Take a (virtual) painting trip to Oz tomorrow, but keep it simple!

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy
Mike’s demonstration sketch of tomorrow’s scene.

There is still time to take a trip (virtually) to Australia this Thursday with Mike Willdridge and his trusty sketchbook. Mike wants to show you how you can capture a scene quickly by simplifying what you see and being selective with the use of paint.

He will share with the joys of making pictures using pen and watercolour wash. Mike says: This is a great medium for working quickly; mistakes can easily be hidden by the pen and I like to use one with as large a nib as possible.”

Another photo of the scene you will be painting tomorrow.

You will also learn simple ways to tackle perspective, of great importance in the sketch above, of The Corso in Manly, Australia, with the street disappearing into the horizon, and with big and small trees and figures. As you can see, as well as sketching with his pen, Mike’s use a simple watercolour wash to add interest to the scene. He says:” I chose to use just one colour, but we could use more when we paint this scene together.”

Mike’s Zoom session is live on Thursday 15 April at 3:30 pm Italian time. (2:30 pm UK time. That’s quite early in the morning in the United States and Canada, and in the middle of the night in Australia and New Zealand! But, even if you can’t make the live session, you can still register and receive an edited video of the demonstration to paint along in your own time. See below.) Registration for this exciting online, interactive session is through the Eventbrite platform and you can join up by clicking here. There are full details of the session below, but first I’d just like to show you a couple of other examples of how selecting and simplifying bring the scene to life, sketches made by Mike on his trips to Australia.

The logistics of Mike’s latest online session:

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. Lois Breckon from The Watermill at Posara will be on hand during the session to feed your questions. The session will last a couple of hours.

When you register for the session you will be asked for a donation. Some people ask how much this should be. Our answer? “Like the measure of a Scottish dram: it should offend neither the host nor the guest!” Our Zoom painting demonstrations do take quite a bit of time in preparation and administration and your support is very much appreciated. With your generosity we can plan and run further sessions and, more importantly, provide a regular meeting place for creativity, camaraderie and fun. We hope that you enjoy the international, online painting community that we have created.

When you register you will be provided with two links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session. The second link is where you will find a copy of the photograph that you will paint, Mike’s sketchbook painting to show you where you are heading, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette. There is no need to make a preliminary drawing before the session.

After the event, you are invited to email us with your painting to add to the online Gallery. In addition, we will send you a link to an edited video of the session that will enable to you revisit Mike’s step-by-step teaching. That link to register again: just click here.

Just click here to register

When you have painted with Mike online, why not join him for real at the Watermill in Tuscany Italy next summer? We would love to welcome you to the Watermill. You can find more details of Mike’s week-long courses, 28 August to 4 September, and 4 to 11 September, here.

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

Arrive just in time for an aperitivo as a Watermill Patron. And win more rewards

Luca celebrates its saint with flowers every April. Picture: Two Parts Italy

Lost your spectacles? Find out how Santa Zita might help as Lois reads from Just in Time for an Aperitivo, our love letters to Italy. As we visit the beautiful city of Lucca, learn also about Zita’s flowery miracle and why there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Toscanini conducted Puccini. Just some of the delights of becoming a Watermill Patron.

Picture: Two Parts Italy

We have launched a new online venture: a subscription service to involve more intimately as Patrons the thousands of people who have expressed an interest in our Watermill activities, creating an even broader international online creative community — and giving them exclusive rewards for joining in. And we need your support to help get this new adventure off the ground. To be part of it, just click here. And ask Santa Zita where on earth you put those specs!

***

The Watermill Patrons project: the details of how YOU can be involved

We’ve created a friendly meeting place where YOU can be involved more fully with the Watermill’s creative adventures.  If you are keen for more news about Watermill exciting restoration projects, more mouth-watering recipes from the Watermill kitchen, more insights into Italian life and culture, more creative tips from our tutors – generally more ‘friends’ privileges’ at the Watermill – just sign up as a Watermill Patron and you will enjoy all these exclusive perks and MORE.  What’s more, your support will help us move The Watermill at Posara to the next level… 

As you probably know, we have lovingly restored our historic watermill in unspoilt rural Tuscany, Italy, and from here we run creative courses (in painting, writing, knitting and Italian Language). We have gained a reputation for inspiring tuition, warm hospitality, fantastic food and convivial company.

