‘Virtual’ is fine, but for better life story writing, you must try the real thing…

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

We have just completed a highly successful free online ‘writing your life story’ session with our renowned writing tutor Jo Parfitt (above).

Using her concept of the Life Story Jar, Jo led some 20 participants through the fundamentals of writing about your life in a way that really has impact. Jo and the Watermill offered this free session to our friends as part of our contribution to help people get through these difficult ‘lockdown’ times.

Our participants were inspired: “A great session; Jo’s tutorial was excellent,” said one of them. Another added: “How clearly Jo manages to put across her ideas.” And a third said: “It was wonderful to be with a group of enthusiasts once more and be prompted to pick up that lazy pen…”

Lois, who was host for the session, helped participants to share some of their work, which Jo considers a particularly important part of the learning process.

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

You can see a video of the session by clicking here, but for reasons of privacy we have had to edit out the sharing section.

But as life gets back to normal, you will know that, however helpful ‘virtual events’ are, they can’t beat the real thing, a week-long creative writing course with Jo at the Watermill. We had to postpone Jo’s Writing Your Life Stories course this year, but it will be running again next summer. It will run from Saturday 14 August to Saturday 21 August 2021, and for more details, please click here.

Many of this year’s participants have already transferred to Jo’s 2021 course, but we still have a few places.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
A collage of conversation on Jo’s last course,compiled by Sue Reed.

Jo Parfitt’s Writing Your Life Stories courses at the Watermill have provided some of the most inspiring and creative weeks in our calendar, with dozens of people learning new writing skills to help them capture the stories of their lives.

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

This 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 making them leap off the page You learn how to:

  • Let it flow
  • Write about childhood
  • Write about people
  • Write about places
  • Write on a theme
  • Write humour
  • Write complete stories, with beginnings, middles and ends

 Jo says: “You will be empowered to write in a compelling way, bringing your experiences to life.”

As one of our previous guests said: “It is a very special and beautiful place and everything was organised so perfectly. Jo is a great tutor and we all had an amazing time.” Another said: “It was a great week: “Beautiful setting, perfect weather, delicious food and some super outings, who could ask for anything more — and I did quite a bit of writing!”

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

Above are some members of Jo Parfitt’s writing group last year sharing snippets from their lives One of the group, Sue Reed, tells us: “The vine verandah has been the perfect place to gather to write and share our stories. Last night we all shared a funny story, and the laughter rang out. My life feels so much richer for having met and shared stories with these wonderful people.”

Of course, there’s not only laughter, but tears, too, as members of the group share emotional experiences from their lives, but in the secure and sympathetic surroundings of the Watermill, this sharing can become life-enhancing. As 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”. And there’s more laughter than tears, with the warm camaraderie of like-minded people

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
A writing group on the steps of the castle at Verrucola, where go to lunch on Mondays

So, come and add spice to your life stories and learn the secrets of compelling writing, when Jo returns next year. To recap, her Write Your Life Stories course will run from Saturday 14 August to Saturday 21 August 2021. We already have seven people booked into Jo’s course, so we only have room for four or five more. For more details, please click here.

***The Watermill is renowned for its inspiring teaching, its beautiful setting, its delicious food and wine, and its warm and welcoming hospitality. We are also Cool and Green! All the bedrooms and public rooms have air conditioning, powered by our hidden array of photovoltaic panels, harnessing the sun’s energy to makes us self-sufficient in electricity generation.

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

Jo Parfitt is an author, journalist, teacher, blogger, conference speaker and poet. She has published 32 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. Jo’s a compassionate, inspiring, and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.

 The workshop will include several methods and genres 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.

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!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Finding a quiet corner to start writing your life’s stories

More blooming hydrangeas, as promised

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

A week or so ago I showed you some pictures of the hydrangeas in the courtyard outside the Vasari suite. They were just coming into bloom and I promised to show you them again as they blossomed. Well, there they are above, courtesy of a photograph by our green-fingered gardener, Flavio Terenzoni.

Why not come and see them for yourself? We have every confidence that our world-renowned creative courses will be up and running again very soon. Throw off the coronavirus blues and blossom once more with us! We are ready when you are: buildings renovated, walls painted, furniture restored, window boxes filled, courtyard full of plants: we just need your company to make it all perfect.

