Time for you to shine: Rebecca shows how to get the most out of pastels and charcoal

A still life comes to life

It’s time for you to shine: we would love you to join us for our next convivial online painting session, with Rebecca de Mendonça. It will be full of tips and techniques for getting the most out of your pastels. Using a mixture of charcoal, soft pastel, hard pastel and pastel pencil, Rebecca will work on simple pastel paper to show how you can create the drama of lights against darks, and capture shine and reflected colour.

As it is getting difficult at the moment to buy some surfaces to work on, and also hard to go out and get inspired, Rebecca goes back to the basics of working on paper, and using objects found at home. She shows how you can capture smooth textures, from glazed pottery and polished silverware, to fresh fruit. She will explain how to set out your drawing, get the proportions right, and how you can adapt your reference to enhance composition and flow. Rebecca will also look at different surfaces for trying this sort of work.

This session is suitable for beginners and more experienced students, whether you have used pastels before or not. A reference photograph is provided. You can ask questions during the demonstration, and the video will be available to watch afterwards, so that you can have a go yourself. Once you register, you will have access to the source photo.

As the demonstration will be full of tips and information, and as Rebecca will be working quite quickly, we would advise you to watch the session first, before doing the piece in your own time. To register for the session, please click here.

When you register for the session you will be asked for a donation. 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.

After successful registration you will be provided with two links. One is the Zoom link for you to join the session. The other is a link to a copy of the photograph that you will paint; and  to Rebecca’s notes which include a list of equipment and colours for your palette.

After the event, you are invited to email us with your painting to add to our online gallery. We will also send you a link to an edited video of the session, to enable to you revisit Rebecca’s step-by-step teaching, and paint along in your own time. That link again: please click here.

To give you an idea of Rebecca’s wonderful artist skills and teaching style, please watch the video below of one of her recent video sessions with the Watermill. The subject was sunlight on a river. Please just click here to view the video.

A still from a video of one of Rebecca’s previous sessions with the Watermill. To view it, just click here.

Announcing a special online event with watercolourist Tim Wilmot: you choose which Italian piazza to paint!

Which piazza will you choose to paint?

The online painting sessions run by the Watermill and its renowned tutors continue to provide inspiration, relaxation and happy conversation as more than 100 guests painted along with us every Thursday. And we’ve an exciting new innovation for you next Tuesday: you choose which subject you are going to paint.

This special Watermill online event will feature English watercolourist Tim Wilmot, already a popular tutor for our ‘real’ week-long painting holidays here. The special event is on Tuesday 2 March, starting at 5 o’clock in the afternoon British time (6 o’clock in the afternoon European time; morning in the USA according to which time zone you are in.) Please note that this is a bonus online session; our regular Thursday sessions will continue on Thursday 4 March. You can register for Tim’s special online event on Tuesday 2 March by clicking here.

And yes, you get to choose which of the four Italian piazza views you’ll paint. They are all in the walled mediaeval town of Fivizzano, a mile or so from the Watermill, which we visit during our ‘real’ weeks. The picture above shows the views. At the beginning of the session Tim will outline the merits of painting each of the four photos above. Then you’ll vote on which one you prefer. We will choose the scene favoured by the majority and then you paint along, as usual in our sessions, with Tim.

A previous piazza painting by Tim

Don’t forget why our sessions are special: Unlike many online painting programmes, Tim’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 Tim shows you, step-by-step. Then, after you have had your turn, Tim 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 the photographs that you will be asked to vote on, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette.

After the event, you are invited to email us with your painting to add to our gallery. In addition, we will send you a link to an edited video of the session that will enable to you revisit Tim’s step-by-step teaching.

To register for this event which is truly interactive as well as great fun, please click here.

Painting by Tim Wilmot a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Tim painting Tim painting the Watermill, if you see what we mean!

This time tomorrow this is where you could be, painting under the Tuscan sun

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
The sunny street in Pisa where you could be painting tomorrow. How can you resist?

Yes, on the latest Watermill online interactive ‘virtual’ painting week you can spend a couple of hours every day painting in glorious locations in sunny Tuscany Italy. And within a short time of your arrival you will be painting this sunny street scene in Pisa. Then, during the week, you will capture with your brush the two ladies gossiping in a town square, as in the picture below; visit a market in the wonderful walled town of Lucca; enjoy the tranquillity of an ancient convent; savour the history of a thousand-year-old village with soaring mountains in the background; and paint in the warm and welcoming Watermill courtyard.