Our new venture is a way of helping the thousands of people who have been on one of our Watermill renowned week-long residential creative courses, or have joined in our weekly interactive online sessions, or simply expressed an interest in the Watermill, to become more actively involved in our activities throughout the year — and gain rewards for doing so.

Using Patreon, we are creating a new friendly meeting place, an international community of artistic, convivial people, – and we would love you to be part of it.

Lois will tell you more if you just click here..

Patreon is an online platform for people who would like to support creative causes – and ours is to continue our work in restoring this wonderful ancient Watermill (some of it dating from the 17th century), making it into one of the best centres of creative activities in the world. We would like you to help us in that task, by signing up as a Watermill Patron on the Patreon site. There’s a monthly subscription and you can choose between various tiers of participation, from Friend, to Supporter, Benefactor, Guardian and Angel. Each brings its own rewards.

When you join us, you will receive regular videos, podcasts and blogs with news, recipes, creative tips and Italian insights. And if you join one of our higher tiers, you’ll enjoy complimentary access to our online classes as well as discounts on our renowned creative courses at the mill itself.

Being a patron bring rewards: clockwise from top left: involvement in projects like restoring the olive press, top tips from our tutors, podcast insights into Italian life discounts on creative courses.

And don’t forget the delicious mouth-watering recipes you’ll receive from the Watermill’s kitchen:

As we move forward, you can help steer us to the next level, by giving us your views on forthcoming practical projects as varied as night-vision cameras to observe our wildlife, converting our olive press area into an eco-friendly hot tub and plunge pool, and installing a lift to our first-floor painting studio to make it more accessible to the less sprightly. 

Please come and add your vibrancy to our international community. The first step is to click here to take you to the Patreon site to see an introductory video and read more. Then join up to become part of our new Watermill adventures.

#painting, #watercolor, #watercolour, #watercolors, #acrylic, #pastel, #oilpainting, #writing, #writer, #creativewriting, # memoir, #Languages, #Italian, #knit, #knitting, #Italy, #Tuscany, #travel
Join in the fun! Picture: Francesco Lastrucci

Why do Lois’s gorgonzola soufflées never fall flat? Become a Watermill Patron and find out! And patrons also win rewards

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

Every Friday evening during our creative courses Lois serves these tempting gorgonzola soufflées, and they are always light, fluffy and delicious. What’s the secret? Become a Watermill Patron to find out — and enjoy many other privileges.

We have launched a new online venture: a subscription service to involve more intimately as Patrons the thousands of people who have expressed an interest in our Watermill activities, creating an even broader international online creative community — and giving them exclusive rewards for joining in. And we need your support to help get this new adventure off the ground. To be part of it, just click here. And enjoy the lightest of soufflées!

***

The Watermill Patrons project: the details of how YOU can be involved

We’ve created a friendly meeting place where YOU can be involved more fully with the Watermill’s creative adventures.  If you are keen for more news about Watermill exciting restoration projects, more mouth-watering recipes from the Watermill kitchen, more insights into Italian life and culture, more creative tips from our tutors – generally more ‘friends’ privileges’ at the Watermill – just sign up as a Watermill Patron and you will enjoy all these exclusive perks and MORE.  What’s more, your support will help us move The Watermill at Posara to the next level… 

As you probably know, we have lovingly restored our historic watermill in unspoilt rural Tuscany, Italy, and from here we run creative courses (in painting, writing, knitting and Italian Language). We have gained a reputation for inspiring tuition, warm hospitality, fantastic food and convivial company.

