Watermill painting tutor Mark Warner, colourful acrylics, sketching, pen and wash

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

I have just made one of those short Facebook slideshows about our painting tutor Mark Warner, who we are delighted to welcome back to the Watermill this year. Mark was with us a few years ago and made some wonderful paintings capturing the atmosphere of the Watermill and its surroundings of the unspoiled countryside of Tuscany. His picture above is of the River Rosaro, which runs beside the mill. You can see it and more of Mark’s work on the Facebook slideshow, by clicking here.

Mark has called his painting week Colourful Acrylics/Drawing/Pen & Wash and those are the mediums in which you will be working. Mark’s course will run from Saturday 11July to Saturday 18 July 2020.

Here is another colourful picture by Mark, of the Watermill buildings seen from the walled garden.

https://watermill.net/
Mark Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy

Mark Warner, from Shropshire in England, loves working outside – and he leads by example, creating a relaxed and encouraging environment for his students. He developed his passion for landscapes growing up in the West Wales and then moving onto the rolling hills of Shropshire enabled him to experiment further with colour, light and line. Mark 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!) and 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.”

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

If you fancy capturing the stunning Tuscan countryside with your pen and brush,  then come and join Mark in the stunning unspoiled countryside which surrounds the Watermill and, as well as inspiring teaching, you’ll enjoy convivial company like-minded people and, of course, the renowned Watermill hospitality.

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation, pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation.

You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

You can find out more about Mark’s sun filled, fun filled, inspiring course by clicking here. We would love you to join us.

Keep It Simple and Take It with You Everywhere!

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

What is ‘It’? Why, it’s a sketchbook! And, says Watermill painting tutor Mike Willdridge, those two simple tips will not only add to your daily enjoyment, but improve your painting too.

Tip one: Keep It Simple. Mike says: “Choose a sketchbook that fits a pocket/handbag/rucksack etc. and as few pens/pencils/paints as possible.” The picture above is of the basic kit he takes with him everywhere: when going for a walk, enjoying a coffee, or lunch or dinner, or simply sitting in the sun. Mike is currently in Australia, visiting his grandchildren, and here’s a simple sketch of a bicycle made from a café in Manly across the Bay from Sydney:

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

Tip two: Take It with You Everywhere. Not just when you are sightseeing or feeding the inner man or woman, but also when your shopping or travelling. Mike says: “It doesn’t matter if you don’t use it at first. You will eventually, but get into the habit of taking your kit with you everywhere you go.”

Mike practises what he preaches, and he will encourage you to do the same when you join his Watermill week this year. Mike will be back with us from Saturday 29 August to Saturday 5 September 2020, and we’d love you to join us for his fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring week. There are more details and links below. Here is Mike’s sketch of a couple of our guests enjoying animated conversation in the sunlit Watermill courtyard.

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

Here are a few more of his sketches, made when out ‘on location’ during one of his Watermill courses. Each was painted rapidly, merely to give an impression of the scene.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Mike’s sketch of one of the small wooden bridges across the millstream.

Below is a sketch in the tranquil monastery of the Convento del Carmine, a few miles from the Watermill, where we take you to paint on Thursdays:

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

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.

Some comments from previous guests: “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.”

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Fivizzano market, where our painting group go Tuesdays.

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to 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!

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

29 August to 5 September 2020 

Mike Willdridge – three or four places left

Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

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

Come and paint with Mike for creativity, conviviality – and fun

A colour wheel with a difference: join Vicki to learn more — and capture the colours of Tuscany

Where do the earth pigments fit on the colour wheel? That’s the question that has been posed to Watermill painting tutor Vicki Norman by several of her students. It led her to spend a very enjoyable afternoon making the colour wheel above from her Michael Harding paints.

Vicki says: “I placed each tube in spectrum order around the wheel with ‘duplicate’ hues placed around the outside of the wheel, aligned directly behind a colour if they were of the same hue, though made from different pigments, or perhaps with different tonal value or saturation level. “

She adds: “I have received enquiries about where the earth pigments would belong on this wheel. Basically, they mostly fit between the bright yellows and the purple reds. Some earths are low saturation yellows (Ochres for example), browns are low saturation oranges (Burnt Sienna or Burnt Umber) and red-browns are low saturation reds (Transparent Oxide Red, Indian red), Raw Umber has a green-ish note to it but most of the others fit between the yellows and the reds.”

