We’d like you to be our friend! It’s inspiring and tasty

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

Play with you colours before you paint

I’ve just been posting some intriguing and inspiring painting and writing tips on the Watermill Friends page, like Vicki Norman’s advice on how to have fun colour-mixing (please click here to see it) and Jo Parfitt’s checklist to ensure your writing doesn’t become narcissistic (please click here).

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

Caravaggio’s Narcissus contemplates perfection

I all prompted me to invite you, if you haven’t already, to become a Friend of The Watermill. You’ll enjoy practical and inspiring tips and helpful advice from our watermill tutors on

  • Painting and drawing
  • Creative writing
  • yoga and meditation

plus

  • mouth-watering recipes from The Watermill’s menus. (who can resist Lois Breckon’s gorgonzola soufflés : click here!)
Twice-baked gorgonzola soufflés, just one of the Watermill's culinary delight

Twice-baked gorgonzola soufflés, just one of the Watermill’s culinary delight

To find out more, please go to http://watermill.net/watermill-friends/index.html. Just follow the simple instructions to Register  (it’s free) and then Log In to enjoy a special relationship with us! And nourish mind and body with our creative tips and mouth-watering recipes.

 

Worried that your writing is showing off? Jo shows how to ensure that it isn’t

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

Caravaggio’s Narcissus contemplates perfection

Our skilled and highly experienced writing tutor Jo Parfitt says that many of her students worry that what they write might appear as self-indulgent or narcissistic.

She says: “I can understand where this is coming from. How do we draw the line between showing off and writing something of real value?”

Don’t worry, says Jo, if you can say YES to the following questions, then you can be pretty sure that you won’t be accused of TMI (Too Much Information). Ask yourself:

  • Does what you write support others going through the same thing?
  • Do you provide the reader with an insight or ‘aha moment’?
  • Is your reader going to feel they have learned something from your writing?
  • Does your writing deserve to be written? Does it actually have a point or purpose?
  • Will your story resonate with the reader?
  • Do you show your journey from one state to another, say, from challenge to solution?
  • Do you inspire the readers to maybe make changes in their lives or shift their perceptions in some way?
  • Are you able to show your vulnerability?
  • Do you have people lined up to give you honest feedback on your work?
  • Is your story compelling? In other words does it have a plot?

You’ll certainly be able to answer Yes to those 10 questions after Jo’s inspiringweek-long Write Your Life Story course at the Watermill this Autumn.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.Jo Parfitt has published 31 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors get into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. She’s an inspiring, compassionate and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.

Jo’s Write Your Life Story creative writing course is designed to help you produce your best work, to find your true writer’s ‘voice’ and to write authentically. Among other things, you’ll discover the secret of SPICE, the seven steps to writing life stories, and put this into practice right away. The course will run from 22 to 29 September 2018.

Jo says: “The course at the watermill will provide a safe haven in which to unlock your creativity, write from your heart and hone your writing craft. It will also help to remove blocks to your writing. Sessions at the mill will empower students to write in a compelling way that makes real experiences come to life.”

Bring your experiences of life to life!

Bring your experiences of life to life!

Jo adds: “The class will include several methods and genre and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.”

Jo plus picJo Parfitt
22 September to 29 September 2018
Write Your Life Stories

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

How to understand the tonal values of colours – and have fun, by Vicki Norman

Vicki Norman, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our talented and inspiring Watermill painting tutor Vicki Norman has sent us this practical (and colourful) tip to help you improve the accuracy and harmony in your paintings.  It concerns ‘colour matching’, a technique worth practising for its own sake as well as in individual paintings.

Vicki says:It’s a good idea to match the most prominent colours in a scene before you begin to paint it. Mixing colours before you begin to paint allows you to focus exclusively on the colour and tonal value relationships.”

She adds: You don’t have to worry about drawing, shapes, brushwork, surface or expression at this stage. By focussing solely on the colours for a few minutes before you begin, you can allow yourself to concentrate on capturing the sense of light and the essence of the day through the temperature and balance of the colours. It can be a very satisfying process and is often one of my favourite stages in making a painting.

