from the Watermill kitchen, more insights into Italian life and culture, more creative tips from our tutors – generally more ‘friends’ privileges’ at the Watermill – just sign up as a Watermill Patron and you will enjoy all these exclusive perks and MORE.  What’s more, your support will help us move The Watermill at Posara to the next level…  To learn more, please just click here.

Just click here for more

Michael’s painting of the old olive press is a pleasant coincidence: its restoration into a wonderful new sitting area for our guests is one of the major projects in which we would like to involve our new patrons. And as for Randy? Well, after its tutoring efforts on behalf we gave him a sneak preview of another reward for becoming a Watermill patron: audio podcasts of Bill’s series of essays called Just in Time for an Aperitivo, giving fascinating insights into the life and history of some Italian towns and cities. Well worth settling down with a glass or two of fine red wine to savour la bella vita Italiana.

We will be telling you more about our new Watermill patron scheme in the next few days, but you can beat the rush and subscribe today. Come and join in the fun, past, present and future! That link again? Simply click here.

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

Become a Watermill patron and win rewards

By popular demand, we’ve now created a friendly online meeting place where YOU can be involved more fully with the Watermill’s creative adventures.  If you are keen for more news about Watermill exciting restoration projects, more mouth-watering recipes from the Watermill kitchen, more insights into Italian life and culture, more creative tips from our tutors – generally more ‘friends’ privileges’ at the Watermill – just sign up as a Watermill Patron and you will enjoy all these exclusive perks and MORE.  What’s more, your support will help us move The Watermill at Posara to the next level… 

As you probably know, we have lovingly restored our historic watermill in unspoilt rural Tuscany, Italy, and from here we run creative courses (in painting, writing, knitting and Italian Language). We have gained a reputation for inspiring tuition, warm hospitality, fantastic food and convivial company.

Our new venture is a way of helping the thousands of people who have been on one of our Watermill renowned week-long residential creative courses, or have joined in our weekly interactive online sessions, or simply expressed an interest in the Watermill, to become more actively involved in our activities throughout the year — and gain rewards for doing so.

Using Patreon, we are creating a new friendly meeting place, an international community of artistic, convivial people, – and we would love you to be part of it.

Lois will tell you more if you just click here..

Patreon is an online platform for people who would like to support creative causes – and ours is to continue our work in restoring this wonderful ancient Watermill (some of it dating from the 17th century), making it into one of the best centres of creative activities in the world. We would like you to help us in that task, by signing up as a Watermill Patron on the Patreon site. There’s a monthly subscription and you can choose between various tiers of participation, from Friend, to Supporter, Benefactor, Guardian and Angel. Each brings its own rewards.

When you join us, you will receive regular videos, podcasts and blogs with news, recipes, creative tips and Italian insights. And if you join one of our higher tiers, you’ll enjoy complimentary access to our online classes as well as discounts on our renowned creative courses at the mill itself.

Being a patron bring rewards: clockwise from top left: involvement in projects like restoring the olive press, top tips from our tutors, podcast insights into Italian life discounts on creative courses.

And don’t forget the delicious mouth-watering recipes you’ll receive from the Watermill’s kitchen:

As we move forward, you can help steer us to the next level, by giving us your views on forthcoming practical projects as varied as night-vision cameras to observe our wildlife, converting our olive press area into an eco-friendly hot tub and plunge pool, and installing a lift to our first-floor painting studio to make it more accessible to the less sprightly. 

Please come and add your vibrancy to our international community. The first step is to click here to take you to the Patreon site to see an introductory video and read more. Then join up to become part of our new Watermill adventures.

#painting, #watercolor, #watercolour, #watercolors, #acrylic, #pastel, #oilpainting, #writing, #writer, #creativewriting, # memoir, #Languages, #Italian, #knit, #knitting, #Italy, #Tuscany, #travel
Join in the fun! Picture: Francesco Lastrucci

We’re off to Australia (virtually) to paint with Mike online this Thursday

It is amazing what far-flung scenes you can paint these days without leaving the comfort of your own home. Next Thursday we are off, virtually at least, to the elegant Corso in Manly, Sydney Australia. Mike Willdridge is going to show us the joys of making quick pictures using pen and watercolour wash and, en passant, we will learn some of the skills of capturing strong perspective. There is no need for participants to make a preliminary drawing before the session.

Mike says: “I took the photograph below last year and then stood, with nothing to lean on, and drew in my sketchbook (above) using an ink pen and some watercolour. I remember it was quite a balancing act, so I drew and painted as quickly as possible.

“Pen and wash is a great medium for working quickly; mistakes can easily be hidden by the pen and I like to use one with as large a nib as possible. A waterproof pen with a 0.8 nib or larger is good.

“The interest in this composition is the strong perspective of the street disappearing to the horizon and the variety of scales – big and small trees and figures. I chose to use just one colour, but we could use more when we paint this scene together.”