Here’s a close-up of some of the greens and blues to give you an idea.

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

To learn more and savour the delights of painting in Tuscany in the early summer, why not join Vicki for her course here?

She will be with us from Saturday 20 June to Saturday 27 June, teaching in oils and watercolours en plein air. Here’s a comment from one of our guests on Vicki’s week last year: “An excellent painting and holiday week. All the trips out to painting locations were well organised and Vicki was very good as a teacher and an inspiration due to her wonderful paintings.”

Vicki specialises in painting on location. She will teach primarily in oils and watercolours, but is happy to help with other mediums, too. You can find out more about her and her course by clicking here.

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

Vicki’s paintings seek to capture the essence of the day and the sense of place through the colour and play of the light. You can see this in the Italian study above of the Apuan Alps, the stunning marble mountains of Carrara, which you will also paint during your Watermill week with Vicki. She says; “I wanted to record the colours of the hills as they receded. The bright yellow of the ginestra at the front contrasted beautifully with the lilac of the marble- capped mountains behind. I knew if I could capture the colours of the moment, I could use them for subsequent studio paintings at home.”

Painting by Vicki Norman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Here’s another lovely Vicki painting, entitled First light on the vineyard.

Why not join Vicki and paint the glorious Tuscan countryside bathed in sunlight? We already have eight people booked into Vicki’s inspiringcourse, so now is the time to reserve your place and avoid disappointment! We would love to welcome you to the Watermill and to the unspoiled scenery that surrounds it.

Vicki Norman

Vicki Norman
20 – 27 June 2020 – still a few places
Oils and watercolours (and other mediums)
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.

Painting by Vicki Norman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
An oil painting by Vicki called September in Posara

We have opened a second knitting week for Louisa – and its filling fast!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.
Knitting under the shade of the vines in the Watermill garden. Photo: Phil Wright.

We are delighted to announce that the celebrated knitter, designer and yarn producer Louisa Harding has agreed to join us for a second week at the Watermill. Her first week, in May, is completely sold out, so Louisa is coming to us again from Saturday 27 June to Saturday 4 July 2020. And already five people have booked in, and another two or three enquirers are in the pipeline!

If you would like to join Louisa and experience Knitting and La Bella Vita, now is the time to reserve your place on this relaxing and inspiring holiday in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. We promise you leisurely knitting days, wonderful food and wine and we know you will make new friends and learn new skills with a renowned designer.

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

Louisa worked for many years as an ‘in-house’ designer for Rowan Yarns. She has recently established a new brand, called Yarntelier, combining the finest yarns from the English county of Yorkshire with beautiful designs, to make each item a piece of hand-crafted couture.

Among the projects for each of her weeks is a cashmere shawl where you can draw on designs in the Tuscan countryside and incorporate them in your knitting.

And as ever, your knitting week at the Watermill will combine expert tuition, like-minded company, wonderful food and the delightful ambience of the Watermill, it’s gardens and riverside walks, and outings into the surrounding unspoiled countryside.

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

As one guest said: The Watermill is an idyllic setting for a knitting course – beautifully situated on the river, you are lulled to sleep in your comfortable room by the sound of the millstream. Bill and Lois are perfect hosts and your every need is catered for: good food and drink, and visits to local places of interest, including a convent, village market and a mountain-top restaurant.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.
The Watermill sitting room, an ideal place to knit and chat. Picture: Phil Wright.

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation, pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation.

You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

You can find out all about Louisa and her course at the mill by clicking here. And why not bring a partner or friend, even if they are non-knitters? We have plenty of activities for non-knitting partners, which you can see by clicking here, and there’s a generous £250 (English pounds) discount if they share a room with you.

Come and knit with Louisa for creativity, conviviality – and fun!