Our new venture is a way of helping the thousands of people who have been on one of our Watermill renowned week-long residential creative courses, or have joined in our weekly interactive online sessions, or simply expressed an interest in the Watermill, to become more actively involved in our activities throughout the year — and gain rewards for doing so.

Using Patreon, we are creating a new friendly meeting place, an international community of artistic, convivial people, – and we would love you to be part of it.

Lois will tell you more if you just click here..

Patreon is an online platform for people who would like to support creative causes – and ours is to continue our work in restoring this wonderful ancient Watermill (some of it dating from the 17th century), making it into one of the best centres of creative activities in the world. We would like you to help us in that task, by signing up as a Watermill Patron on the Patreon site. There’s a monthly subscription and you can choose between various tiers of participation, from Friend, to Supporter, Benefactor, Guardian and Angel. Each brings its own rewards.

When you join us, you will receive regular videos, podcasts and blogs with news, recipes, creative tips and Italian insights. And if you join one of our higher tiers, you’ll enjoy complimentary access to our online classes as well as discounts on our renowned creative courses at the mill itself.

Being a patron bring rewards: clockwise from top left: involvement in projects like restoring the olive press, top tips from our tutors, podcast insights into Italian life discounts on creative courses.

And don’t forget the delicious mouth-watering recipes you’ll receive from the Watermill’s kitchen:

As we move forward, you can help steer us to the next level, by giving us your views on forthcoming practical projects as varied as night-vision cameras to observe our wildlife, converting our olive press area into an eco-friendly hot tub and plunge pool, and installing a lift to our first-floor painting studio to make it more accessible to the less sprightly. 

Please come and add your vibrancy to our international community. The first step is to click here to take you to the Patreon site to see an introductory video and read more. Then join up to become part of our new Watermill adventures.

#painting, #watercolor, #watercolour, #watercolors, #acrylic, #pastel, #oilpainting, #writing, #writer, #creativewriting, # memoir, #Languages, #Italian, #knit, #knitting, #Italy, #Tuscany, #travel
Join in the fun! Picture: Francesco Lastrucci

What’s the difference between the colour of Lois’s coat and our latest restoration project? Become a Watermill patron and find out more!

Here is Lois, in an exclusive video for Watermill Patrons, telling us all about our latest restoration project, in the old olive press. But what’s the connection between the colour of her coat and our plans for this extraordinary space? Become a Watermill Patron and find out more.

We have launched a new online venture: a subscription service to involve more intimately as Patrons the thousands of people who have expressed an interest in our Watermill activities, creating an even broader international online creative community — and giving them exclusive rewards for joining in. And we need your support to help get this new adventure of the ground. Just click here to be part of it, just click here.

***

The Watermill Patrons project: the details of how YOU can be involved

We’ve created a friendly meeting place where YOU can be involved more fully with the Watermill’s creative adventures.  If you are keen for more news about Watermill exciting restoration projects, more mouth-watering recipes from the Watermill kitchen, more insights into Italian life and culture, more creative tips from our tutors – generally more ‘friends’ privileges’ at the Watermill – just sign up as a Watermill Patron and you will enjoy all these exclusive perks and MORE.  What’s more, your support will help us move The Watermill at Posara to the next level… 

As you probably know, we have lovingly restored our historic watermill in unspoilt rural Tuscany, Italy, and from here we run creative courses (in painting, writing, knitting and Italian Language). We have gained a reputation for inspiring tuition, warm hospitality, fantastic food and convivial company.

Our new venture is a way of helping the thousands of people who have been on one of our Watermill renowned week-long residential creative courses, or have joined in our weekly interactive online sessions, or simply expressed an interest in the Watermill, to become more actively involved in our activities throughout the year — and gain rewards for doing so.

Using Patreon, we are creating a new friendly meeting place, an international community of artistic, convivial people, – and we would love you to be part of it.

Lois will tell you more if you just click here..