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

Your guide and guru for the relaxing and inspiring interactive painting week will be the celebrated English watercolourist Mike Willdridge. It will run from Saturday 20 February to Friday 26 February inclusive. So you have just two days left to make sure of your place under the Tuscan sun. You will find details below of how to make your reservation.

Mike calls it a ‘great adventure’ and it will certainly add spice to your life: painting along with him, learning more about the techniques of watercolour painting and, perhaps above all, enjoying the international camaraderie of like-minded people. We are expecting 100 people or so to join in, from various parts of the world.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
The warm and welcoming Watermill courtyard, another painting venue during your week.

The response to our first online, interactive ‘virtual’ week at the end of last year was overwhelming. As one participant said: “It was a fabulous week and over all too quickly. I can’t tell you how much I am missing being in Tuscany! It was the best thing I have done all year. Mike’s demonstrations were so clear and informative. I felt I learnt more in seven days than I have in seven years!”

Each daily session will last two-and-a-half hours or so. It’s the next best thing to being here and it will bring Italian sunshine and memories of la Bella Vita to brighten your days.

And don’t be daunted, as well as being fun, Mike’s virtual week is very much a ‘mini course in watercolour painting’. He says: “We start easy and progress through the week and each day is related to the others, so it will benefit both the beginner and those with more experience.”

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
You will paint this flowery market in Lucca on Wednesday.

To help give you the real flavour (pardon the pun) of a Watermill painting week, as well as those live daily paint-along sessions, you will also receive mouth-watering Watermill recipes, for you to try out at home.

A montage of some of the Watermill recipes you can cook during our second ‘virtual’ painting week.

I have also made a short Facebook slide show with these images, so you can see them a little larger and tempt your palate even more. Just click here.

After each painting session there will be an exclusive video of Mike’s demonstration to refresh your memory. There will also be a daily gallery where you can post your paintings and admire the efforts of your fellow participants paintings. and you’ll even have a chance to win one of Mike’s outstanding paintings.

You could win a painting like this
Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Mike Willdridge works in a wide range of media and is an enthusiastic and energetic tutor, often encouraging his students to be bold and to take chances. His classes are always light-hearted and fun, with the ‘teaching’ tailored to individual needs. A comment from a previous painter: “Mike Willdridge is a most inspiring tutor whose energy and enthusiasm encourages students to develop both their visual awareness and confidence. His patience and good humour create an enjoyable atmosphere in which students thrive. Another said“Mike is a superb tutor and his online, interactive painting sessions are inspiring and fun.” 

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Mike’s demonstration painting of the village lane from the Watermill, made during our first virtual week.

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 will be on hand to feed your questions. Each session will last a couple of hours.

And there is more: Lois will supply you with recipes for some of the renowned mouth-watering Watermill dishes, from amaretto mouse ice cream to baked salmon with a pistachio crust.

And there is even more: At the end of the week we will put all the participants’ names into a lottery and the winner will be sent one of Mike’s original paintings from the online course. (To comply with the law there has to be an element of skill in a lottery these days, so were going to ask you a question about the Watermill and its painting locations.

The cost?

It obviously takes a good deal of time and effort to organise the sessions and in administration and personal communications with each of the participants. So we think the virtual painting week at the Watermill is incredibly good value for money: £70 (English pounds) for all seven daily sessions and all the add-ons. That’s just £10 for each one of these inspiring, interactive online sessions. (This is a block booking: If you can’t make it each day, you will still receive access to all the videos, the daily gallery and have an entry into the lottery for your chance to win Mike’s original paintings.

Here’s how to register

Please register for Mike’s virtual online, interactive painting week at the Watermill from Saturday 20 February to Friday 26 February 2021, using our online events organiser, Eventbrite. Just click here.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
The scene on your last painting venue of the week.

When you’ve enjoyed working with Mike online, why not join him for real, on his Watermill course next year?

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

Mike Willdridge 

Saturday 28 August to Saturday 4 September 2021 AND Saturday 4 September to Saturday 11 September 2021

Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

To learn more about Mike and his week at the Watermill, please click here.

You can also learn about all our renowned creative courses, in painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language, by clicking here. We would love you to join us!

Come and join us! For more about 2021 painting holidays, please click here.

Are you dressed like an onion in this doggy weather? And watching out for the basins?