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

We do hope you will be able to plan ahead for when we are through this difficult time and you are ready for a relaxing and inspiring break away from it all. Please come and join us.

*Please rest assured that if travel restrictions in your own country or in Italy mean that the course cannot run on these dates, or that appropriate flights are not available, we will postpone your course to later in the year or even until 2021. You can find out all about our coronavirus strategy by clicking here. We’ll also be doing everything to keep you safe during your visit.

Below you will first find details of our inspiring 2020 painting courses, followed by information on our creative writing and Italian language weeks.

Updated 18 June 2020

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

Our inspiring 2020 painting courses


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


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

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


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

Maggie Renner Hellman
19–26 September 2020 – a few places left
Oils, acrylics, watercolours and pastels
To learn about Maggie’s courses, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

Milind Mulick
3 – 10 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Colourful watercolours
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


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

Tim Wilmot
10 – 17 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Our enriching 2020 writing course


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

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
8 – 15 August 2020 – two or three places left
Scriptwriting
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill, please visit their 2020 Profile Page.


Our elevating Italian course

Langues Service and Francesca La Sala
22 – 29 August 2020 – still a few places
Italian from the Italians
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

We are also planning a full series of creative courses – painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language – for 2021 and you can see a preview of those courses by clicking here.

ShareThis

Have a gander at Tricia’s geese

Talking of geese, as we were a few days ago when reporting on the success of Mike Willdridge’s latest interactive online painting session, one of the participants, Tricia Kaye, sent us the picture above of a three-dimensional goose (or two) that she has been working on.

A talented lot, these friends of the Watermill! Thank you for sharing your geese with us, Tricia. Here’s another mini-gaggle.

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

You may recollect that Mike’s last subject was a gaggle of geese in front of an old barn. Here is his painting:

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

If you click here you can see a fun 30-second Facebook slideshow of the efforts of some of our guests as they painted along with Mike.

And if you click again, you can find out more about the next fun-filled, free interactive sessions which Mike and Lois have prepared to keep you inspired during lockdown.

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

And, of course, the aim is also to inspire you to look ahead and book for the real thing: one of our world-renowned Watermill creative courses. We have every confidence that we will be up and running again very soon. We have just been talking to Laurence Marks, whose Screenwriting course with his partner Maurice Gran starts on 8 August, who tells us that they bought their air tickets and cannot wait to be with us again. Perhaps you’d like to join us and brush up your writing skills with the Masters. We also have an exciting series of painting courses, details of which are below. Throw off the coronavirus blues and reinvigorate your life! We are ready when you are: buildings renovated, walls painted, furniture restored, window boxes filled, courtyard full of plants: we just need your company to make it all perfect.

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

We do hope you will be able to plan ahead for when we are through this difficult time and you are ready for a relaxing and inspiring break away from it all. Please come and join us.

*Please rest assured that if travel restrictions in your own country or in Italy mean that the course cannot run on these dates, or that appropriate flights are not available, we will postpone your course to later in the year or even until 2021. You can find out all about our coronavirus strategy by clicking here. We’ll also be doing everything to keep you safe during your visit.

Below you will first find details of our inspiring 2020 painting courses, followed by information on our creative writing and Italian language weeks.

Updated 16 June 2020

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

Our inspiring 2020 painting courses


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


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

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


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

Maggie Renner Hellman
19–26 September 2020 – a few places left
Oils, acrylics, watercolours and pastels
To learn about Maggie’s courses, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

Milind Mulick
3 – 10 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Colourful watercolours
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


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

Tim Wilmot
10 – 17 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Our enriching 2020 writing course


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

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
8 – 15 August 2020 – two or three places left
Scriptwriting
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill, please visit their 2020 Profile Page.


Our elevating Italian course

Langues Service and Francesca La Sala
22 – 29 August 2020 – still a few places
Italian from the Italians
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

We are also planning a full series of creative courses – painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language – for 2021 and you can see a preview of those courses by clicking here.

After the gaggle of geese, it’s washing on the line!

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A gaggle of geese and an old barn: Mike’s picture for the latest interactive session.

We have had a wonderful feedback from participants in Mike Willdridge‘s latest free, interactive, online session, where they painted a gaggle of geese in front of an old barn, along with Mike. We’d like to share just a few of the comments.