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

The latest availability on our 2020 creative courses: we are filling up fast!

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

We hope you enjoyed your holidays and we would like to extend our very best wishes for a happy, healthy, prosperous and creative 2020. Why not make a creative week (or two!) at the Watermill a part of it?

In deep midwinter (in the northern hemisphere at least) it is time to plan some Summer relaxation and inspiration on one of our world-famous courses. Warm yourself with the thought of a week enjoying the Watermill hospitality with like-minded people, delicious food and wine and sympathetic tuition.

Here is the current availabilityof our 2020 creative courses.

Our inspiring painting courses

Carl March

Carl March
18 – 25 April 2020 – one or two places
Drawing and watercolours en plein air
To learn more about Carl and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Grahame Booth

Grahame Booth
25 April – 2 May 2020 – fully booked, waing list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Grahame and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Brienne M Brown

Brienne M Brown – fully booked, waiting list open
16 – 23 May 2020
Watercolours
To learn more about Brienne and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Sandra Strohschein

Sandra Strohschein
30 May – 6 June 2020 – fully booked, waiting list open
6 – 13 June 2020 – fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Randy Hale

Randy Hale
13 – 20 June 2020 – fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Randy and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Vicki Norman

Vicki Norman
20 – 27 June 2020 – still a few places
Oils and watercolours (and other mediums)
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Mark Warner

Mark Warner
11 – 18 July 2020 – still plenty of places
Colourful Acrylics, Drawing, Pen & Wash
To learn more about Mark and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Mike Willdridge

Mike Willdridge
29 August – 5 September 2020 – still a few places
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Rebecca de Mendonça

Rebecca de Mendonça
5 – 12 September 2020 – still a few places
Pastels and Mixed media
To learn more about Rebecca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Maggie Renner Hellmann

Maggie Renner Hellmann
12 – 19 September 2020 – still plenty of places AND 19 – 26 September 2020 – still plenty of places
Oils, acrylics, watercolours and pastels
To learn about Maggie’s courses, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Mary Padgett

Mary Padgett
26 September – 3 October 2020 – still plenty of places
Pastels (and other portable media) en plein air
To learn more about Mary and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Milind Mulick

Milind Mulick
3 – 10 October 2020 – still a few places
Colourful watercolours
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Tim Wilmot

Tim Wilmot
10 – 17 October 2020 – still a few places
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Our enticing knitting courses

Louisa Harding

Louisa Harding
23 – 30 May 2020 – fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about Louisa and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Louisa Harding

Louisa Harding
NEW week 27 June – 4 July – five place already taken!
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about Louisa and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Knitting retreat

Knitting Retreat
4 – 11 July 2020 – two knitting places left
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about this retreat, please visit our 2020 Retreat Overview Page.


Renée Callahan

Renée Callahan
15 – 22 August 2020 – still plenty of places
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about Renée and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Our enriching 2020 writing courses

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
2 – 9 May 2020 – fully booked, waiting list open
Scriptwriting
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill, please visit their 2020 Profile Page.


Jo Parfitt

Jo Parfitt
2 – 9 May 2020 – still one place left
Write the stories of your life
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Our illuminating Italian language course

Francesca la Sala

Langues Services and Francesca la Sala
22 – 29 August 2020 – still a few places
Learning Italian with the Italians
To learn more about Francesca and her
2020 course at the mill, please click here.


The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Shady and cool along the Millstream. Picture: Alistair Macfie

Don’t just pass through iconic Italian scenes: linger, observe, paint!

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

Our new painting tutor, pastellist Mary Padgett, is a passionate advocate of painting en plein air. It is the ideal way to truly experience the ethos of a place. Mary says: “Instead of passing through, the painter stops to observe. This observation isn’t just visual: stopping to create a painting gives the artists the opportunity to hear and smell and feel a place.”

Some years ago, Mary lived in Florence, where Lois and I now stay in the winter months, before coming in the spring to open up the Watermill in the Tuscan countryside for our guests and to meet and greet them when they come on our creative courses.