Tom Florence coldIn this wintry weather, in the northern hemisphere at least, this blog from 2017, which I unearthed in my clear out, is very apposite today:

The picture above was painted en plein air above Florence yesterday by our friend Tom Byrne. He says: “My head is beginning to thaw out. It’s really cold although there’s no snow. This afternoons light was perfect and the mist just like before, so finished this painting.”

We hope he was dressed like an onion! That’s what Italians do when it’s cold!

We are grateful to Catherine Edwards from the online English newspaper here in Italy, The Local, for explaining and providing some further thoughts about the Italian language.

She says you are really beginning to understand Italian when a sentence like “It was raining sinks and it was dog cold, so I had to dress like an onion” makes perfect sense to you. Yes, Piove catinelle, literally “It’s raining basins” means, as we say in English, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”  And when it’s really cold, it is dog cold: Fa un freddo cane.” The solution: wear lots of layers: “Vestirsi a cipolla,” dress like an onion.

These days one never knows how to dress. Speak for yourself-Image: italianochefatica.it

These days one never knows how to dress. Speak for yourself! Image: italianochefatica.it

Our special week-long language course, where you can soak up Italian and enjoy la bella vita iItaliana, will be running again this October. The dates are Saturday 16 October to Saturday 23 October 2021.

This really is a ‘course with a difference’. Not only are there formal lessons on the vine verandah (some 20 hours in the week), but we also make trips and excursions to savour the natural beauty of Lunigiana, the area around the mill, to explore its history and culture, to sample its traditional foods – and above all, to meet the people, speak Italian, and practise what you’ve learned.

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

The Watermill has teamed up again with the wonderful Italian language tutor Francesca La Sala, to produce a week in which you can learn Italian in the most natural and enjoyable way. Your immersion into the language and culture of real Italians will be also be individually customised, to suit your curiosity and your interests, helping you to treasure everything you learn and make it a seamless part of who you are.

This exciting language course is suitable for all levels of ability, because of the special approach of the Langues Services language school in Florence, who initially developed the workshop at the Watermill. The philosophy and method are inspired Professor Bertrand Schwartz of Paris University, who overturned the concept of teaching to adults, with a method that not only develops theoretical knowledge, but practical know-how as well.

The aim is to enhance the personal qualities of each student, tailoring the teaching to their needs and ambitions, establishing active and confident relationships, where the student is the true protagonist in the course.

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

One previous course participant said: A super language week: well organised, giving us a taste of the ‘real Italy.’ Despite the disparity in ability our tutor managed to help all of us towards a better understanding and production of the Italian language. The lessons were fun, interactive and helped me enormously.”

Another added: I can honestly say it was the nicest week I have had for a long time. Francesca was charming and very patient.”

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

I have made one of those fun, 30-second Facebook slideshows to try to capture some of the atmosphere of our Italian language week. You can see it by clicking here.

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

And you will be Cool and Green: all our rooms are air-conditioned, powered by photovoltaic panels which make us self-sufficient in electricity.

Francesca La Sala

16-23 October 2021

A novel approach to learning Italian

To learn more about Francesca an her course at the mill, please click here.

Join the online adventure and paint every day for a week under the Tuscan sun –in your own home!

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
“I hear Mike is running another of those amazing virtual weeks here.”

Yes, on the latest Watermill online interactive ‘virtual’ painting week you can spend a couple of hours every day painting in glorious locations in sunny Tuscany Italy. You will capture with your brush the two ladies gossiping in a town square, as in the picture above; visit a market in the wonderful walled town of Lucca; paint a typical Italian street scene; enjoy the tranquillity of an ancient convent; savour the history of a thousand-year-old village with soaring mountains in the background; and paint in the warm and welcoming Watermill courtyard.

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

Your guide and guru for the relaxing and inspiring interactive painting week will be the celebrated English watercolourist Mike Willdridge. It will run from Saturday 20 February to Friday 26 February inclusive. So you have just two days left to make sure of your place under the Tuscan sun. You will find details below of how to make your reservation.

Mike calls it a ‘great adventure’ and it will certainly add spice to your life: painting along with him, learning more about the techniques of watercolour painting and, perhaps above all, enjoying the international camaraderie of like-minded people. We are expecting 100 people or so to join in, from various parts of the world.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
You will capture this vibrant Italian street scene.

The response to our first online, interactive ‘virtual’ week at the end of last year was overwhelming. As one participant said: “It was a fabulous week and over all too quickly. I can’t tell you how much I am missing being in Tuscany! It was the best thing I have done all year. Mike’s demonstrations were so clear and informative. I felt I learnt more in seven days than I have in seven years!”

