An artist’s studio – come and join the artist and paint with him in Tuscany

Painting by Mark Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Here’s a fine photograph of Watermill tutor Mark Warner’s studio, with one of his vibrant paintings in the foreground. We are looking forward to welcoming Mark as a tutor for an inspiring week-long course next month.

We still have a couple of places left on Mark’s course, so why not join us and meet the man himself — and paint with him in the glorious Tuscan countryside surrounding the mill.  Ten people are already signed up, so we have room for two more. We’d love to welcome you here for Mark’s inspiring course and there are more details below.

Mark loves sketching and painting outdoors, even in the damp atmosphere of Wales, near where he lives, and where he is often out on location. (It’s a bit dryer and brighter in Lunigiana, the beautiful area of Tuscany that surrounds the Watermill.)

Here are some pictures of one of Mark’s recent expeditions, first to the dramatic castle of Dinas Bran. Mark says: “This is one of the most beautifully situated castles in Wales – and that’s saying something. Set high on a hill above Llangollen, Dinas Bran, or Crow Castle, as it is popularly known, is inextricably linked to the legends of King Arthur. The castle was mentioned in the Arthurian romance Perlesvaus as a possible hiding place of the Holy Grail, and home of Bran (Bron), the Fisher King, brother-in-law of Joseph of Arimathea.”

Mark Dinas Bran Final (003)

Mark also sent us a recent Seascape, looking out to sea from the town of Borth on the coast in Mid-Wales:

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

Mark Warner is a specialist in acrylics/watercolours incorporating conte/pastel and his painting course here will run from Saturday 22 July to Saturday 29 July 2017.

Mark lives in Shropshire in England and is not only a respected artist but also a highly professional tutor with many years of teaching experience. Mark is passionate about working outside, tutoring numerous day and residential plein air holidays. His sessions are very popular — and he leads by example, creating a relaxed and encouraging environment.  He says “I adore using colour while interpreting the light, weather and a love for the materials. I work directly in the field (literally on many occasions!) from sketches created outside as well as notes/photographs taken on location.”

Sketching is at the heart of Mark’s work: “This is important in the development of a piece and on many occasions, forming an integral part of the painting itself.” Mark works on coloured grounds, incorporating aspects of mark-making and directional brushstrokes within the work. He says: “I continue to draw inspiration from the landscape, although subject matter can be broad and at times very different.” 

This is the sort of Tuscan view around the Watermill that will inspire him — and you!

A local view, thanks to the Ciao Lunigiana blog

A local view, thanks to the Ciao Lunigiana blog

Mark at easelPainting by Mark Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.22 to 29 July 2017 Mark Warner

Acrylics/watercolours incorporating conte/pastel Two places left

To learn more about Mark and his course at The Watermill, please click here.

Lunigiana panorama

Join the Early Early Birds and reserve your place on one of our 2018 creative courses.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.We’ve had a lot of interest in our course NEXT year, even though we’ve started on our 2017 season, so to meet that demand, we’ve a remarkable offer for those who want to book a year or so ahead.

We won’t actually be publishing details of our 2018 courses on our website until 1 September this year –it is too confusing. But for those who want to book before that, our offer is: you can have a place on any of our 2018 creative courses at 2017 prices. Please email me at bill@medialliance.net if you would like to reserve your place.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Here’s the list of courses so far:

28 Apr-5 May 2018 Painting course Paul Talbot-Greaves

5-12 May 2018 Knitting course Sarah Hatton 1

12-19 May 2018 Knitting course Sarah Hatton 2

19-26 May 2018 Painting course Maggie Renner Hellmann 26 May-2 Jun

Looking forward to meeting you in the Watermill courtyard

Looking forward to meeting you in the Watermill courtyard

Painting course 2018 Sandra Strohschein 1

2-9 Jun 2018 Painting course Sandra Strohschein 2

9-16 Jun 2018 Painting course Sarah Yeoman 1

16-23 Jun 2018 Painting course Sarah Yeoman 2

Mill courtyard23-30 Jun 2018 Yoga course Dina Sheldon

30 Jun-7 Jul 2018 Painting course Lea Nixon

7-14 Jul 2018 Painting course Terry Jarvis

14-21 Jul 2018 Knitting course Marie Wallin

18-25 Aug 2018 Sculpture course Jason Arkles

25 Aug-1 Sep 2018 Yoga course Claire Murphy

Yoga portrait shape 31-8 Sep 2018 Painting course Rebecca Mendonça

8-15 Sep 2018 Painting course Mike Willdridge

15-22 Sep 2018 Painting course Claire Warner

22-29 Sep 2018 Writing course Jo Parfitt

29 Sep-6 Oct 2018 Knitting course Lisa Richardson

6-13 Oct 2018 Painting course David Taylor

More creative writing under the vines May 11 square

Most artists, yoga teachers and authors have their own websites, so you can see what they do by Googling them!