Mike’s source photograph of the Manly Corso

Mike’s Zoom session is live on Thursday 15 April at 3:30 pm Italian time. (2:30 pm UK time. That’s quite early in the morning in the United States and Canada, and in the middle of the night in Australia and New Zealand! But, even if you can’t make the live session, you can still register and receive an edited video of the demonstration to paint along in your own time. See below.) Registration for this exciting online, interactive session is through the Eventbrite platform and you can join up by clicking here.

The details:

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. Lois Breckon from The Watermill at Posara will be on hand during the session to feed your questions. The session will last a couple of hours.

When you register for the session you will be asked for a donation. Some people ask how much this should be. Our answer? “Like the measure of a Scottish dram: it should offend neither the host nor the guest!” Our Zoom painting demonstrations do take quite a bit of time in preparation and administration and your support is very much appreciated. With your generosity we can plan and run further sessions and, more importantly, provide a regular meeting place for creativity, camaraderie and fun. We hope that you enjoy the international, online painting community that we have created.

When you register you will be provided with two links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session. The second link is where you will find a copy of the photograph that you will paint, Mike’s sketchbook painting to show you where you are heading, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette. There is no need to make a preliminary drawing before the session.

After the event, you are invited to email us with your painting to add to the online Gallery. In addition, we will send you a link to an edited video of the session that will enable to you revisit Mike’s step-by-step teaching. That link to register again: just click here.

Just click here to register

When you have painted with Mike online, why not join him for real at the Watermill in Tuscany Italy next summer? We would love to welcome you to the Watermill. You can find more details of Mike’s week-long courses, 28 August to 4 September, and 4 to 11 September, here.


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

Mike Willdridge
28 August – 4 September 2021 x places left
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


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

Mike Willdridge
4 – 11 September 2021
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


Join Randy online today and paint in sun-drenched Italy

As he hasn’t painted this scene for some time, Randy thought he had better have a little practice yesterday. Not bad!

There’s still time (just) to sign up for Randy Hale’s latest online, interactive painting session this Thursday. The celebrated American watercolourist will show us how to paint two classic features of Tuscan architecture: roofs and façades. Randy had a practice himself yesterday, going through the whole process and producing the little masterpiece above. Now he is ready and confident that he will be able to help you produce your best work.

He says: “Watercolour is a perfect medium to capture the patina we find in the sun-drenched stucco façades and clay rooftops of the houses of Tuscany, Italy. But a watercolour painting really sings when we present an impression instead of a literal rendition.”

Randy‘s next session is on Thursday 8 April and you can find out more and register by clicking here. Please note that the starting time slightly different from our usual Thursdays: the session begins at 5 pm Italian time, 4 pm UK time. Of course, this may be too early in the morning, all in the middle of the night, depending on where you live, but don’t forget if you register you will receive an edited video of the demonstration for you to paint along in your own time.

In this workshop class Randy will work from the photo above, taken in the medieval centre of the magical Tuscan city of Lucca. The camera, however, probably captures too much detail. Randy says: “If we take our cues from shape instead of detail, and pay attention to those lush blends of colour, where light illuminates certain surfaces and creates shadows across other surfaces – a composition will emerge that captures an emotional response.”

Randy’s demonstration picture of the scene (above) certainly ‘sings’. In contrast, here is the original photo, valuable in helping with our colour choices. Randy says: “For our palette choices, we’ll take our cues from local colour indicated in the photo, but we can take liberties – making some more saturated and bold, while others remain subtle, lighter in value, and transparent. The idea is to let building surfaces become fairly fluid, allowing “local” colour choices to mix & mingle naturally on the paper.”

Unlike many online painting programmes, Randy’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 Randy 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, Randy will move onto the next part of the process. Lois Breckon from The Watermill at Posara will be on hand during the session to feed your questions. The session will last a couple of hours.

When you register for the session you will be asked for a donation. People often ask how much is acceptable. Our answer? “It’s like a Scottish house dram of whisky: it neither offends the guest nor the host!” But the most important thing is to donate whatever makes you feel comfortable. Our Zoom painting demonstrations do take quite a bit of time in preparation and administration and your support is very much appreciated. With your generosity we can plan and run further sessions and, more importantly, provide a regular meeting place for creativity, camaraderie and fun. We hope that you enjoy the international, online painting community that we have created.

Once you have registered you will be provided with two links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session. Please note that the start time is 4pm (UK time). The second link is where you will find the photograph that you will paint, an outline drawing, a practice painting, Randy’s notes, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette.

Randy’s outline drawing of the scene.

After the event, you are invited to email us with your painting to add to our on-line gallery. In addition, we will send you a link to an edited video of the session that will enable to you revisit Randy’s step-by-step teaching, to paint along in your own time. That link to register again: just click here.

When you have painted with Randy online, why not join him for real at the Watermill in Tuscany Italy next summer? We would love to welcome you to the Watermill. You can find more details of Randy’s week-long course, 21 to 28 August 2021here.


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

Randy Hale
21 – 28 August 2021 
Watercolours
To learn more about Randy and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.