Each daily session will last two-and-a-half hours or so. It’s the next best thing to being here and it will bring Italian sunshine and memories of la Bella Vita to brighten your days.

And don’t be daunted, as well as being fun, Mike’s virtual week is very much a ‘mini course in watercolour painting’. He says: “We start easy and progress through the week and each day is related to the others, so it will benefit both the beginner and those with more experience.”

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

To help give you the real flavour (pardon the pun) of a Watermill painting week, as well as those live daily paint-along sessions, you will also receive mouth-watering Watermill recipes, for you to try out at home.

A montage of some of the Watermill recipes you can cook during our second ‘virtual’ painting week.

I have also made a short Facebook slide show with these images, so you can see them a little larger and tempt your palate even more. Just click here.

After each painting session there will be an exclusive video of Mike’s demonstration to refresh your memory. There will also be a daily gallery where you can post your paintings and admire the efforts of your fellow participants paintings. and you’ll even have a chance to win one of Mike’s outstanding paintings.

You could win a painting like this
Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Mike Willdridge works in a wide range of media and is an enthusiastic and energetic tutor, often encouraging his students to be bold and to take chances. His classes are always light-hearted and fun, with the ‘teaching’ tailored to individual needs. A comment from a previous painter: “Mike Willdridge is a most inspiring tutor whose energy and enthusiasm encourages students to develop both their visual awareness and confidence. His patience and good humour create an enjoyable atmosphere in which students thrive. Another said“Mike is a superb tutor and his online, interactive painting sessions are inspiring and fun.” 

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Mike’s demonstration painting of the village lane from the Watermill, made during our first virtual week.

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 will be on hand to feed your questions. Each session will last a couple of hours.

And there is more: Lois will supply you with recipes for some of the renowned mouth-watering Watermill dishes, from amaretto mouse ice cream to baked salmon with a pistachio crust.

And there is even more: At the end of the week we will put all the participants’ names into a lottery and the winner will be sent one of Mike’s original paintings from the online course. (To comply with the law there has to be an element of skill in a lottery these days, so were going to ask you a question about the Watermill and its painting locations.

The cost?

It obviously takes a good deal of time and effort to organise the sessions and in administration and personal communications with each of the participants. So we think the virtual painting week at the Watermill is incredibly good value for money: £70 (English pounds) for all seven daily sessions and all the add-ons. That’s just £10 for each one of these inspiring, interactive online sessions. (This is a block booking: If you can’t make it each day, you will still receive access to all the videos, the daily gallery and have an entry into the lottery for your chance to win Mike’s original paintings.

Here’s how to register

Please register for Mike’s virtual online, interactive painting week at the Watermill from Saturday 20 February to Friday 26 February 2021, using our online events organiser, Eventbrite. Just click here.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
The scene on your last painting venue of the week.

When you’ve enjoyed working with Mike online, why not join him for real, on his Watermill course next year?

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

Mike Willdridge 

Saturday 28 August to Saturday 4 September 2021 AND Saturday 4 September to Saturday 11 September 2021

Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

To learn more about Mike and his week at the Watermill, please click here.

You can also learn about all our renowned creative courses, in painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language, by clicking here. We would love you to join us!

Come and join us! For more about 2021 painting holidays, please click here.

Why Italian hotels don’t have a Room 17 (or a 17th floor). Mere heptadecaphobia!

SeventeenContinuing my series of Blogs Revisited, stories from the past unearthed during my recent clear out, I thought it was appropriate to republish this one today, 17 February:

Have you ever noticed that Italian hotels never have a 17th floor. (Yes, I know, most of them don’t go that high, but when they do, they don’t, if you see what I mean.) Apparently, Italians dislike the number so much that in some tall hotels the floors go from 16 to 18. And you’ll be pushed to find a Room 17 in many hotels, too. You might call it heptadecaphobia

The reason? I am grateful to an article in The Florentine, Florence’s English-language newspaper, for explaining. “When written, the 1 mimics a hanged man and the 7 a gallows. Furthermore, 17’s rearranged Latin numerals spell “VIXI.” Often engraved on headstones, the word means “He lived” and thus tempts death to make that statement true of you.” (I agree, I’d much be VIVIT, which means “He is alive” and sounds like an acronym for living in Italy. This man closed his shop on Friday the Seventeenth. The sign says “Closed for Good Luck.”)Seventeen closed for good luck While 17 sends shivers down Italian spines, they rather like 13. It’s associated with the old pagan Great Goddess and with lunar cycles and fertility. 13 will bring you life and prosperity. The Italians think that’s good news, even though 13 sat down to the Last Supper. This is Ghirlandaio’s version in the Florence cloister of Ognissanti Ghirlandaio last supper ognissanti  

An ancient hilltop village, spectacular mountain views – and an Italian washing line! The final venue on our exciting ‘virtual’ online painting week

Mike’s demonstration painting for the final day of your ‘virtual’ week at the Watermill.