Patreon is an online platform for people who would like to support creative causes – and ours is to continue our work in restoring this wonderful ancient Watermill (some of it dating from the 17th century), making it into one of the best centres of creative activities in the world. We would like you to help us in that task, by signing up as a Watermill Patron on the Patreon site. There’s a monthly subscription and you can choose between various tiers of participation, from Friend, to Supporter, Benefactor, Guardian and Angel. Each brings its own rewards.

When you join us, you will receive regular videos, podcasts and blogs with news, recipes, creative tips and Italian insights. And if you join one of our higher tiers, you’ll enjoy complimentary access to our online classes as well as discounts on our renowned creative courses at the mill itself.

Being a patron bring rewards: clockwise from top left: involvement in projects like restoring the olive press, top tips from our tutors, podcast insights into Italian life discounts on creative courses.

And don’t forget the delicious mouth-watering recipes you’ll receive from the Watermill’s kitchen:

As we move forward, you can help steer us to the next level, by giving us your views on forthcoming practical projects as varied as night-vision cameras to observe our wildlife, converting our olive press area into an eco-friendly hot tub and plunge pool, and installing a lift to our first-floor painting studio to make it more accessible to the less sprightly. 

Please come and add your vibrancy to our international community. The first step is to click here to take you to the Patreon site to see an introductory video and read more. Then join up to become part of our new Watermill adventures.

#painting, #watercolor, #watercolour, #watercolors, #acrylic, #pastel, #oilpainting, #writing, #writer, #creativewriting, # memoir, #Languages, #Italian, #knit, #knitting, #Italy, #Tuscany, #travel
Join in the fun! Picture: Francesco Lastrucci

Keep it simple to make the best impressions

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

We are travelling (virtually) to Australia this Thursday with Mike Willdridge and his trusty sketchbook. Mike wants to demonstrate how you can capture a scene by simplifying what you see and being selective with the use of paint.

He will share with the joys of making pictures using pen and watercolour wash. Mike says: This is a great medium for working quickly; mistakes can easily be hidden by the pen and I like to use one with as large a nib as possible.”

You will also learn simple ways to tackle perspective, of great importance in the sketch above, of The Corso in Manly, Australia, with the street disappearing into the horizon, and with big and small trees and figures. As you can see, as well as sketching with his pen, Mike’s use a simple watercolour wash to add interest to the scene. He says:” I chose to use just one colour, but we could use more when we paint this scene together.”

Mike’s Zoom session is live on Thursday 15 April at 3:30 pm Italian time. (2:30 pm UK time. That’s quite early in the morning in the United States and Canada, and in the middle of the night in Australia and New Zealand! But, even if you can’t make the live session, you can still register and receive an edited video of the demonstration to paint along in your own time. See below.) Registration for this exciting online, interactive session is through the Eventbrite platform and you can join up by clicking here. There are full details of the session below, but first I’d just like to show you a couple of other examples of how selecting and simplifying bring the scene to life, sketches made by Mike on his trips to Australia.

The logistics of Mike’s latest online session:

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. Lois Breckon from The Watermill at Posara will be on hand during the session to feed your questions. The session will last a couple of hours.

When you register for the session you will be asked for a donation. Some people ask how much this should be. Our answer? “Like the measure of a Scottish dram: it should offend neither the host nor the guest!” Our Zoom painting demonstrations do take quite a bit of time in preparation and administration and your support is very much appreciated. With your generosity we can plan and run further sessions and, more importantly, provide a regular meeting place for creativity, camaraderie and fun. We hope that you enjoy the international, online painting community that we have created.

When you register you will be provided with two links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session. The second link is where you will find a copy of the photograph that you will paint, Mike’s sketchbook painting to show you where you are heading, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette. There is no need to make a preliminary drawing before the session.

After the event, you are invited to email us with your painting to add to the online Gallery. In addition, we will send you a link to an edited video of the session that will enable to you revisit Mike’s step-by-step teaching. That link to register again: just click here.