“In fact, it’s a great exercise in its own right and I recommend it as a way to use up spare paint at the end of a day, or to use up a few minutes at the end of a session. The method outlined below has improved the speed and accuracy of my colour matching more quickly than any other exercise – and its great fun too!”

Vicki begins with ‘a game of pairs’: I look at the scene before me and try to guess which colours would share the same tonal value a black and white photo. I try to identify which are the ‘darks’ and which are the ‘lights’. Everything else will be a mid-value. Squinting helps me to see similarities in the tonal values of the colours, it simplifies the value pattern, allowing dark areas to merge and middle values to become more apparent.”

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

Try to guess which parts of the picture will be the same shade of grey in a black and white photo.

“Then I photograph the scene and use my smartphone to turn the image into black and white; I check to see how accurate my guesses were.”

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

Notice how the red and turquoise buildings have a very similar tonal value to the blue sky and the tarmac whilst the green and orange buildings at the end of the road also make a value pair.

“As I begin to match the colours from the scene on my palette, I remain aware of their tonal value. I mix all my ‘darks’ adjacent to one another, so that I can squint at my palette and assess whether they are of a similar value. I do the same with the mid-value colours, and with the lights; the various piles of colour on my palette are arranged in bands of values from light to dark.”

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

Notice how the colours run from light to dark across the palette.

Once the colours are mixed on my palette, I take a photograph of them and turn it into black and white. This shows me how accurate my value perception really is, I can tell if one of my colours is lighter or darker than it should be, and I can fix it before I begin to paint with it!”

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

In greyscale it is much easier to see the difference in tonal value from one colour to another. The palette is arranged with 5 distinct value bands running from left to right.

Vicki says: “This exercise can be done on location and in your studio, it is the best way to simultaneously develop your tonal value perception and your colour mixing skills in a fun, enjoyable challenge.” 

She adds: Matching the colours before you paint on location has another great benefit for which I have often been grateful; if the weather suddenly changes, or the boat you are painting sails away, you already have all the information you need to complete a painting in your studio! If you have an accurate colour match from the scene, and a decent photo to illustrate the shapes and relative tonal values, you can finish the work at a later date.

“If I’m out painting and I see something I really want to paint, but I don’t have time to complete a painting on the spot, I often make a quick colour match and snap a photo as reference for later. The colour swatches matched on location can then be used back in the studio in conjunction with photos to make a finished painting.” [Copyright Vicki Norman 2017 all rights reserved.]

Vicki Norman will be with us for a week’s course in oils en plein air, which will run from Saturday 6 October to Saturday 13 October 2018.

Her painting below is a study of the Apuan Alps near the Watermill.

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

Vicki says: “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.

You, too, will be painting those sensational mountains on Vicki’s course. The week-long course is primarily in oils and watercolours, but Vicki is happy to teach in other mediums, too. We now have eight people booked in, so we have room for three or four more painters (and their non-painting partners), so now is the time to reserve your place.

Below is another great oil painting, called  Massa sunset. (Massa is the capital of the province in which The Watermill is located).

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

Vicki says: “Looking south from the coast below Fivizzano, it is possible to see the marble docks at Massa. This is where they took Michelangelo’s marble from the mountains and prepared it for transport sculptures, what an amazing place! And it’s still working now, I liked the sense of history and the colours of the industrial machinery against the sky at sunset was irresistible. The soft colours blended in the sky and I found repeating spots of orange and red along the beach that allowed me to play with mark making and small accents of colour. I’m very fond of this painting, it sums up so many things I love about Tuscany!”

As well as a great painter, Vicki is also a great teacher. She’s been teaching professionally for more than 20 years and offers plenty of help and individual attention. As one previous student said: “Vicki has a way of explaining complex ideas that makes them simple enough for a beginner to grasp easily, yet she can stretch the advanced painters in the group too.” 