And if you want to see what we are doing in 2017, please go to www.watermill.net.

You can see details of our bedrooms and their 2017 prices at http://watermill.net/painting-holidays/painting-holidays-costs17.php. The costs for knitting, writing and yoga weeks are the same.

Be an extra-early Early Bird and spend a year dreaming of your Watermill holiday!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Come and join Sue for a versatile painting week in rural Tuscany

Sue Ford, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
We still have a few places left on Sue Ford’s lovely painting course at The Watermill and we’d would be delighted if you were able to join us here: the sun shines, the sky is as blue as only an Italian sky can be and a gentle breeze blows coolly down the valley of the river Rosaro beside the mill – and our talented and versatile painting tutor Sue Ford unlocks painting secrets for her some members of her painting group.

Sue will be back with us again this year for another inspiring week-long painting course in watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic. She’ll be here from Saturday 15 July to Saturday 22 July 2017. More details below.

We have fond memories of Sue’s last visit. Here’s a quote from one of our guests: “I had a wonderful time. Everything was superb – the accommodation, the trips out and the food! Utterly wonderful. It was an experience that I will treasure. Sue Ford is an exceptional tutor with a lovely manner and treats all with respect and kindness.”

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

A demonstration painting by Sue of the arch in the Watermill courtyard

Sue with students

Sue Ford was born in York, North Yorkshire and has experimented with almost every conceivable media in her career. She now a well recognised and admired professional artist and tutor. Here are some of her students at work in one of our great en plein air locations, an old monastery:

Sue Ford Joy and Sanjana at Convento

sue plus pic

15-22 July Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic

with Sue Ford  Two or three places left

To learn more about Sue and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

 

 

How’s this for an inspiring online offer!

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

Tim’s impression of the riverside by The Watermill

Our English watercolour tutor Tim Wilmot is not only a very talented artist, but also a first-class teacher – and not only with face-face face tuition, like that you’ll be enjoy on his week-long watercolour workshop at the Watermill, but also online.

In fact, Tim is world-famous for his online tuition over the net. And now as a bonus for bookers on his course here, from Saturday 7 October to Saturday 14 October 2017 he is offering a free 30-day support via email for all attendees. He says: “I’ll answer any questions, provide critiques on their paintings and so on.” 

There’s an offer you can’t refuse! We’ve still a couple of places left on Tim’s course and enjoy a 30-day ‘after sales’ service as well!

During our week-long painting course Tim this Autumn you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the spectacular scenery of Lunigiana, the unspoilt part of Tuscany that surrounds the Watermill.

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

A vineyard and the Apuan Alps near the Watermill

We promise you river valleys and craggy mountains, vineyards and olive groves, convents and castles, hill-top villages and walled medieval towns. And with Tim as your guide, you’ll learn now to loosen our style and capture the essence of the wonderful scenery with your brush. More details of Tim’s watercolour week at the Watermill below.

While he’s dabbled with portraits and still lifes over the years, Tim is inexorably drawn to landscapes. He says: I’m an outdoor person rather than an indoor person. For many years I’ve taken a sketch book on my travels and I quickly scribble scenes in a shorthand sort of way. Then, returning home, I recreate those memories with paint and brush.” And you’ll be able to do that, too, in the Watermill studio, overlooking the river and the walled garden with the high Apennines beyond

Tim says: 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. Ohand have fun with like-minded people on the way.”

All that and 30-days free after-sales service! Come and join us!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhttp://watermill.net/painting-holidays/painting-holidays-tutor-tim-wilmot17.php7-14 October 2017 Watercolours

with Tim Wilmot

To learn more about Tim and his course at The Watermill, please click here.

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

sono nati i merli, nel giardino tra le rose

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.That was the message this morning from Watermill gardener Flavio Terenzoni: “The blackbirds were born in the garden between the roses.”  It accompanied this picture of little chicks, bursting with new life.

The Watermill, in the heart of Lunigiana, is surrounded by wildlife, thriving in this pollution-free rural environment, where the air and water are clear and pure…

Come and be inspired on a creative holiday here with us!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Dabble in art and writing and add to your yoga experience with Claire

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our lovely and inspiring yoga teacher Claire Murphy, who will be with is again next September has recently been busy working on activities she will be introducing on some of the afternoons during her retreat.

