Reflections on Mike’s latest inspirational, interactive online session

holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Mike’s demonstration painting for our latest online session.

We are delighted that our guests are continuing to have a marvellous time on Mike Willdridge’s free, interactive, online painting sessions. Hosted by Lois Breckon, the latest session was painting figures on a beach, with particular emphasis on reflections. Some 130 people joined in. Here are a few of the comments:

I had great fun and enjoyed creating a vibrant Watercolour with you all following Michael’s lead. Absolutely loved it. I used my original box of water colours that I have had for 25 years. Purely because it had all Michael‘s colours in one place, but nice to use it again.

 I can’t tell you how much these sessions have helped me and have given a lot of encouragement! Again many thanks to you both!

Thanks very much once again for a marvellous painting session.

I compliment Mike for being such a terrific artist and for sharing his knowledge.

When I saw the photo of the subject, I thought that this was an unpromising project but, as always, Mike brings it to life and each lesson helps me to develop more knowledge and skills which is the whole point.

That was a wonderful class and I’m looking forward to next week and the moving water. 

Many of the participants sent in their paintings and I’ve chosen just a few of them (at random) for the montage below.

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

You can see an edited version of this session on water and reflections by clicking here. (You’ll see the video ‘play’ line is separated into Mike’s various steps, which allows you to revisit more easily the section you need.  Please ‘subscribe’ where you see the button (underneath the video) so that you will automatically see any new videos as I add them.  Please do encourage everyone you know to watch the video right through because we are rated by YouTube on the cumulative hours watched.  It might be fun to apply to be a YouTube Partner one of these days! If you would like to revisit Mike’s palette, find out more about his brushes, see the painting demo that he created, as well as some of the paintings that were created by others in the session, you can find pix (available for the next seven days) by clicking here: If you’ve sent us your painting but you don’t see it shared on this link, please do forward it to Lois again.)

We have organised more of these inspiring sessions, each of which can now take up to 500 people. They are designed to help you brush up your painting skills, and they 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 moving water in a landscape Thursday 6 August at 2.30pm UK time, when the theme will be moving water in a landscape. As the source photograph photograph from the internet of a waterfall in the Brecon Beacons, Wales.

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. Lois will be on hand to feed your questions. 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 August/September?

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
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 Willdridge’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 are sure that everything 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.

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.

Grace’s figs, with a little artistic licence

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

After I posted a picture of some fresh figs, picked from beside the Watermill millstream, Grace McKee, who has been on several painting courses here, accompanied by her husband Philip, sent me the delightful watercolour above.

She notes that she has taken a little artistic licence with the original photograph below, but I think it is an improvement. Thank you for sharing your charming picture with us, Grace.

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

Come and join us to re-energise your creativity, tickle your tastebuds and enjoy the convivial company of like-minded people. We have two more painting courses this year to enable you to do just that.

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.

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.

Tim Wilmot
10 – 17 October 2020 –  two or three places left
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.



Painting by Tim Wilmot, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A vibrant watercolour of an old vineyard by Tim Wilmot.

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.

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.

We are free at last! The Watermill June newsletter is out – and we are waiting for you!

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

At the end of May, after some eight weeks ‘confined to barracks’ in Florence, we were able to motor to our beloved watermill in the wilds of the Tuscan countryside. And very beautiful it looked, too. You can see more in our June 2020 newsletter, by clicking here.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
The millstream gushes back to the river

All we need now is for you to arrive and enjoy it as much as we do. We have every reason to believe we will be able to restart our world-renowned creative courses at the Watermill, beginning with Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran’s scriptwriting course in early August. There are details of our remaining painting and Italian language courses below.

So, we are ready when you are: buildings renovated, walls painted, furniture restored, window boxes filled, courtyards and gardens full of flowers: 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.
I’ll still be busy when you arrive

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. 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 move you to a course with the same tutor next year.

As we say, we are confident that things will be back to normal in the next month or so, and, we’ll make sure you stay safe: as well as the extremely high hygiene standards at the Watermill we will also be inaugurating additional special safety measures to keep you safe.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Our chubby Scot enjoys the sun. Come and say hello.

In this month’s newsletter there are also stories on:

  • Keeping you even safer
  • Towards another inspiring space at the Watermill
  • Why our rolling stones will now gather moss
  • Mille miglia? No, Cento chilometri
  • Cento plus: an excuse to hear Caruso singing Puccini
  • Another photovoltaic milestone
  • Our chubby Scot enjoys the sun
  • Our demijohns continue to inspire our painters
  • Paint along with Mike in our free online interactive sessions
  • Stitch up your knitting course for 2021
  • Creative writing: You call that a lining?
  • Take it piano, piano and your Italian will soon be a posto.

To recap, you can see all the stories by clicking here.  

Happy reading! And see you soon!

Below you will first find details of our rearranged 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 1 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.


Mary Padgett
26 September – 3 October 2020  – one place left
Pastels en plein air
To learn more about Mary and her course , 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…

After a sunlit door, it’s gotta be geese, Join Mike for another free interactive online session

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. We have just finished the second session on Zoom, painting a sunlit Tuscan doorway. Above is a montage of some of the pictures created by our guests during the session. Impressive! Here’s Mike’s own version:

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

You can see some of the paintings that were created, and revisit Mike’s steps, (available for the next seven days) by clicking here. In addition, we have posted videos of the various steps on YouTube so people can watch them at your leisure.  You will find the first one here, and the end screen of each step will give you the link to the next video in the session. 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
A still from one of Mike’s videos

Nearly 70 people joined in. It was great fun and now we are putting together the third in the current series (there will another series soon we hope).

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.

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.

The painting subjects is a gaggle of geese. Here is Mike’s practice painting, to show you what he’s aiming at:

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

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 is accepted.

The sessions are proving so popular that you’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.

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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.

A room with a view: we’re getting there

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

One of the highlights of our visit to the Watermill last week was to examine the wonderful new space our team has created in the interior of the old frantoio, the olive press.

You may recollect that we have completely reroofed this building and renovated its exterior walls, so that now the whole fabric of the Watermill is completely restored. We haven’t done any work on the interior of the moment, but all is ready for us to create a new exciting relaxing space for our guests at the Watermill. As you can see above we have a large window that looks out over the millstream and the campi beyond and will also be putting in a glass floor so you will be able to look down to the millstream gushing beneath your feet. 

We hope you will also enjoy looking at the machinery the controls the sluice that enables us to divert the millstream water: there’ll be a large window here, too:

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

Of course, the coronavirus pandemic, and governments’ reaction to it, has squeezed our cash flow, so our exciting plans for the interior of the frantoio have been put on hold until next year. But you can come and see the alluring space that has been created and dream with us about what it will look like in the fullness of time.

There will be another window on the opposite side, looking down on the bridges over the Millstream as it returns to the river:

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

All in all, it’s going to be a perfect setting for relaxing times. We will return to it next year: as the Medici used to say festina lente, make haste slowly. The frantoio is not an essential part of the mill complex (we run the laundry and store the linen in there at the moment), but our guests will still have the capacious sitting room, the airy dining room, the sunlit studio, the vine verandah, the courtyard tables, the roof terraces and river terraces, the walled garden, the riverside gardens and the millstream walks in which to spend their time!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
The millstream will still be here when you return.

Why not come and see for yourself and enjoy our ‘work in progress’? We are still confident of running our creative courses from August onwards.

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.

** 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 28 May 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.


Mary Padgett
26 September – 3 October 2020  – one place left
Pastels en plein air
To learn more about Mary and her course , 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…