Today we are featuring some of Mary’s Florentine pastels. Florence, of course, is the cradle of the Renaissance, and just walking the streets as a living lesson in the history of art and architecture. During her stay Mary was particularly struck by the evolution of artistic ideas, “one artist building on another’s work.” But each artist, in his or her way, was unique and they added their contributions to our aesthetic traditions.

Mary painted the famous sites, of course, like the Cathedral, but she became most intrigued by the combination of architecture and vegetation surrounding the city: “Blue-green olive trees, emerald pines, and rich dark cypresses are so well-positioned that their overall design appears deliberate. I see juxtapositions of shape, value and colour, and contrasting textures and patterns. My aim is to translate that diversity with pastel in order to communicate the vitality and energy I see before me.”

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

Mary will also find plenty of vitality and energy in the unspoiled Tuscan countryside of Lunigiana surrounding the Watermill. She is coming to tutor a week-long course in pastels*, from Saturday 26 September to Saturday, 3 October 2020. *While pastels are her passion (and she will work in soft pastels during her week-long course at the Watermill), Mary is also happy to teach in other portable media, too, such as oils and acrylics, in which she is also a skilled practitioner. You can find out more about Mary and her course by clicking here.

Here are some Tuscan hillsides that she painted in a previous visit. This one celebrates the rhythmic pattern of dark vertical cypress juxtaposed against soft organic blue-green olive trees, and the geometric shapes of terracotta roofs.

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

And below is another subtle pastel San Martino in Mensola, inspired by “bright spring light bouncing through the sky and the exquisite asymmetrical balance of the two cypress with the larger church building.”

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

As well as a passionate pastellist, Mary is also a great tutor. Her students love her teaching. As one of them says: “Your gentle nudges have given us all better way of seeing.”  Another says: “You went out of your way to help beginners as well as more advanced artists.” Mary says: “My role is to create a supportive working environment, encouraging creative exploration, and furthering each participant’s evolution as an artist.”

To recap, Mary will be with us from 26 September to 3 October 2020. Come and join us and savour Tuscany at its best. Here is another glorious pastel, of an Italian terrace, to whet your appetite.

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

Make a sketch a day to brighten your Watermill painting week

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Mike Willdridge’s marvellous picture of one of our famous rustic bridges in the riverside gardens, the millstream bubbling beneath it.

Our old friend and Watermill painting tutor Mike Willdridge is a great believer in carrying his sketchbook with him everywhere and he will encourage you to do the same when you join his Watermill week here with us this year. Mike will be back with us from Saturday 29 August to Saturday 5 September 2020, and we’d love you to join us for his fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring week. There are more details and links below.

Here are a few of his sketches, made when out ‘on location’ during one of his courses, one for each day. Each was painted rapidly, merely to give an impression of the scene. First, here are some houses in our village of Posara: we paint in and around the mill on Sunday.

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

The sketch below, in watercolour and Indian ink, was made on Monday, when the group goes out to paint at the castle and village of Verrucola.

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

On Tuesdays we go to the nearby walled Medieval town of Fivizzano to enjoy the sights and sounds of the weekly market there.

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

Wednesday is excursion day, when you have a choice of going to the seaside villages of the Cinque Terre or the quintessential walled Italian town of Lucca.

Houses in the imposing piazza del anfiteatro

Below is a sketch in the tranquil monastery of the Convento del Carmine, a few miles from the Watermill, where take you to paint on Thursdays:

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

And here is a striking sketch, in watercolour and Indian ink, of olive treesbeside the hilltop village of Monte dei Bianchi, where we paint on Fridays before enjoying lunch in a gourmet restaurant with wonderful views over the mountains.

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

And here’s a group after an enoyable lunch!

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

Mike Willdridge works and 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.

Some comments from previous guests: “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.”

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to 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!

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

29 August to 5 September 2020 

Mike Willdridge

Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

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

Come and paint with Mike for creativity, conviviality – and fun!

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Chatting in the sunlit Watermill courtyard.