That was really good fun and so lovely to lose oneself in a painting and not worry about the world for a couple of hours.

The perfect approach with or without the dreaded lockdown. I find both watching the ‘parts’ of the sessions AND painting alongside Mike really helpful. You get more of a sense how its ok to be freer. It gives you the confidence to be a bit chaotic and less prone to overpainting – always my problem. Interestingly, with no distractions I found it easy to concentrate and repeat what you were doing on zoom. Being set up beforehand, ready-to-go, and the concentrated session was just great.  Thank you so much.

What a fabulous way to bring the whole world together and coming, doing something happy.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
One of our guest’s paintings.

I have made one of those short, fun Facebook slideshows of some of the paintings made by some of 70+ our guests during the session, which you can see by clicking here.

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

You can see the video Mike made during his interactive session on YouTube, by clicking here, you will be able to see videos from our other interactive sessions with Mike as they become available. And if you would like to see more of our guests’ interpretations of ‘geese and the barn’, please click here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
A still from the video.
The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Here come the geese!

We have now organised another three sessions, each of which can take up to 100 people. These interactive sessions, which are designed to help you brush up your painting skills, are completely free, though many of our guests have generously sent us donations, for which many thanks. If you would like to donate (it is purely voluntary), Lois will tell you how to do so when you sign up for one or more of the sessions. (Details below.)

Mike’s next session is on Thursday 25 June at 2.30pm. The theme is ‘washing on the line’.  It is the first of three sessions where Mike will explore sunshine and shadows.  Further sessions will be:

Thursday 2 July at 2.30pm – a busy market in Le Marche

Thursday 9 July at 2.30pm – Moorish architecture

We are encouraging our guests to come to all three so that they can hone their skills. 

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

Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Please get in touch with Lois by using the Watermill contact form, which you can find by clicking here. Mark the topic as ‘Mike’s free interactive sessions.

Unlike many online painting programmes, Mike’s will not expect you to ‘look over his shoulder’ for a long demonstration, and perhaps be allowed to ask the odd question or two. No, you will be painting along at more or less the same time, trying out the watercolour techniques that Mike has shown you, step-by-step. He will demonstrate some basic techniques for only a few minutes before you start painting the same subject at home. Then, after you have had your turn, Mike will move onto the next part of the process. The session will last a couple of hours.

Before each session Mike supplies a photograph of what is going to be painted, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette. We will send these beforehand to all the participants in the session. After the session we will send you a link that will enable to you revisit Mike’s step-by-step teaching.

And when you’ve enjoyed working with Mike online, why not join him for real, on his Watermill course this autumn?

The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A painting group with Mike Willdrige being less than serious

Mike’s painting group last year, not being too serious!

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

Mike’s course, in watercolours and drawing (and gouache and acrylics) will run from Saturday 29 August to Saturday 5 September. Details and link below. Why not give yourself something to look forward to and join Mike here? We think things will be back to normal by then, but don’t forget the Watermill’s coronavirus promise:

Rest assured that if travel restrictions in your own country or in Italy mean that the course cannot run on these dates, or that appropriate flights are not available, we will postpone your course until 2021.

If a workshop is cancelled, rather than just being postponed, we will refund any payment in full.

If a workshop is postponed and you cannot make the new dates for the tutor you have chosen, we will offer you alternative courses with others inspiring tutors.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A lovely watercolour by Mike Willdridge of the millstream bubbling under one of our gardener Flavio’s famous wooden bridges.

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


Below is Mike’s beautiful demonstration painting of the nearby church at Pognana. Come and see for yourself. We would love to welcome you here.

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

Another photovoltaic milestone! 14,000 kWh in a year.

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

This week our new photovoltaic electricity-producing system will be one year old. When we commissioned it on 12 June 2019, we set ourselves a target of making 14,000 kilowatt hours of electricity from the sun in our first year.

The picture above, from our handy little monitoring app, shows that we reached our target with a few days to spare! What’s more, we have also saved nearly 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide production.

Our arrays of photovoltaic panels, hidden away on our south-facing roofs overlooking the river make us totally self-sufficient in electricity generation, even powering the new air-conditioning units in all our bedrooms and public rooms. We’ve commissioned the air-conditioning system, and we now have another little app which enables us to control each unit remotely, even from Florence!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Solar power to keep you cool. Some of our panel embedded in the roof of the 19th century Mill 2.

