Mike is well on the way to abstraction

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our friend and enthusiastic Watermill painting tutor Mike Willdridge is well on the way to completing his self-imposed task of producing 100 paintings in 100 days. He’s in his late 60s now: that’s painting number 68 above.

Mike says: “For a long time I’ve enjoyed looking at abstract art and wanted to move in that direction myself, but I found it difficult to leave my representational style. Now that I have given up most of my teaching (except at the Watermill!), I’ve found a renewed energy towards abstraction.”

Of the picture above, he says: “It could be my many years of representational painting that keeps telling me to see something from the real world in these paintings. However, as part of my journey towards abstraction, I’m trying to banish these thoughts as I paint and just respond to the ‘colour’, ‘drama’, ‘light’ etc. That’s part of the reason why I’m just titling these paintings by their numbers.”

Mike’s artistic road has been an exciting one and we’ve been looking at his wonderful pictures on his Facebook page (Mike Willdridge), on Instagram (@mikewilldridge) and on his website (www.mikewilldridge-artist.com). We liked some of his pictures so much that we have bought four of them. Here’s one of those: Picture No. 5.

You can see our four ‘Road to Abstraction’ pictures if you join us for one of our creative courses next year. And if you come in early June, you will be able to meet the artist himself.

You don’t have to go abstract to enjoy Mike’s course: he paints realistic landscapes and loves sketching around the Watermill and in the glorious Tuscan scenery beyond it. He is also a wonderful teacher. Mike will be with us again next year, for a week in watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics), from Saturday 29 June to Saturday 6 July 2019. We already have eight bookings for his course, so we have room for three or four more painters and their non-painting partners, if they would like to come.

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

Mike’sketch of market day in the town of Fivizzano, near the Watermill

Mike Willdridge works in a wide range of media and is an enthusiastic and energetic tutor, often encouraging his students to be bold and to take chances. His classes are always light-hearted and fun, with the ‘teaching’ tailored to individual needs. He will concentrate on watercolours, but is also happy to help with gouache and acrylics too.

A comment from a guest on one of Mike’s previous courses at The Watermill: “A wonderful holiday. You were such generous and friendly hosts and Mike was an excellent painting tutor.”  Another said:The food was exceptional and the mill itself is great, in such a beautiful setting. A truly wonderful week in every respect.”

Here’s another of my favourite Mike Willdridge pictures, an exuberant watercolour of the mill stream flowing beneath one of our gardener Flavio Terenzoni’s famous wooden bridges, with their curvy handrails.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June to 6 July 2019
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)

To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please click here



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