Try a courageous application of colour to gain confidence in your painting

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

Inspiring and enthusiastic Watermill painting tutor Mark Warner has sent us this excellent piece of advice to help you to improve your painting. During his week with us this Summer (details and links below), Mark will give a short demonstration each day: “We will look at the formal elements of art, together with composition, perspective and a more courageous application of colour. The idea is to gain confidence and experiment.”

His picture above is of Il Convento dei Carmine‘, a beautiful privately owned monastery with ancient cloisters and frescoes, gardens and views, where our painting groups go on Thursdays during their painting week. In his demonstration at the conventon his last visit, Mark explained how he combined pastel under-drawing with colourful acrylic paint. He says: “If you enjoy sketching, this is a great way to experiment with colour.”

We are delighted to welcome Mark back to our international team of inspiring and sympathetic Watermill painting tutors. His course next year is called Colourful Acrylics/Drawing/Pen & Wash and those are the mediums in which you will be working. Mark’s course will run from Saturday 11 July to Saturday 18 July 2020.

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

Mark, from Shropshire in England, loves working outside – and he leads by example, creating a relaxed and encouraging environment for his students. He developed his passion for landscapes growing up in the West Wales and then moving onto the rolling hills of Shropshire enabled him to experiment further with colour, light and line. Mark 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!) and from sketches created outside as well as notes/photographs taken on location.”

Here is a lovely demonstration picture, of the River Rosaro which runs beside the Watermill, made by Mark on his last visit here.

You can learn more about Mark and his course at the Watermill by clicking here.

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation, pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation. You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest! Find out all about the Watermill and our activities by clicking here.

https://watermill.net/
Acrylic demonstration by Mark of the Watermill from the walled garden.

Wine Kissed by the Sun & Sea

Painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

You may recollect that a week or so ago we asked our Blog and Facebook friends to think of a title for the lovely oil painting above, made by Watermill tutor Maggie Renner Hellmann.

We had a tremendous response: one way and another, some 50 people sent us their ideas. Many thanks to everybody who contributed. Maggie says: “I’m so glad people enjoyed playing with ideas for my title!”

It was difficult for her to choose which title she thought captured her picture best, but in the end the winner was Wine Kissed by the Sun & Sea, which, you must admit, is a very evocative title for this evocative painting.

It was a fun exercise and we must try it again sometime. But rather than just sitting at home and thinking of titles, why don’t you join Maggie in glorious Tuscany this September, when the grapes will be ripening on the vines and the Tuscan sun will be bathing everything in glorious light?

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

Maggie is the tutor on two ‘Courageous Color Workshops’ at the Watermill this Autumn (Fall) and we would be delighted if you were to join us on either, or both of them. The week-long courses in oils, acrylics, watercolors* and pastels will run from 12 September to 19 September 2020 and from 19 September to 26 September 2020   *Maggie is American, so in this blog we are spelling color her way! Her courses will again be ‘Tuscan Magic’, the title of Maggie’s picture below.

Painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

As well as leaving as a much better painter than when you came, you will also have great fun with like-minded people and enjoy the unique ambience of the Watermill. As one of our guests on last year’s painting course with Maggie said: “I just want to express my thanks and appreciation for such a wonderful experience staying at your beautiful Watermill! I loved my room and the meals were fabulous. Maggie and Lou [Maggie’s husband] were a delight and as the novice painter in the group, I always felt supported and encouraged by both of them, as well as the rest of the group. I left with many warm and wonderful memories.  The Watermill is a very special place that will always be a part of me now.” 

Here’s another a vibrant watercolour demonstration painting by Maggie, of the Watermill courtyard.

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

Maggie Renner Hellmann is a contemporary California painter who paints with love, passion and energy. Her work is characterized by a unique blend of loose, energetic brushwork and strong compositions of exuberant color. Maggie says: “I love the joy of color and the poetry of brushwork.”

Maggie is also an enthusiastic tutor who has been teaching for more than 15 years – and loves it! Her workshop will cover oils, acrylics, pastels and also drawing and sketching mediums, including wax pastels and watercolour. She will encourage the beginner and challenge the more advanced painter. Maggie says: “In this plein air Courageous Color Workshop, we will paint in various spectacular Tuscan locations. Our emphasis will be on learning and practicing the core elements of successful paintings.”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Students on one of Maggie’s courses showing off some of their work.