As you know, the Watermill is renowned for its inspiring teaching, its beautiful setting, its delicious food and wine, and its warm and welcoming hospitality. Now, whatever the weather, you will be Cool and Green with us.

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

Trouble is that at the moment we have no guests at the Watermill to enjoy the fruits of our photovoltaic labours. Still, we are putting the bulk of our production back into the electricity grid, giving us plenty of credit for when we are able to keep you cool. Very soon, we hope.

We reckon that everything will be back to normal in the next few weeks and we are confident of running our courses here from August onward.

We are ready when you are: buildings renovated, walls painted, furniture restored, window boxes filled, courtyard full of plants: we just need your company to make it all perfect.

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

We do hope you will be able to plan ahead for when we are through this difficult time and you are ready for a relaxing and inspiring break away from it all. Please come and join us.

*Please rest assured that if travel restrictions in your own country or in Italy mean that the course cannot run on these dates, or that appropriate flights are not available, we will postpone your course to later in the year or even until 2021. You can find out all about our coronavirus strategy by clicking here.

Below you will first find details of our rearranged inspiring painting courses, followed by information on our creative writing and Italian language weeks.

Updated 10 June 2020

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

Our inspiring 2020 painting courses


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


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

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


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

Maggie Renner Hellman
19–26 September 2020 – a few places left
Oils, acrylics, watercolours and pastels
To learn about Maggie’s courses, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

Milind Mulick
3 – 10 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Colourful watercolours
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.



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

Tim Wilmot
10 – 17 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Our enriching 2020 writing course


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

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
8 – 15 August 2020 – two or three places left
Scriptwriting
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill, please visit their 2020 Profile Page.


Our elevating Italian course

Langues Service and Francesca La Sala
22 – 29 August 2020 – still a few places
Italian from the Italians
To learn more about Federica and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

The memories linger on

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

Following the reminiscences of Kyla Wahlstrom, who was our guest on Sandra Strohschein’s wonderful watercolour painting week here in June last year (she sent us lots of pictures which you can see in a Facebook slideshows by clicking here), some of her fellow guests have also been in touch with fond memories of their week with us 2019.

One of them, Shirley Coles, writes: “Thank you, Kyla, for the lovely memories and the wonderful photos. It was certainly a great week and one that I will always remember – Sandra’s inspired teaching, Lois and Bill’s hospitality, the beautiful Watermill and the Tuscan countryside, all of you fellow guests and the painting too.

“I was due to be returning there next Saturday, now deferred until next year. I have taken part in the workshops that Lois and Bill have arranged via Zoom with Mike Willdridge. Although Zoom has its limitations the online session was enjoyable and also brought back loads of memories of the Watermill.”

Sandra sent us a montage of some of the latest pictures she has produced, several with a distinctively Italian flavour. You can see it at the top.

Another guest on Sandra’s course, Becky Higson, has also been following Mike Willdridge’s online interactive painting sessions. (You can learn more about the next one by clicking here.) This is Becky’s attempt at the sun- filled doorway, the subject of the last session.

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

Becky says: “I really need to spend more time on painting, it puts me in such a good frame of mind!!

“I’d much rather we all be collectively enjoying the shared experience of the Watermill right now as opposed to a global pandemic!”

Thank you for those kind words, ladies. We hope to be running our creative courses at the Watermill again from this August onwards. And we have a full programme for 2021. You can find more about everything by clicking here.

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

Memories of painting here last year…

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

Our heartfelt thanks to Kyla Wahlstrom, who was our guest on Sandra Strohschein’s wonderful watercolour painting week here this time last year. Kyla has sent us lots of pictures remembering her time with us and we made them into one of those short, fun Facebook slideshows, which you can see by clicking here.

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

Kyla writes: “It is hard to believe that a year has passed that we began our wonderful painting journey together. For me, it was a magical week of learning and of finding new friendships that continue to forever shape my memories of our time together.”

“Much has happened to all of us in the past year–and I am hoping that each of you has stayed safe and well as the pandemic ensues. Turbulent times are upon us in Minneapolis and the U.S. as you have likely seen on the news, but we are all now hoping for healing and progress for greater justice and equity for all. 

