Tai Chi on the terrace: just the way to start the painting day

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.With all the diverse talents and interests of our guests at the Watermill there is never a dull moment conversation-wise – and from time-to-time, activity-wise as well.

That was certainly true this week, when painting guest Pam Paszke, ably assisted by another guest, Lesley Dench, organised impromptu pre-breakfast Tai Chi sessions on the roof terrace above the courtyard dining doom. Above are some of the group in gentle action. Our thanks to Steve Harger, a non-painting partner, for the picture. Not a bad way to start the day, especially with stunning views of the Apennine mountains, the backbone of Italy, in the distance…

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.We can’t promise you Tai Chi every week, but we can promise you sun-filled, fun-filled, stimulating and inspiring creative weeks, whether it’s painting, writing, knitting or learning Italian. Come and join us this year or next: We’ve a (very) few places left this year, and we’re also taking bookings for 2019: there’s a link below, too.

Painting:

terry plus picTerry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018 Two or three places
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

Nel and Bec mountains cropped

Nel Whatmore and Rebecca de Mendonça

1-8 September 2018 One place or two sharing          Pastels

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

 

On our Writing your Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

 Jo Parfitt
18 August to 25 August 2018 Two or three places
Write Your Life Stories

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

On a knitting course:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Lisa Richardson
9 September to 6 October 2018 One place
Knitting and La Bella Vita

To learn more about Lisa and her course at the mill, please visit her Profile Page

** We are already taking bookings for our 2019 creative courses, with a special offer of any 2019 creative week at 2018 prices. Please go to our 2019 courses preview section, by clicking here.

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

Picture Keith Strohschein

 

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A wonderful interplay of light and dark

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.I love these bright, light shapes as the sun shines through the arches of the nearby Convento del Carmine, where Sandra Strohschein’s painting group spent this morning on location. Here a few of them concentrate on the difficult perspectives of the vaulted cloisters.

This is Sandra’s last week (or four) with us this year and we have had a wonderful, inspiring month. So, our heartfelt thanks to Sandra who, as well as being a great painter, is a magnificent teacher.

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

A welcoming smile from Sandra on location at Verrucola-

We are already taking bookings for Sandra’s courses in 2019. She’ll be here for two weeks next year, from Saturday 1 June to Saturday 8 June 2019 and from Saturday 8 June to Saturday 15 June 2019.

Painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.But it looks like you’ll have to get your skates on to be sure of a place: we already have eight bookers and one enquirer for the first week in 2019 and two people are booked in for the second, plus two enquirers. So, as they say, ‘book now to avoid disappointment’, especially as there’s a 2019 courses at 2018 prices offer until September this year. You can find out more about Sandra’s sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring weeks and all our other creative courses in 2019, by clicking here.

Come and join us!

Are you a writing gardener or an architect? Find out more with Jo

A lot of gardening went into Game of Thrones

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

Picture: Gage Skidmore

George RR Martin, the highly successful author of Game of Thrones, reckons there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. He says: “The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there’s going to be.

“They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what the seed is, they know if they planted a fantasy seed or a mystery seed or whatever.

“But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to have, they find out as it grows. And I’m much more a gardener than an architect.”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Jo Parfitt, our inspiring writing course tutor, seems to be a bit of both, and during her week-long Writing you Life Stories course here she’ll help you both with your writing gardening and your storytelling architectural design!

The gardening bit: Jo says: I always include plenty of spontaneous exercises where I present an idea and immediately give students five, 10 or 15 minutes in which to write something. I give them with a seed of an idea, let them start gardening and just see where it takes them; how it grows. For me, I start with the germ of an idea, one that is not yet fully formed, put fingers to keyboard and go with the flow, writing from my gut until my ideas run out. I work out what I am going to say while I am writing it.”

The architect bit: Jo says: “After a break (a few hours or more) I return to the piece to put some structure onto it, adding subheadings if I feel I need them, maybe moving the text around a bit and cutting unnecessary words. I always ensure I include some kind of insight or takeaway because I like my readers to feel that my words are worth reading enough to come back again.”

Jo adds: It makes no difference whether you are a gardener or an architect, or, better still a bit of both. It is okay to start off with a detailed plan or with just a seed. What matters is that you accept who you are and learn to craft your natural style into a coherent piece worth reading.”

Learn more and be inspired on Jo’s wonderful Writing your Life’s Stories week here. Jo says: “The class will include several methods and genre and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.”

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

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

A safe haven in the Watermill Walled Garden. Picture: Sandra Strohchein

One of the best way to begin writing is with stories from your own life, whether it’s for a short blog or  full-blooded memoir. Or just a record for your grandchildren to enjoy and to understand what you did and how it was when you were younger. You’ll need motivation and courage, but the rewards will be great. As one student on Jo’s last course here said: “I can honestly say it’s been life changing for me and the setting could not have been more perfect.”

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

Writing under the Vine Verandah

Jo’s first week with us, from 22-29 September, is now completely full, but we still have a few places on her second Write Your Life Stories course, from Saturday 18 August to Saturday 25 August 2018.

Jo Parfitt has published 32 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors get into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. She’s an inspiring, compassionate and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.  Jo says: “The class will include several methods and genre and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.”