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!

vicki plus pic

6-13 October 2018 

Vicki Norman

Oils (and other mediums)

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

 

A purple blast from Andrew

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

Our talented and inspiring English watercolour tutor Andrew Geeson has a reputation for painting ‘fast and loose’ and we thought you might like to see him in action, via one of his You Tube videos. This one is called Purple Blast and it’s a knockout picture. Grab a cup of tea and coffee, then click here and sit back and enjoy.

Blog Andrew you tube purple blast 2

We are looking forward to watching Andrew work around the Watermill and in our lovely Tuscan countryside when he visits us this Summer. He will be with us from Saturday 23 to Saturday 30 June 2018. There’s a link to more details about his course here below.

Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Andrew Geeson, from Leicester in the UK, has been a professional watercolourist for more than 20 years. He has taught hundreds of students on holidays and in workshops and, increasingly, on-line were he enjoys a large following. He says: “I love the simplicity and joy of watercolours and my passion and aim is inspire and encourage students to paint in a loose a free manner. The joy it brings is unmatched and everyone should try it. I am keen to share my excitement with others.”  As one of his students says: Superb work. Beautiful loose style, this is how watercolours should be!”

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

Andrew specialises in a wet-into-wet style of watercolours: “This quick, fun and rewarding approach to watercolour painting allows you to capture your subject, whatever it may be, in the most atmospheric way without the constraints of over detailing.  Being spontaneous, immediate and atmospheric, it allows you to express more than the subject of the painting Come along and give it a try.  I think you may find a new world of painting.”

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!

Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Painting by Andrew Geeson, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.23-30 June 2018 

Andrew Geeson

Watercolours

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Deciding what to paint en plein air, by Terry Jarvis

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

Find a shady spot!

Our enthusiastic and inspiring tutor Terry Jarvis is a great fan of painting en plein air or, as he would put it in his no-nonsense Australian, the great outdoors. But when faced with a hundred things you could paint, how do you choose?

First of all, think of yourself and the paper you’ll be working on! Terry says: “Always try and find a spot to paint from where you can be comfortable but have constant shade on your painting. There’s nothing worse than dappled light or bright sunlight while you are trying to construct a great image.

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

With a great scene to paint

Don’t forget that as well as recording a scene, your picture should also tell a story, capturing the emotion you feel and relaying it to the viewer. And the best scene may not be in front of your nose! Terry says: “Look behind you as well as in front and to the sides, there could be just the scene you are looking for!” Also, look for where the light is coming from and decide whether painting into the light or back-lighting or side-lighting is best for portraying the story you want to tell.

A few other practical considerations when homing-in on your subject:

  • Don’t shut the viewer out! Terry says: “You’ve got to allow people visually to ‘walk in and through’ your painting. So, never put a fence or a gate or some other obstacle in front to block them.”
  • Leave out those unnecessary things that might challenge the atmosphere and the mood you are looking for. Ask yourself “What do I need to change in the image before me, like take out a lamp post or add a lamp post.”
  • Strong verticals in your painting (such as a tree, a lamp post, a mast on a boat) will bind together a lot of horizontal lines.
  • Simpler and larger shapes help add impact.
  • Strong contrasting tonal differences with sharper edged areas will give strength to a painting.

Terry says: “The most wonderful painting opportunities are in the great outdoors, out there just waiting for you!”

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

Let the viewer walk into the picture

Terry will be with us again this year at The Watermill, so come and enjoy the fresh air of rural Tuscany with him and capture it with your brush.

Terry in studio 2017Terry Jarvis is one of Australia’s leading watercolour artists. The son of a goldminer, he was inspired at an early age to draw and paint the landscape, as well as people and animals. Terry also works in oils, pastels and acrylics and is happy to teach in those mediums too. He loves drawing and helping his students to develop their drawing skills.

Here’s what one guest on Terry’s Watermill course this year had to say: “I wanted to thank you for a most wonderful stay at The Watermill.  Your treatment of us was terrific.  Six stars doesn’t come close!  I enjoyed every minute. Terry’s course was great.  He is an excellent teacher – very encouraging and knows how to bring out the best in his students.  He has a great personality.”