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

“Finding time and energy to paint has been difficult, and yet is a priority, as I find it to be the best way to soothe my heart and mind. I hope you all have continued to discover the healing power of creating something beautiful as life unfolds before us….

“I reflect on how lucky we all were to “end up together” on our Italian journey! It was a perfect week — for discovering the uniqueness of each one of us, to learn so much from Sandra, and to experience the unequalled hospitality of Bill and Lois, Karsten, and the lovely fellows who drove us all around. It could not have been more perfect!”

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

Thank you for the pictures, Kyla and for those kind words. We hope to be running our creative courses at the Watermill again from this August onwards. And we have a full programme for 2021. You can find more about everything by clicking here.

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

A promise of new life

Our gardener and nature lover, Flavio Terenzoni has just sent me this picture he took of the nest of a blackcap warbler along the side of the river near the Watermill.

It looks like we can expect five more songbirds to add their voices to the wonderful dawn chorus we have at the Watermill each morning.

I think it’s a great symbol of the renewal of life as we know it at the Watermill. We are looking forward to opening up at last and making the final preparations for the guests on our creative courses towards the end of the year.

We’d love you to enjoy the Watermill as much as we do – and listen to the birds! Here’s one of them, a verzellino, a sarin, also snapped by Flavio.

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

Below you will first find details of our 2020 inspiring painting courses, followed by information on our creative writing and Italian language weeks. Please rest assured that if travel restrictions in your own country or in Italy mean that the course cannot run on these dates, or that appropriate flights are not available, we will postpone your course until 2021..

** By the way, the Watermill is renowned for its inspiring teaching, its beautiful setting, its delicious food and wine, and its warm and welcoming hospitality. We are also Cool and Green, even in the summer: all the bedrooms and public rooms have air conditioning, powered by our hidden array of photovoltaic panels, harnessing the sun’s energy to makes us self-sufficient in electricity generation. So you will enjoy Tuscan sun and a cool watermill!

Updated 7 June 2020

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

Our inspiring 2020 painting courses


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


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

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


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

Maggie Renner Hellman
19–26 September 2020 – a few places left
Oils, acrylics, watercolours and pastels
To learn about Maggie’s courses, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

Milind Mulick
3 – 10 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Colourful watercolours
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.



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

Tim Wilmot
10 – 17 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


Our enriching 2020 writing course


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

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
8 – 15 August 2020 – two or three places left
Scriptwriting
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill, please visit their 2020 Profile Page.


Our elevating Italian course

Francesca La Sala
22 – 29 August 2020 – still a few places
Italian from the Italians
To learn more about Federica and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

Some more charming Watermill watercolours from Robert Christopher

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

Many of our Watermill painting guests continue to enjoy the Watermill long after their week with us! They do so by painting pictures of the mill and its surroundings, based on photographs or sketches they made during their stay.

One such is Robert Christopher, who has been with us for a couple of painting courses and who, from time to time, sends us some of his charming watercolours. Two more have just arrived and we are delighted to share them with you. The one above is of the Porta di Sotto, the lower gate of the nearby walled mediaeval town of Fivizzano, where we go to paint and enjoy the market on Mondays. And below you can see a corner of the 19th century mill in the Watermill complex, with two of the old millstones, and the wooden hoppers above them into which the grain was poured.

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

Thank you very much again, Robert, for sharing those memories with us. Now that the coronavirus crisis is nearly over, why not give yourself a treat and come and see yourself the delights of the mill and the surrounding beautiful scenery of rural Tuscany? We have been working away to make sure that everything is ready for you and will be running the following painting courses later this year.

Come and join us and create some fond memories of 2020!

Below you will first find details of our remaining inspiring painting courses. Please rest assured that if travel restrictions in your own country or in Italy mean that the course cannot run on these dates, or that appropriate flights are not available, we will postpone your course until 2021..

** By the way, the Watermill is renowned for its inspiring teaching, its beautiful setting, its delicious food and wine, and its warm and welcoming hospitality. We are also Cool and Green, even in the summer: all the bedrooms and public rooms have air conditioning, powered by our hidden array of photovoltaic panels, harnessing the sun’s energy to makes us self-sufficient in electricity generation. So you will enjoy Tuscan sun and a cool watermill!