Just click here to register

When you have painted with Mike online, why not join him for real at the Watermill in Tuscany Italy next summer? We would love to welcome you to the Watermill. You can find more details of Mike’s week-long courses, 28 August to 4 September, and 4 to 11 September, here.

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

How to get the very best from your Watermill experience: before you come, during your stay and for ever after!

Among the things that Michael Meyer and Randy Hale have in common is that they have never been to the Watermill! But they are already enjoying our inspiring creative activities; they will do so even more when they visit us later this year; and they will continue to be part of the Watermill creative community in the future.

They are both planning to be with us this physically August: Randy to take his first-ever watercolour course at the Watermill, and Michael, with his wife Nancy, to join us for Mike Willdridge’s course a week later.

In the meantime, Michael has been taking part in many of our inspiring online, interactive sessions, while Randy has been tutor on half a dozen of them. But they’re not just content with hosting or participating in our online sessions, nor enjoying the pleasant anticipation of coming to the Watermill later this year, but they’ve been actively involved in enjoying other Watermill delights.

Michael, for example, couldn’t resist painting a picture (above) of a photograph we published on the Watermill Facebook page of the ancient frantoio, the olive press. And after the intensity of teaching his latest online session on Thursday, Randy poured himself a glass of red wine (below) and settled down to listen to a Watermill podcast. What’s going on?

Both these pictures enable me to give you a ‘sneak preview’ of a new Watermill initiative we are launching on Monday. We’ve created a friendly meeting place where YOU can be involved more fully with the Watermill’s creative adventures.  If you are keen for more news about Watermill exciting restoration projects, more mouth-watering recipes from the Watermill kitchen, more insights into Italian life and culture, more creative tips from our tutors – generally more ‘friends’ privileges’ at the Watermill – just sign up as a Watermill Patron and you will enjoy all these exclusive perks and MORE.  What’s more, your support will help us move The Watermill at Posara to the next level…  To learn more, please just click here.

Just click here for more

Michael’s painting of the old olive press is a pleasant coincidence: its restoration into a wonderful new sitting area for our guests is one of the major projects in which we would like to involve our new patrons. And as for Randy? Well, after its tutoring efforts on behalf we gave him a sneak preview of another reward for becoming a Watermill patron: audio podcasts of Bill’s series of essays called Just in Time for an Aperitivo, giving fascinating insights into the life and history of some Italian towns and cities. Well worth settling down with a glass or two of fine red wine to savour la bella vita Italiana.

We will be telling you more about our new Watermill patron scheme in the next few days, but you can beat the rush and subscribe today. Come and join in the fun, past, present and future! That link again? Simply click here.

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

Become a Watermill patron and win rewards

By popular demand, we’ve now created a friendly online meeting place where YOU can be involved more fully with the Watermill’s creative adventures.  If you are keen for more news about Watermill exciting restoration projects, more mouth-watering recipes from the Watermill kitchen, more insights into Italian life and culture, more creative tips from our tutors – generally more ‘friends’ privileges’ at the Watermill – just sign up as a Watermill Patron and you will enjoy all these exclusive perks and MORE.  What’s more, your support will help us move The Watermill at Posara to the next level… 

As you probably know, we have lovingly restored our historic watermill in unspoilt rural Tuscany, Italy, and from here we run creative courses (in painting, writing, knitting and Italian Language). We have gained a reputation for inspiring tuition, warm hospitality, fantastic food and convivial company.

Our new venture is a way of helping the thousands of people who have been on one of our Watermill renowned week-long residential creative courses, or have joined in our weekly interactive online sessions, or simply expressed an interest in the Watermill, to become more actively involved in our activities throughout the year — and gain rewards for doing so.

Using Patreon, we are creating a new friendly meeting place, an international community of artistic, convivial people, – and we would love you to be part of it.

Lois will tell you more if you just click here..