Another said: “Terry Jarvis was superb with people, very positive and very relaxed. I’ve been on painting holidays before and learned nothing but Terry was great. When you got stuck he’d come along with a smile – and a brush – and bring your picture to life. He wasn’t afraid to criticise your work, but he had a really positive attitude, which helped you to improve.”

terry plus pic7-14 July 2018 

Terry Jarvis

Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)

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

Come and join us and enjoy a six-star, sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring week!

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

Terry’s lovely watercolour of market day in nearby Fivizzano, where we go on location during our painting week

 

A soothing demonstration from watercolour tutor Sandra Strohschein

Painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.As you may have guessed from past blogs, I love those speeded-up videos where our tutors demonstrate their inspiring techniques in a twinkling or two of an eye.

But here’s something very different from Watermill watercolour tutor Sandra Strohschein, who is our ‘artist in residence’ for four weeks in early Summer next year.  It’s a video showing how to paint a mountain landscape. Sandra says: “I am demonstrating in real time how I paint directly, essentially in one go. The hand movements are not sped up. This is actual painting.”

As well as being inspiring, you’ll find the video very soothing, so I suggest you grab yourself a cup of tea or coffee and sit back and enjoy watching Sandra at work by clicking here. (Sandra points out, by the way: “I do not own the rights to the background music nor am I profiting from this video.)

We’ve never had a ‘painter in residence’ at the Watermill before, but for most of June next year we are going to be doing just that. Our delightful watercolour* tutor Sandra Strohschein will be with us for four sun-filled, inspiring painting weeks, from May 26 to June 23. They promise to be the greatest fun – and the first two weeks are completely booked up already.

Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Sandra beside the rose pergola in the Watermill walled garden. Come and join our early Summer ‘artist in residence.’

*Sandra will teach in watercolour, but she says: “Students may choose to paint in acrylic or pastel as well as, or instead of, watercolour. I can instruct on how to put together a painting as far as composition, light, values etc… I cannot handle oil as I am allergic but pencil, acrylic, pastel…perfectly fine.”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

The warm and sunlit Watermill courtyard

As I said, the weeks May 26 to June 2 and June 2 to June 9 are fully booked (you can join a waiting list if these are the only dates you can make.) We already have six guests booked in for the week June 9 to June 16 (and a couple more in the pipeline), and three for the week June 16 to June 23, so now if the time to book on these amazing courses.

A painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor on painting courses at The Watermill at Posara, Tuscany Italy

The square in nearby Fivizzano on market day

Sandra Strohschein head and shouldersSandra Strohschein from Michigan, USA, has achieved an extraordinary mastery of her medium, transparent watercolours. She works in a fast loose impressionistic style, but above all, she produces passionate, emotionally charged paintings, full of energy.

As for her teaching, people frequently tell her about how much fun they have on her workshops and how nobody ever wants them to end. Another painting guest on her course at the mill said: “Watching your demonstrations was such an education and your kind and patient individual help was invaluable.”  

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!

 Sandra plus picSandra Strohshein

Watercolours

26 May to 2 June, 2-9 June, 9-16 June AND 16-23 June 2018

Please click here to learn more about Sandra’s painting holidays at The Watermill.

Only a few more days to be a Watermill Early Bird

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

Two Early Birds discuss which course they’d like to go on.

We hope you had a very happy Christmas and we would like to wish you a healthy, creative and inspiring New Year.

And thinking of  inspiration, why not join us on one of the Watermill’s famous week-long creative course next year? We’d love to welcome you here on one of our sun-filled, fun-filled weeks. And if you book your place in the next few days, there is still time to take advantage of the Watermill’s generous  Early Bird Discount offer, which ends at the end of this month:  if you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person (about $US 100, $CAN 120, AUD 120discount on all our 2018 creative courses. 

So why not reserve YOUR place and then spend the Winter thinking of superb tuition, Tuscan sunshine and Italian food!

A photograph of the mill and the riverside gardens.

A photograph of the mill and the riverside gardens.