Updated 6 June 2020

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

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


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

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


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

Maggie Renner Hellman
19–26 September 2020 – a few places left
Oils, acrylics, watercolours and pastels
To learn about Maggie’s courses, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.


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

Milind Mulick
3 – 10 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Colourful watercolours
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.


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

Tim Wilmot
10 – 17 October 2020 –  fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.

Praise for Mike’s ‘sunlit door’. Join him for another free interactive online session

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
A still from a video of Mike’s ‘sunlit door’ session

We have had an amazing feedback from participants in Mike Willdridge‘s last free, interactive, online session,where they painted a sunlit door together with Mike. We’d like to share just a few of the comments.

It was a most wonderful session and so uplifting.  Keep up the kindness as it’s really needed.

That was wonderful.  Thank you so much.  

It was very well organised, and inspiring!

Thank you, that was brilliant!

holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Thank you so very much indeed for including me in today’s lesson. Great fun.

Thank you for fantastic painting class. It was a great success and much enjoyed.

Thank you! That was a fun session!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
A few of the door paintings made by our online guests.

I really enjoyed the watercolour session with Mike Willdridge this afternoon – its reassuring to know that we can travel anywhere with a paintbrush!

I am looking forward to painting a sunlit Tuscan door in person!

Our friend and Watermill painting tutor Mike Willdridge has devised three wonderful online, interactive painting sessions where you can brush up your basic painting skills.

Nearly 70 people joined in the ‘sunlit door’ session. Now we are putting together the third in the current series, entitled ‘Geese’.

We have room for up to 100 Watermill fans to enjoy Mike’s company and spend a couple of hours painting together with him. The session is filling fast, but there are still plenty of spaces at the moment. Lois is the hostess with the mostest, in charge of the technological juggling act! There are details below of how to join.

Here is Mike’s practice painting, to show you what he’s aiming at in the next session:

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

Unlike many online painting programmes, Mike’s will not expect you to ‘look over his shoulder’ for a long demonstration, and perhaps be allowed to ask the odd question or two. No, you will be painting along at more or less the same time, trying out the watercolour techniques that Mike has shown you, step-by-step. He will  demonstrate some basic techniques for only a few minutes before you start painting the same subject at home. Then, after you have had your turn, Mike will move onto the next part of the process. The session will last a couple of hours.

Before each session Mike supplies a photograph of what is going to be painted, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette. We will send these beforehand to all the participants in the session. After the session we will send you a link that will enable to you revisit Mike’s step-by-step teaching.

And here are the date and time:

  • Thursday 11 June, 9.30am UK time (so that students in Australia can join in)

Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Please get in touch with Lois by using the Watermill contact form, which you can find by clicking here. Mark the topic as ‘Mike’s free interactive sessions’.

You will find the sessions informative, inspirational – and fun! Mike’s sessions are free but many of the participants in the previous session kindly made a donation and if you would like to do so, it will be gratefully received. Lois will also tell you how you can do it when your application for the next session is accepted.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
A few guests’ lemons, the subject of Mike’s first course, painted live and interactive.

Mike’s online courses are proving so popular that we’re planning to produce more – and will keep you posted when these have been organised.

And when you’ve enjoyed working with Mike online, why not join him for real, on his Watermill course this autumn?

Mike’s painting group last year, not being too serious!
Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Mike’s course, in watercolours and drawing (and gouache and acrylics) will run from Saturday 29 August to Saturday 5 September. Details and link below. Why not give yourself something to look forward to and join Mike here? We think things will be back to normal by then, but don’t forget the Watermill’s coronavirus promise:

  • Rest assured that if travel restrictions in your own country or in Italy mean that the course cannot run on these dates, or that appropriate flights are not available, we will postpone your course until 2021.
  • If a workshop is cancelled, rather than just being postponed, we will refund any payment in full.
  • If a workshop is postponed and you cannot make the new dates for the tutor you have chosen, we will offer you alternative courses with others inspiring tutors.
Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.
A lovely watercolour by Mike Willdridge of the millstream bubbling under one of our gardner Flavio’s famous wooden bridges.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Mike-plus-river.jpg

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


Below is Mike’s beautiful demonstration painting of the nearby church at Pognana. Come and see for yourself. We would love to welcome you here.

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