Patreon is an online platform for people who would like to support creative causes – and ours is to continue our work in restoring this wonderful ancient Watermill (some of it dating from the 17th century), making it into one of the best centres of creative activities in the world. We would like you to help us in that task, by signing up as a Watermill Patron on the Patreon site. There’s a monthly subscription and you can choose between various tiers of participation, from Friend, to Supporter, Benefactor, Guardian and Angel. Each brings its own rewards.

When you join us, you will receive regular videos, podcasts and blogs with news, recipes, creative tips and Italian insights. And if you join one of our higher tiers, you’ll enjoy complimentary access to our online classes as well as discounts on our renowned creative courses at the mill itself.

Being a patron bring rewards: clockwise from top left: involvement in projects like restoring the olive press, top tips from our tutors, podcast insights into Italian life discounts on creative courses.

And don’t forget the delicious mouth-watering recipes you’ll receive from the Watermill’s kitchen:

As we move forward, you can help steer us to the next level, by giving us your views on forthcoming practical projects as varied as night-vision cameras to observe our wildlife, converting our olive press area into an eco-friendly hot tub and plunge pool, and installing a lift to our first-floor painting studio to make it more accessible to the less sprightly. 

Please come and add your vibrancy to our international community. The first step is to click here to take you to the Patreon site to see an introductory video and read more. Then join up to become part of our new Watermill adventures.

#painting, #watercolor, #watercolour, #watercolors, #acrylic, #pastel, #oilpainting, #writing, #writer, #creativewriting, # memoir, #Languages, #Italian, #knit, #knitting, #Italy, #Tuscany, #travel
Join in the fun! Picture: Francesco Lastrucci

Join Randy online today and paint in sun-drenched Italy

As he hasn’t painted this scene for some time, Randy thought he had better have a little practice yesterday. Not bad!

There’s still time (just) to sign up for Randy Hale’s latest online, interactive painting session this Thursday. The celebrated American watercolourist will show us how to paint two classic features of Tuscan architecture: roofs and façades. Randy had a practice himself yesterday, going through the whole process and producing the little masterpiece above. Now he is ready and confident that he will be able to help you produce your best work.

He says: “Watercolour is a perfect medium to capture the patina we find in the sun-drenched stucco façades and clay rooftops of the houses of Tuscany, Italy. But a watercolour painting really sings when we present an impression instead of a literal rendition.”

Randy‘s next session is on Thursday 8 April and you can find out more and register by clicking here. Please note that the starting time slightly different from our usual Thursdays: the session begins at 5 pm Italian time, 4 pm UK time. Of course, this may be too early in the morning, all in the middle of the night, depending on where you live, but don’t forget if you register you will receive an edited video of the demonstration for you to paint along in your own time.

In this workshop class Randy will work from the photo above, taken in the medieval centre of the magical Tuscan city of Lucca. The camera, however, probably captures too much detail. Randy says: “If we take our cues from shape instead of detail, and pay attention to those lush blends of colour, where light illuminates certain surfaces and creates shadows across other surfaces – a composition will emerge that captures an emotional response.”

Randy’s demonstration picture of the scene (above) certainly ‘sings’. In contrast, here is the original photo, valuable in helping with our colour choices. Randy says: “For our palette choices, we’ll take our cues from local colour indicated in the photo, but we can take liberties – making some more saturated and bold, while others remain subtle, lighter in value, and transparent. The idea is to let building surfaces become fairly fluid, allowing “local” colour choices to mix & mingle naturally on the paper.”

Unlike many online painting programmes, Randy’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 Randy 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, Randy will move onto the next part of the process. Lois Breckon from The Watermill at Posara will be on hand during the session to feed your questions. The session will last a couple of hours.

When you register for the session you will be asked for a donation. People often ask how much is acceptable. Our answer? “It’s like a Scottish house dram of whisky: it neither offends the guest nor the host!” But the most important thing is to donate whatever makes you feel comfortable. Our Zoom painting demonstrations do take quite a bit of time in preparation and administration and your support is very much appreciated. With your generosity we can plan and run further sessions and, more importantly, provide a regular meeting place for creativity, camaraderie and fun. We hope that you enjoy the international, online painting community that we have created.