Booking are continuing to flow in for next year’s courses, many from people who have been with us before and want to come again. We have more than 165 firm bookings for 2018, so if you’ve a favourite tutor, a particular week, or a special bedroom that you like, please get in touch as soon as you can, and we’ll set aside a place for you. To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please click here, select the type of course you want (painting, knitting, writing,  yoga and or language), find out more about the course and the tutor, then go to the Booking Enquiry form. Fill it in and send it to us. Or  simply call us (UK no.) +44 20 7193 6246.

And why not bring your friend or partner? They don’t have to participate in the course, but they will be able to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of the mill and, whenever they want, to come out with you to our beautiful locations. We also offer a range of activities for non-participating partners. Please click here to find out more. There’s a generous £GBP 250 discount for them if they share a room with you.

Here’s the 2018 list of courses. First, painting courses:

paul plus pic28 April – 5 May 2018

Paul Talbot-Greaves

Watercolours 

Course full, waiting list open

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

maggie plus pic19-26 May 2018 

Maggie Renner Hellmann

Oils, acrylics, pastels watercolours

Three or four places left

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

Sandra plus pic26 May-2 June, 2-9 June, 9-16 June AND 16-23 June  2018

Sandra Strohschein 

Watercolours

First two weeks fully booked, places still for 9-16 June and 16-23 June

To learn more about Sandra and her courses at The Watermill, please click here

Andrew plus pic

23-30 June 2018

Andrew Geeson

Watercolours

Five or six places left

To learn more about Andrew and his courses at The Watermill, please click here.

terry plus pic7-14 July 2018 

Terry Jarvis

Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)

Still plenty of spaces

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

Nel and Bec plus pic1-8 September 2018 

Rebecca di Mendonça and Nel Whatmore

Pastels

Two or three places left

To learn more about Nel and Rebecca and their course at The Watermill, please click here 

mike plus pic8-15 September 2018 

Mike Willdridge

Watercolour,drawing (gouache and acrylics)

Two or three places left

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

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.15-22 September 2018 

Claire Warner

Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)

Course full, waiting list open

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

vicki plus pic6-13 October 2018 

Vicki Norman

Oils and watercolours

Four or five places left

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

Tim plus pic13-20 October 2018 

Tim Wilmot

Watercolours

Four or five places left

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

Knitting courses:

Sarah H plus pic5-12 May 2018

Sarah Hazell 

Knitting and La Bella Vita

Two or three places left

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

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.14-21 July 2018

Marie Wallin 

Knitting and La Bella Vita

Course full, waiting list open

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

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.29 September – 6 October 2018 

Lisa Richardson 

Knitting and La Bella Vita

Two or three places left

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

Italian language holiday:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.30 June to 7 July 2018

Giulia Balestri and Langues Services

Italian language week

Three or four places left

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

Creative writing holiday:

Jo plus pic22-29 September 2018 

Jo Parfitt 

Writing your Life Stories

Three or four places left

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

Yoga retreat:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.25 August – 1 September 2018

Claire Murphy

Nourish — mind, body and soul

Still plenty of spaces

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

Don’t forget your partner!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.Why not bring your friend or partner? They don’t have to participate in the course, but they will be able to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of the mill and, whenever they want, to come out with you to our beautiful locations. For more details, please click here.  They also receive a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you.

And don’t forget that Early Bird offer:

New early BirdsIf you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on all our 2018 creative courses.

To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please click here, select the type of course you are interested in (painting, knitting, writing, yoga and or language), find out more about your tutor, then go to the Booking Enquiry form, fill in as appropriate and send it to us. Or  simply call us (UK no.) +44 20 7193 6246.

See you soon, we hope!

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

The Week reckons we’re in the top five painting holidays in the world!

