Good enough to eat – and paint. Enjoy May strawberries with Janie

Painting by Janie Pirie, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.When outstanding botanical artist Janie Pirie visits us for her unique week-long course in the middle of May, we’re planning to have fresh Italian strawberries on the menu, artistically and gastronomically!

We English tend to think of fresh strawberries from June onwards (Wimbledon tennis!), but in Italy the season starts in May. Of course, these days you can get strawberries much of the year round, specially grown and imported, but we much prefer the home-grown variety for sheer flavor. We’ll certainly be using some in our fresh fruit salad with homemade amaretto ice cream, one of the Watermill’s tasty deserts. And we’ll make them available for drawing with Janie – but don’t eat them before supper time.

That’s Janie’s lovely picture in coloured pencils above. Just look at the light reflecting on the strawberries, and her expert use of colour, especially on the unripened fruit. Good enough to eat.

During Janie’s fun-filled, sun-filled course at the Watermill next year we plan to take you out for short visits to lovely locations nearby, but we’ll spend a lot of time in the mill gardens and in the light and airy Watermill studio, with its stunning views of mountains and the river. Janie says: We’ll find something to draw – either from a market stall, a garden or the countryside – and take it back to the studio to draw and colour.”

Looking at Janie’s wonderful coloured pencil pictures  it may seem daunting to try to emulate her work. But, says Janie, students on her course at the Watermill  will be amazed at home much they will learn – and achieve – in a week. She says: “A piece of fruit, an interesting vegetable, a small flower on a stem are all subjects that can be drawn and coloured in one day.”

Janie Work page (2)

Janie will take you through every stage of the process to achieve the very best results, from first observation to the creation of a rich and gloriously coloured picture. Her course is ideal for beginners and intermediates. Here’s a comment from one of her students: “Everyone always finishes Janie’s courses on such a high, inspired and eager to create more beautiful paintings with real passion.” Another said: “Janie is extremely helpful, a wonderful, stimulating tutor, always ready to offer advice and support.”

Painting by Janie Pirie, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals (including meals with wine at 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!


Janie Pirie head and shoulders14 May to 21 May 2016

Janie Pirie  Painting plants with coloured pencils

To find out more about Janie and her course at the watermill next year, please click here. And to enquire about availability and/or reserve your place, please click here.

*** Why not bring your non-painting partner as well? There’s a generous £200 discount for him/her if they share a room with you — and there’s plenty for them to do. Have a look at our Partner’s Activities suggestions by clicking here.

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


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