She tells me: “I’ve managed to scope out all of the sessions for our retreat in September and I have to say I’m pretty excited, as the afternoon sessions will be quite creative!”

There will be fun painting and writing sessions most afternoons and Claire is ken to point out that no previous art / writing experience is required. She says: I  have pitched the activities to be do-able by all and the intention is to create a deeper, embodied experience of what is being offered through each day’s yoga and meditation practices. In addition, it also offers a sense of fun and lightness.”

We still have a couple of places left on Claire’s wonderful yoga and meditation retreat, called Nourish — mind, body, soul, which will run from Saturday 9 September to Saturday 16 September, and we’d love you to join us. (There are links below to more details.)

Here are Claire’s daily themes and thoughts for afternoon activities.

Sunday’s theme is Chakras (energy centres within the body) & colour

“The afternoon session will offer a short yoga session followed by a ‘body painting’ relaxation, leading into creating a colour memory mandala. There will be opportunities to write / journal around the themes that come out of the memories.”

Blog yoga Take 5Monday’s theme is focused on awareness and moving energy

The afternoon session is titled: ‘It’s all in the hands’ and will be a journey through many mudras (hand gestures) moving into a creative meditation on our hands which will includes art and journal writing.

 

Tuesday’s theme is compassion

Yoga portrait shape 3Our afternoon session will feature restorative yoga and somatic movement, leading into a creative section: ‘Story of the body’, which will be lots of fun (don’t want to give too much away), again, an opportunity for art and creative journal expression.

On Wednesday there will be no session, as this is the day of our excursion to the lovely walled city of Lucca.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Thursday’s theme is focused around the heart

“In the afternoon I’ve themed ‘Trees; the lungs of the earth’ – it will focus on yoga and breathing practices to strengthen our chest / lungs and move into the creation of our own yoga ‘forest’ of sorts and the option of either creating some art or creative writing from a variety of prompts.”

On Friday, no afternoon session is scheduled. There will be optional shiatsu sessions.

Claire Murphy head and shoulders 2Yoga portrait shape 39 -16 September Nourish — mind, body and soul 

with Claire Murphy A couple of places left

To learn more about Claire and her retreat at The Watermill, please click here

Come and join us and nourish your mind, body and soul.
Yoga retreat at The Watermill in Tuscany, yoga and meditation retreats

 

Sandy’s watercolour inspires us to new restoration projects

Painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Isn’t this an exciting watercolour by our lovely, talented and inspiring Watermill painting tutor Sandra Strohschein? It captures the essence of ‘Mill 2’, the 19th century mill in the Watermill complex.

As you know, we’ve just completed restoring the buildings of 17th Century watermill (Mill 1), creating in the process two lovely new bedrooms, the Ghirlandaio and the Uccello, each with sparkling new shower rooms and stunning views down the River Rosaro.

The 17th Century mill buildings gloriously restored

The 17th Century mill buildings gloriously restored

Now we are putting our thinking caps on and wondering what to create when we restore Mill 2. A mini-museum charting the history of the Mill? A comfy leisure space where people can relax and watch DVDs?  It’s fun thinking about it. And you can add your thoughts if you join us on a Watermill creative holiday.

Due to the odd cancellation for health and family reasons, we’ve still a few places left on our 2017 painting courses. Here’s the latest availability ‘snapshot’:

lea plus picLea Nixon One or two places left
24 June to 1 July 2017
Watercolours
To learn more about Lea, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here.


terry plus picTerry Jarvis Fully booked, waiting list open
1 July to 8 July 2017
Watercolours
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here.


sue plus picSue Ford Two or three places left
15 July to 22 July 2017
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic
To learn more about Sue, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please click here.


mark plus picMark Warner Two or three places left
22 July to 29 July 2017
Acrylics/Watercolours incorporating conte/pastel
To learn more about Mark, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here.


varvara plus pixVarvara Neiman Fully booked, waiting list open
26 August to 2 September 2017
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolour
To learn more about Varvara, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please click here.


mike plus picMike Willdridge Fully booked, waiting list open
2 September to 9 September 2017
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here.


Nel plus picNel Whatmore & Rebecca de Mendonça
Fully booked, waiting list open
23 September to 30 September 2017
Pastels
To learn more about Nel & Rebecca, their course and to see more of their pictures, please click here.


charles plus picCharles Sluga Fully booked, waiting list open
30 September to 7 October 2017
Watercolours (and acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Charles, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here.