Once you have registered you will be provided with two links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session. Please note that the start time is 4pm (UK time). The second link is where you will find the photograph that you will paint, an outline drawing, a practice painting, Randy’s notes, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette.

Randy’s outline drawing of the scene.

After the event, you are invited to email us with your painting to add to our on-line gallery. In addition, we will send you a link to an edited video of the session that will enable to you revisit Randy’s step-by-step teaching, to paint along in your own time. That link to register again: just click here.

When you have painted with Randy online, why not join him for real at the Watermill in Tuscany Italy next summer? We would love to welcome you to the Watermill. You can find more details of Randy’s week-long course, 21 to 28 August 2021here.


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

Randy Hale
21 – 28 August 2021 
Watercolours
To learn more about Randy and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.

Flavio’s Iris flags the way to glorious summer creativity

Our gardener, Flavio Terenzoni, I am very pleased to say, has a passion for irises. In quiet corners in the Watermill’sgardens, along the millstream, and beside the river, he’s been planting an Iris as the spirit moves. Over the years, they have spread into clusters and clumps so that in a week or two we’re expecting a wonderful show of purples, blues and yellows. It is just a little early for the full display, but one or two ‘pioneers’, blessed with the best soil and sunniest position, are already in bloom. Lois took the picture of this one on our walk along the millstream over Easter, and we will post more next weekend.

The irises are yet another sign that it won’t be long before we all return to normal and we are looking forward to our Great Awakening, restarting our renowned creative courses at the beginning of July. Why not let your creativity flower, too, and come and join us for inspiring teaching, spectacular scenery, warm hospitality delicious food and wine and the convivial company of like-minded people? We can’t wait to welcome you here.

Our inspiring painting courses:

Here is the complete list of our painting tutors for next year. You can find out more about each of them by clicking on their Profile page link in their entries below.


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

Vicki Norman
3 – 10 July 2021 
Oils and watercolours (and other mediums)
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Profile Page.


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

Carl March
10 – 17 July 2021 
Drawing and watercolours en plein air
To learn more about Carl and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


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

Randy Hale
21 – 28 August 2021 
Watercolours
To learn more about Randy and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


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

Mike Willdridge
28 August – 4 September 2021 x places left
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


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

Mike Willdridge
4 – 11 September 2021
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


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

Milind Mulick
11 – 18 September 2021 
Colourful watercolours
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


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

Brienne M Brown
18 – 25 September 2021 
Watercolours
To learn more about Brienne and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Profile Page.


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

Tim Wilmot
2 – 9 October 2021 
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


Ali Hargreaves, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Ali Hargreaves
9 – 16 October 2021 
Watercolours
To learn more about Ali and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Profile Page.


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

Grahame Booth
23 – 30 October 2021 x places left
Watercolours
To learn more about Grahame and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.



Our enabling writing courses:

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

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
24 – 31 July 2021 
Scriptwriting
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill course at the mill, please visit their 2021 Tutor Profile Page.


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

Jo Parfitt
14 -21 August 2021
Writing your life stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Tutor Profile page.



Our relaxing knitting weeks:

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

Knitting retreat
17-24 July 2021
Knitting and la Bella Vita To learn more about our knitting retreat, please click here



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

Louisa Harding
7 – 14 August 2021
Knitting and la Bella Vita
To learn more about Louisa and her week at the Watermill, please visit her 2021 Profile page.



Our enhancing language week:

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

Francesca La Sala
16-23 October 2021
A novel approach to learning Italian
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please visit our Language Programme Page



Nature and mathematics combine in glorious colour

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

Happy Easter! It’s a little early for those glorious sunflowers, but to brighten our Easter Monday morning, I couldn’t resist this gloriously colourful bloom by Watermill tutor Maggie Renner Hellmann, which reminded me of a Facebook post and an article I wrote some time ago for The Florentine newspaper about the fascinating mathematics of their petals and seeds. Enjoy your day!