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation, pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to 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! You can see more about Maggie and her course at the Watermill by clicking here.

We would love you to come and paint with Maggie. And when you have captured our glorious countryside with your brush, we will help you think up a title for your painting!

Painting by Maggie Renner Hoffmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Maggie’s picture of a sunflower, blooming in the Tuscan sun.

Only two days left to be a Watermill Early Bird

Painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A painting lesson in the Watermill walled garden

How time flies! You have only two more days to take advantage of t our Early Bird offer, of £GBP 75 off any of our Watermill creative courses creative course, which expires at the end of the year.

In deep midwinter (in the northern hemisphere at least) why not plan some Summer relaxation and inspiration on one of our world-famous relaxing and inspiring creative courses? Warm yourself with the thought of a week enjoying the Watermill hospitality with like-minded people, delicious food and wine and sympathetic tuition.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, yoga holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Sunshine on the rose pergola: something to look forward to.

As you will see below, a fair proportion of our courses are already fully booked. If there is a particular tutor or week that you would prefer, and it is currently fully booked, don’t hesitate to get in touch: there are often cancellations and we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a vacancy. Here is a list of our courses and the current availability,

Our inspiring painting courses

Carl March

Carl March
18 – 25 April 2020 – one or two places
Drawing and watercolours en plein air
To learn more about Carl and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Grahame Booth

Grahame Booth
25 April – 2 May 2020 – fully booked, waing list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Grahame and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Brienne M Brown

Brienne M Brown – fully booked, waiting list open
16 – 23 May 2020
Watercolours
To learn more about Brienne and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Sandra Strohschein

Sandra Strohschein
30 May – 6 June 2020 – fully booked, waiting list open
6 – 13 June 2020 – fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Randy Hale

Randy Hale
13 – 20 June 2020 – fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Randy and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Vicki Norman

Vicki Norman
20 – 27 June 2020 – still a few places
Oils and watercolours (and other mediums)
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Chris Hughes

Chris Hughes
27 June – 4 July 2020 – still plenty of places
Watercolours en plein air
To learn more about Chris and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Mark Warner

Mark Warner
11 – 18 July 2020 – still plenty of places
Colourful Acrylics, Drawing, Pen & Wash
To learn more about Mark and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Mike Willdridge

Mike Willdridge
29 August – 5 September 2020 – still a few places
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Rebecca de Mendonça

Rebecca de Mendonça
5 – 12 September 2020 – still a few places
Pastels and Mixed media
To learn more about Rebecca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Maggie Renner Hellmann

Maggie Renner Hellmann
12 – 19 September 2020 – still plenty of places
19 – 26 September 2020 – still plenty of places
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, watercolours and pastels
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Mary Padgett

Mary Padgett
26 September – 3 October 2020 – still plenty of places
Pastels (and other portable media) en plein air
To learn more about Mary and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Milind Mulick

Milind Mulick
3 – 10 October 2020 – still a few places
Colourful watercolours
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Tim Wilmot

Tim Wilmot
10 – 17 October 2020 – still a few places
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Our enticing knitting courses

Louisa Harding

Louisa Harding
23 – 30 May 2020 – fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about Louisa and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Knitting retreat

Knitting Retreat
4 – 11 July 2020 – two knitting places left
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about this retreat, please visit our 2020 Retreat Overview Page.


Renée Callahan

Renée Callahan
15 – 22 August 2020 – still plenty of places
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about Renée and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Our enriching 2020 writing courses

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
2 – 9 May 2020 – fully booked, waiting list open
Scriptwriting
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill, please visit their 2020 Profile Page.


Jo Parfitt

Jo Parfitt
2 – 9 May 2020 – still one place
Write the stories of your life
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


Our illuminating Italian language course

Francesca la Sala

Langues Services and Francesca la Sala
22 – 29 August 2020 – still a few places
Learning Italian with the Italians
To learn more about Francesca and her
2020 course at the mill, please click here.