On the last day of both our ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ painting weeks we visit the village of Monte dei Bianchi, hardly changed through a thousand years of history. There are spectacular views of the towering Alpi Apuane, the marble mountains of Carrara.

But what attracted Mike’s attention (as it has done for many of our other Watermill artists) was the colourful line of washing, as seen in his demonstration picture above.

And that is what you will be painting on the last day if you join us and our Watermill ‘virtual’ online, interactive painting week with Mike Willdridge. It will run from Saturday 20 February to Friday 26 February inclusive.

It follows the great success of our first ‘virtual’ week at the end of last year, when more than 120 people painted along with Mike each day for seven days. They ‘visited’ the stunning locations we enjoy during our ‘real’ Watermill painting holidays: an imposing castle, market day in a walled mediaeval town, a sunlit café by the harbour in a nearby fishing village, the cloisters of a quiet convent and that hilltop village with imposing mountains in the background.

And their response was overwhelming. As one participant said: “It was a fabulous week and over all too quickly. I can’t tell you how much I am missing being in Tuscany! It was the best thing I have done all year. Mike’s demonstrations were so clear and informative. I felt I learnt more in seven days than I have in seven years!”

Encouraged by your enthusiasm, we decided to do it again, visiting the same exciting locations* but with completely different subjects to paint. If you have been before you know how much fun it is, and how inspiring: join us again for more camaraderie and new exciting painting subjects; if you haven’t been before, now is the time to find out what the fuss is all about! (*Except that on Wednesday we will ‘visit’ the wonderful walled town of Lucca, rather than the Cinque Terre.)

Come and join the adventure! And enjoy painting Italian washing.

You can register for the event by clicking here.

*I don’t want to overburden you with words, but just in case you don’t know all about our renowned interactive weeks, you can find out all the details by clicking here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Here is what the scene looks like without the washing…

Let’s paint in Pisa on the first day of our Watermill ‘virtual’ online, interactive week

In normal times most of our painting course guests fly into Pisa, where we pick them up in one of our minibuses and transport them to the mill (with spectacular views of the white marble mountains of Carrara on the way.)

So for the first adventure on our next exciting Watermill ‘virtual’ online, interactive painting week, tutor Mike Willdridge thought we might just stop for a couple of hours or so in Pisa and paint an Italian street scene. That’s Mike’s demonstration drawing above.

Yes, the next Watermill ‘virtual’ online, interactive painting week with Mike Willdridge will run from Saturday 20 February to Friday 26 February inclusive. We can’t welcome you here in person at the moment, of course, although we do hope you be able to join us for one of our renowned painting courses later in the year, but you will have an inspiring online adventure with a convivial group of like-minded people, painting at wonderful Italian locations from the comfort of your own home.

This follows the great success of our first ‘virtual’ week at the end of last year, when more than 120 people painted along with Mike each day for seven days. They ‘visited’ the stunning locations we enjoy during our ‘real’ Watermill painting holidays: an imposing castle, market day in a walled mediaeval town, a sunlit café by the harbour in a nearby fishing village, the cloisters of a quiet convent and a hilltop village with imposing mountains in the background.

And their response was overwhelming. As one participant said: “It was a fabulous week and over all too quickly. I can’t tell you how much I am missing being in Tuscany! It was the best thing I have done all year. Mike’s demonstrations were so clear and informative. I felt I learnt more in seven days than I have in seven years!”

Encouraged by your enthusiasm, we decided to do it again, visiting the same exciting locations* but with completely different subjects to paint. If you have been before you know how much fun it is, and how inspiring: join us again for more camaraderie and new exciting painting subjects; if you haven’t been before, now is the time to find out what the fuss is all about! (*Except that on Wednesday we will ‘visit’ the wonderful walled town of Lucca, rather than the Cinque Terre.)

Come and join the adventure!

You can register for the event by clicking here.

*I don’t want to overburden you with words, but just in case you don’t know all about our renowned interactive weeks, you can find out all the details by clicking here.