Painting in the heart of rural Tuscany

Painting in the heart of rural Tuscany

Our thanks to the website of the prestigious news magazine, The Week, for including the Watermill in an article on five of the best art holidays around the world. You can see it at http://www.theweek.co.uk/90602/five-of-the-best-art-holidays-

And you can find out how to join one of our sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring painting weeks by clicking here.  If you book before the end of the year, you can enjoy our generous Early Bird booking discount, too.Painting by Terry Jarvis, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

The magazine, which provides a digest of the week’s important new stories, says: “Broaden your horizons with a stay at The Watermill at Posara, Tuscany, where painting sessions can be supplemented with courses in self-development, creative writing, Italian, knitting and yoga. Next year’s featured artists include Paul Talbot-Greaves (watercolours and acrylics, 28 April to 5 May), whose work is reproduced above, Andrew Geeson (watercolours 23 to 30 June), Claire Warner (watercolours, oils and acrylics, 15 to 22 September) and Vicki Norman (oils, 6 to 13 October). “Alongside workshops and masterclasses there are excursions to the nearby villages of the Cinque Terre and the town of Fivizzano on market day,” says The Times. The Watermill’s Italian cooking offers another reason to pack your bags: sample menus include creamy risotto al pesto, oven-baked fish between chestnut leaves and Amaretto mousse ice cream.”

From £1,560pp (two sharing) for seven nights including tuition, meals, drinks and transfers to/from Pisa. Flights extra. Contact The Watermill at Posara

Find out what all the fuss is about!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

Only a fortnight to go to be a Watermill Early Bird

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

Two Early Birds discuss which course they’d like to go on.

Two weeks to go: Before you get bogged down in all your Christmas  arrangements, I thought I’d just remind you that the Watermill’s Early Bird Discount offer ends at the end of this month.

In fact, why don’t you give yourself and/or your loved one an early Christmas present by booking now on one of our world-famous, sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring courses? And then spend the Winter thinking of superb tuition, Tuscan sunshine and Italian food!

Our Early Bird offer: if you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person (about $US 100, $CAN 120, AUD 120discount on all our 2018 creative courses. 

A photograph of the mill and the riverside gardens.

A photograph of the mill and the riverside gardens.

Booking are continuing to flow in for next year’s courses, many from people who have been with us before and want to come again. We already have more than 160 firm bookings for 2018, so if you’ve a favourite tutor, a particular week, or a special bedroom that you like, please get in touch as soon as you can, and we’ll set aside a place for you. To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please click here, select the type of course you want (painting, knitting, writing, Oomph!, yoga and or language), find out more about the course and the tutor, then go to the Booking Enquiry form. Fill it in and send it to us. Or  simply call us (UK no.) +44 20 7193 6246.

And why not bring your friend or partner? They don’t have to participate in the course, but they will be able to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of the mill and, whenever they want, to come out with you to our beautiful locations. We also offer a range of activities for non-participating partners. Please click here to find out more. There’s a generous £GBP 250 discount for them if they share a room with you.

Here’s the 2018 list of courses. First, painting courses:

paul plus pic28 April – 5 May 2018

Paul Talbot-Greaves

Watercolours 

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

maggie plus pic19-26 May 2018 

Maggie Renner Hellmann

Oils, acrylics, pastels watercolours

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

Sandra plus pic26 May-2 June, 2-9 June, 9-16 June AND 16-23 June  2018

Sandra Strohschein 

Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra and her courses at The Watermill, please click here

Andre plus pic23-30 June 2018

Andrew Geeson

Watercolours

To learn more about Andrew and his courses at The Watermill, please click here.

terry plus pic7-14 July 2018 

Terry Jarvis

Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)

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

Nel and Bec plus pic1-8 September 2018 

Rebecca di Mendonça and Nel Whatmore

Pastels

To learn more about Nel and Rebecca and their course at The Watermill, please click here 

mike plus pic8-15 September 2018 

Mike Willdridge

Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

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

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.15-22 September 2018 

Claire Warner

Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)

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

vicki plus pic6-13 October 2018 

Vicki Norman

Oils and watercolours

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

Tim plus pic13-20 October 2018 

Tim Wilmot

Watercolours

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

Knitting courses:

Sarah H plus pic5-12 May 2018

Sarah Hazell 

Knitting and La Bella Vita

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

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.14-21 July 2018

Marie Wallin 

Knitting and La Bella Vita

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

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.29 September – 6 October 2018 

Lisa Richardson 

Knitting and La Bella Vita

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

Italian language holiday:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.30 June to 7 July 2018

Giulia Balestri

Italian language week

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

Creative writing holiday:

Jo plus pic22-29 September 2018 

Jo Parfitt 

Writing your Life Stories

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

Yoga retreat:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.25 August – 1 September 2018

Claire Murphy

Nourish — mind, body and soul

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

Don’t forget your partner!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.Why not bring your friend or partner? They don’t have to participate in the course, but they will be able to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of the mill and, whenever they want, to come out with you to our beautiful locations. For more details, please click here They also receive a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you.