Tim plus picTim Wilmot Three or four places left
7 October to 14 October 2017
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please click here.

 

We’d love you to join us for one of these sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring courses — and help us think about the Mill 2 restoration!

Oh — and if you can’t make 2017, Sandra Strohschein will be back in 2018 for two glorious painting weeks, from 26 May to 2 June and from 2-9 June 2018.

And we’ve a very special Special Offer to entice early Early Bird bookers: If you book before 1 September 2017 you can enjoy either one (or both!) of these inspiring 2018 painting weeks at 2017 prices.

To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please call (UK no.) +44 20 7193 6246 or email us at info@watermill.net.

Sandra under the roses in the walled garden

Sandra under the roses in the walled garden

A warm Watermill welcome to watercolourist Paul

Painting by Paul Talbot-Greaves, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.We are delighted to welcome a new artist to the Watermill tutors’ team. He is Paul Talbot-Greaves and he will be with us for a special week in watercolours from Saturday 28 April – Saturday 5 May 2018.

Painting by Paul Talbot-Greaves, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Paul is a professional English painter. He says: “I like to seek out compositions employing patterns of light, shade and contrast and I aim to achieve vibrancy in the colours that I use.”  His picture above is called Through the Woods. Paul says: I like to find interesting subjects in the least expected places. In this picture, I used simple dynamic shadows combined with contrast and appealing colours to create a quick impression of light streaming through the woodland.”

As well as receiving many accolades for his work, Paul is also an inspiring and sympathetic tutor: “I get an enormous amount of pleasure seeing people improve and enjoy their own work.”

At present our 2018 courses are not up on our website and they will not be there before 1 September 2017, as offering our potential guests courses in 2017 and 2018 at the same time can lead to confusion. But we’ve a special Special Offer to entice early Early Birds: Paul’s 2018 course at 2017 prices! If you book before 1 September 2017 you can enjoy this inspiring 2018 painting holiday at 2017 prices.

To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please call (UK no.) +44 20 7193 6246 or Email us at info@watermill.net. You can see the 2017 painting course prices by clicking here.

But early as it is, it, looks like you’ll have to get in quite quickly to secure your place on Paul’s 2018 course: five people have already booked their places and another three are in the process of doing so. So, if you’d like to come, please get in touch as above.

The Watermill and Paul would love to welcome you here for a sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring course. Here’s another vibrant painting from Paul, an unusual angle on the town square in Roussillon, France.Painting by Paul Talbot-Greaves, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Thanks for the thistley memory Judy

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Judy Gluckman from New Zealand, who came on Sandy Strohschein’s watercolour painting week here recently, sent us this colourful picture of the preserved thistles that grace a corner of the Watermill dining room:

She writes: “My week at The Watermill was better than I could have imagined.  We were fed watered and dined in style and managed to eat huge meals which were all extra delicious.  My favourite was on the first night, which was the Gorgonzola soufflé, divine indeed. 

“Sandy was full of enthusiasm and talent and made every day a joy.  To have two chances most days to paint was utter heaven and in such wonderful surroundings. I didn’t paint a masterpiece but thoroughly enjoyed my week.  I hope to remember some of the tricks Sandy taught us and use them in the future. 

“Thank you so very much for giving me such a social week which I will never forget.”

Why not come to the Watermill yourself next year to see what all the fuss is about? Sandra Strohschein will be back in 2018 for not one, but two wonderful watercolour painting holidays, from 26 May to 2 June and from 2-9 June 2018.

And we’ve a very special Special Offer to entice early Early Bird bookers: If you book before 1 September 2017 you can enjoy either one (or both!) of these inspiring 2018 painting weeks at 2017 prices.

To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please call (UK no.) +44 20 7193 6246 or email us at info@watermill.net.

Caroline Chapman Monte 2

 

Come and join us!

And for that minute a blackbird sang…

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our gardener Flavio Terenzoni is very fond of birds and fashioned this little woven haven from willow, bamboo and a small slice of acacia. Beyond it the roses bloom, their pergola leading to the walled garden. We have not enticed a bird to Flavio’s ready-made shelter, but just beyond, deep in the dog roses, a blackbird has made a nest and four eggs laid.

The dawn chorus here is lusty and reminds me of that wonderful poem Adlestrop by Edward Thomas, capturing the essence a Summer day in deepest England:

And for that minute a blackbird sang

Close by, and round him, mistier,

Farther and farther, all the birds

Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

For us, our blackbird sings close by, and round him, softer, calmer, farther and farther, all the birds of Lunigiana and Garfagnana.