Sneak preview: a little white chapel in the nearby village, which we will paint on Monday during our ‘virtual’ week.

The Watermill courtyard, at the heart of our painting week

Mike’s demonstration drawing of a corner of the Watermill courtyard, which you will paint during your ‘virtual’ online week.

The sunlit Watermill courtyard, surrounded by historical buildings in glowing yellow intonaco and exposed ancient stonework, is at the heart Watermill complex. Around it you will find the elegant dining room and the comfortable sitting room, with its gallery of original pictures. A terrace gives views of the millstream cascades and the river bustling past, while through an archway is the vine verandah, for evening aperitivi, with the walled garden beyond.

You will be painting the sunlit corner of the courtyard above on our next exciting Watermill ‘virtual’ online, interactive painting week with Mike Willdridge. It will run from Saturday 20 February to Friday 26 February inclusive. We can’t welcome you here in person at the moment, of course although we do hope you be able to join us for one of our renowned painting courses later in the year, but you will have fun online with a convivial group of like-minded people, painting the courtyard during our next ‘virtual’ painting week.

It follows the great success of our first ‘virtual’ week at the end of last year, when more than 120 people painted along with Mike each day for seven days. They ‘visited’ the stunning locations we enjoy during our ‘real’ Watermill painting holidays: an imposing castle, market day in a walled mediaeval town, a sunlit café by the harbour in a nearby fishing village, the cloisters of a quiet convent and a hilltop village with imposing mountains in the background.

And their response was overwhelming. As one participant said: “It was a fabulous week and over all too quickly. I can’t tell you how much I am missing being in Tuscany! It was the best thing I have done all year. Mike’s demonstrations were so clear and informative. I felt I learnt more in seven days than I have in seven years!”

Encouraged by your enthusiasm, we decided to do it again, visiting the same exciting locations* but with completely different subjects to paint. If you have been before you know how much fun it is, and how inspiring: join us again for more camaraderie and new exciting painting subjects; if you haven’t been before, now is the time to find out what the fuss is all about! (*Except that on Wednesday we will ‘visit’ the wonderful walled town of Lucca, rather than the Cinque Terre.)

Come and join the adventure!

You can register for the event by clicking here.

*I don’t want to overburden you with words, but just in case you don’t know all about our renowned interactive weeks, you can find out all the details by clicking here.

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

How is this for international? A happy comment on Randy Hale’s latest online interactive painting session

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

More than 180 people, from many countries, took part in the Watermill’s latest online, interactive painting session with the renowned American watercolourist Randy Hale. And as well as separation by geography there was quite a temperature difference too. As one participant said: “Today was a very fun and productive day as I did a 3-hour paint-along workshop with my friend Randy Hale. I am in Florida enjoying 75-degree weather. Randy is in Colorado suffering in below-freezing temperatures. And we painted a scene from Regensburg, Germany. Obviously, the workshop was on Zoom!”

The theme of Randy’s latest session was painting from photographs and Randy’s message was “simplify, simplify.” Other comments from participants included: “Great job! I am in one more of Randy’s sessions next month and then I need to study what I have recently learned on all these classes I have being taking. I LOVE being an armchair artist during this second year of “lack of travel and in person” classes.”

“Thank you so much for yesterday’s class. The first I’ve done with you online and the first time ‘meeting’ Randy! What a nice guy. Really nice to paint with different tutors to see how people do things. I really liked him.”

“I’m thinking a painting retreat with you might be a great reward / way to celebrate when we can travel again. Putting that on my list! Thanks so much for organizing these wonderful classes!”

That’s Randy’s painting from the session above and as usual I put together a montage of some of the paintings that participants made during the session. As I’ve said before we don’t have room, unfortunately, for all of them, so I selected eight at random from those you sent in. Sorry to those who were excluded, but thank you to all for sending us your efforts.

I’ve also made a short Facebook slide show of most of these images, so you can see them a little larger. To view it, please just click here.

Randy Hale’s next watercolour session on Capturing the Essence of Animals begins at 4 o’clock in the afternoon British time on Thursday 11 March 2021. To learn more and register, please just click here.

And when you have enjoyed painting along online with Randy, why not join him for his fun-filled, sun filled, inspiring week-long course at the Watermill at Posara next summer?

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

Randy Hale Places available

Saturday 21 August to Saturday 28 August 2021 

Watercolours

To learn more about Randy and his week at the Watermill, please click here.

We would love to welcome you here.