And don’t forget our Early Bird offer:

New early BirdsIf you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on all our 2018 creative courses.

To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please click here, select the type of course you are interested in (painting, knitting, writing, yoga and or language), find out more about your tutor, then go to the Booking Enquiry form, fill in as appropriate and send it to us. Or  simply call us (UK no.) +44 20 7193 6246.

 

 

Sandra is our ‘painter in residence’ for early Summer

Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Sandra beside the rose pergola in the Watermill walled garden. Come and join our early Summer ‘artist in residence.’

We’ve never had a ‘painter in residence’ at the Watermill before, but for most of June next year we are going to be doing just that. Our delightful watercolour* tutor Sandra Strohschein will be with us for four sun-filled, inspiring painting weeks, from May 26 to June 23. They promise to be the greatest fun – and the first two weeks are completely booked up already.

Sandra says:  The Watermill is one of my favourite place to paint and the hospitality is out of this world.I  love the idea of being there for four weeks.

She adds: “I usually travel to Europe every year for a couple of months and I am looking forward to spending more time with you in Italy next year. What fun! I’ve made so many great friends over the years at the Watermill and I am looking forward to meeting many of them again as well as making new friends during our painting weeks. I enjoy painting at home or abroad with friends: it is all wonderful.

Painting by Sandra Strohshein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays, Tuscany Italy.

A painting of the Watermill from the riverside by Sandra

*Sandra will teach in watercolour, but she says: “Students may choose to paint in acrylic or pastel as well as, or instead of, watercolour. I can instruct on how to put together a painting as far as composition, light, values etc… I cannot handle oil as I am allergic but pencil, acrylic, pastel…perfectly fine.”

A painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor on painting courses at The Watermill at Posara, Tuscany Italy

The square in nearby Fivizzano on market day

As I said, the weeks May 26 to June 2 and June 2 to June 9 are fully booked (you can join a waiting list if these are the only dates you can make.) We already have six guests booked in for the week June 9 to June 16 (and a couple more in the pipeline), and three for the week June 16 to June 23, so now if the time to book on these amazing courses. And don’t forget our Early Bird discount booking offer. More details on everything are below.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, personal development and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

The warm and sunlit Watermill courtyard

We had a wonderful course with Sandra earlier this year and our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A couple of their comments: “Sandra 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.”

 “Many thanks to you both for a fabulous week. Your forethought, hard work and professionalism are very much appreciated. Nothing was too much trouble and nothing was at fault. You have created a gem. Please pass on our sincere gratitude to all your lovely people.”

Sandra Strohschein head and shouldersSandra Strohschein from Michigan, USA, has achieved an extraordinary mastery of her medium, transparent watercolours. She works in a fast loose impressionistic style, but above all, she produces passionate, emotionally charged paintings, full of energy.

As for her teaching, people frequently tell her about how much fun they have on her workshops and how nobody ever wants them to end. Another painting guest on her course at the mill said: “Watching your demonstrations was such an education and your kind and patient individual help was invaluable.”  

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!

 Sandra plus picSandra Strohshein

Watercolours

26 May to 2 June, 2-9 June, 9-16 June AND 16-23 June 2018

Please click here to learn more about Sandra’s painting holidays at The Watermill. 

 Early Bird discount: book now!

 If you book before 31 December 2017 there’s a £GBP 75 per person discount on this fabulous 2018 painting holiday.  To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please use our secure Booking Enquiry Form by clicking here.

Come and join us and savour the magic of The Watermill!

Painting on a balcony overlooking the garden

Painting on a balcony overlooking the garden