The next time you look a sunflower in the face, don’t just marvel at its vibrant colours, nor its wondrous capacity to turn its head to follow the sun, but spare a thought for Leonardo Fibonacci, a 13th Century Italian mathematician.

How many petals does your sunflower have? 55? 89? They’re ‘Fibonacci Numbers’.

And when you look closely at the seed pods packed in the sunflower’s head, you’ll see that they are arranged in spirals, one winding clockwise and the other turning anticlockwise. You’ll notice that there are more spirals turning one way than the other. How many?  To save you counting, let me tell you that the spirals generally come in specific sets: of 21 one way with 34 the other; or 34 and 55; or 55 and 89; or even 89 and 144. All Fibonacci Numbers.

Picture: Flavio Terenzoni

There are magnificent fields of sunflowers around Pisa, where Fibonacci lived, but he’ll never have seen one, since they are natives of North America and were only brought to Europe by the Spanish in the 16th Century.

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Sunflower fields Pisa. Picture: Andre Yakibu

No, what Fibonacci was primarily interested in was rabbits! Or rather, the growth of a population of rabbits. In his mathematically streamlined and biologically impossible world, Fibonacci dreamed up a pair of new-born rabbits, one male and one female, and put them into a field. They could mate when they were month old and, a month after that, the female would produce another pair of rabbits, one male and one female.  In this surreal world, rabbits never die, and a mating pair always produces a new pair (one male, one female) every month. As month follows month the number of pairs increases faster and faster: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377… They’re breeding like, um, rabbits!

This is called the Fibonacci Sequence. It’s quite easy to work out: each number in the sequence is the sum of the two numbers before it: 0 in the beginning; then 1; then 0+1 =1; then 1+1=2; 1+2=3; 2+3=5; 3+5=8: 5+8=13 and on and on… Fibonacci wrote all about in a book in 1202 (it’s in the Biblioteca Nationale in Florence), although there’s evidence that Indian mathematicians knew about these numbers centuries earlier.

Divide any number in the sequence by the one before it, and as the numbers get bigger (233/144, 377/233…), the answer moves closer and closer to the Golden Ratio (about 1.618), a ‘divine number’ used for thousands of years by artists and, especially, by architects to bring pleasing proportions to their buildings. You can see it in Parthenon in Athens and in Filippo Brunelleschi’s innovative architecture in 15th Century Florence, particularly the Pazzi chapel in Santa Croce. By the way, the Golden Ratio is also intimately linked with the Golden Angle, about 137.5 degrees. But enough mathematics!

The glorious space of the Pazzi chapel in the cloisters of Santa Croce, Florence.

Fibonacci numbers keep cropping up everywhere, not just in maths but in nature. And not only in sunflowers, but in other flower petals (for example: irises: three petals; buttercups: five; corn marigolds:13; daisies: 34, 55 or even 89). You can see Fibonacci numbers in pine cones and pineapples, in the way trees branch out and in the arrangement of leaves on stem.  But why?

In simple terms, doing things the Fibonacci way is the most efficient use of materials, space and sunlight, thus giving the biggest chance of survival and reproduction. Take those sunflower seeds as an example: the more there are in the round seed head the better: it increases the chances of more of them germinating. To achieve maximum numbers, each seed (which grows from the centre of the head) must set off towards the edge at a precise angle. Yes, it’s 137.5°, the Golden Angle, and as they push out, they create those Fibonacci spirals — and the number of petals around the seed head reflects the number of spirals.

So, nature and art are intertwined and mathematics (and Fibonacci’s rabbits) help to explain why this is so. Something to contemplate as you pass those wonderful Tuscan fields of sunflowers.

Come and see them for yourself on one of our renowned Watermill creative courses. More about that can be found by clicking here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Lois welcomes our guests with a handful of sunflowers.