Jo plus pic

Write Your Life Stories
Jo Parfitt

18 August to 25 August 2018 two or three places left

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

Find out why William returns to the Watermill again and again – and again!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.This man deep in concentration on his painting is William Shand, a retired eminent surgeon, an English gentleman and a true friend to the Watermill. He has been on painting courses with us no fewer than 15 times and this week he is with Sandra Strohschein. We must be doing something he likes. And we love his unfailing enthusiasm and impeccable courtesy.

Not only that, he shares a passion with me for the poems of Hilaire Belloc and, suitably prompted, we can be prevailed upon to recite after dinner some of the master’s witty and amusing poems, which are old-fashioned in having both meter and rhyme.

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

Picture Keith Strohschein

Why not come and see for yourself why William loves the Watermill so much. We’re now taking bookings for 2019.The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

***STOP PRESS: William has just booked for Sandra Strohschein’s week from Saturday 8 June to Saturday 15 June 2019! Come and join him for a fun-filled inspiring painting week – and probably Hilaire Belloc, too.

An artistic Watermill get-together – and the masterly result

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Here’s a lovely idea. On the last afternoon of her week-long painting courses, Sandra Strohschein encourages member of her group to paint a picture together. Above are some of them, enthusiastically at work in the riverside gardens. And here’s the finished picture. Rather good, I think.

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

Here’s some of the group relaxing after their efforts.

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

Picture Keith Strohschein

And here’s the group photo in the Walled Garden. There were eight painters and two non-paining partners.

Here’s painter Polly Moseley with Sandra’s husband Keith.

This week is Sandra’s last week with us as painter in residence and our new group seem just as much fun. We’ll keep you posted!

We are already taking bookings for Sandra’s courses in 2019. She’ll be here for two weeks next year, from Saturday 1 June to Saturday 8 June 2019 and from Saturday 8 June to Saturday 15 June 2019. But it looks like you’ll have to get your skates on to be sure of a place: we already have eight bookers and one enquirer for the first week in 2019 and three people have just expressed an interest in the second. So, as they say, ‘book now to avoid disappointment’, especially as there’s a 2019 courses at 2018 prices offer’ until September this year. You can find out more about Sandra’s sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring weeks and all our other creative courses in 2019, by clicking here.

Come and join us!

 

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

Only half a dozen places left on our 2018 creative courses

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, yoga holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Off to the mountinas this morning to paint the Apuan Alps at Monte dei Bianchi, then a gourmet lunch at the Al Vecchio Tino restuarant — another day in Lunigiana paradise!

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

If you’d like to join us for one of our famous creative courses — painting, writing your memoir, knitting — we’ve a (very) few places left this year, and we’re also taking bookings for 2019: there’s a link below, too.

Painting:

Andrew plus pic

Andrew Geeson
23 June to 30 June 2018 1 place or 2 sharing

Watercolours
To learn more about Andrew, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

terry plus picTerry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018 Two or three places
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

On our Writing your Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

 Jo Parfitt
18 August to 25 August 2018 Two or three places
Write Your Life Stories

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

On a knitting course:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Lisa Richardson
9 September to 6 October 2018 One place
Knitting and La Bella Vita

To learn more about Lisa and her course at the mill, please visit her Profile Page

** We are already taking bookings for our 2019 creative courses, with a special offer of any 2019 creative week at 2018 prices. Please go to our 2019 courses preview section, by clicking here.

Time to think of painting with Sandra in 2019

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

A welcoming smile from Sandra on location at Verrucola this week

We are having a wonderful time with Sandra Strohschein’s third group of painters, this week. Despite the rainy weather yesterday, the group enjoyed an excursion to the quintessential Italian city of Lucca. Today we are all off to the Convento del Carmine for a tranquil day and a tasty picnic. Here’s the painting Sandra made of dappled sunlight in the convent grounds last week.

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

And here’s a painting guest, Penny Cwynasrski, enjoying the scenery and the sunshine:

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

We’re pretty full for Sandra’s fourth and final week this year, from June 16 to 23, but if you are keen to make a last minute booking, we’ve a double bedroom left, so there’s room for one more guest, or two sharing.

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

And we are already taking bookings for Sandra’s courses in 2019. She’ll be here for two weeks next year, from Saturday 1 June to Saturday 8 June 2019 and from Saturday 8 June to Saturday 15 June 2019. But even for 2019, it looks like you’ll have to get your skates on to be sure of a place: we already have eight bookers and one enquirer for the first week and three people have just expressed an interest in the second. So, as they say, ‘book now to avoid disappointment’, especially as there’s a 2019 courses at 2018 prices offer until September this year. You can find out more about Sandra’s sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring weeks and all our other creative courses in 2019, by clicking here.

Come and join us!

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

Picture: Sandra Strohchein

 

Come and write you life’s stories with Jo, suggests the Sunday Times

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

Thank you to the UK Sunday Times for a mention of out Writing your Life Stories courses with Jo Parfitt. The report mentions two weeks, but Jo’s September week is now completely booked up, though we still have two or three places left on her week in October. We’d be delighted to welcome you here.

One of the best way to begin writing is with stories from your own life, whether it’s for a short blog or  full-blooded memoir. Or just a record for your grandchildren to enjoy and to understand what you did and how it was when you were younger. You’ll need motivation and courage, but the rewards will be great. As one student on Jo’s last course here said: “I can honestly say it’s been life changing for me and the setting could not have been more perfect.”

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

Jo Parfitt

Jo  has helped more than 100 authors get into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. She’s an inspiring, compassionate and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.  Jo says: “The class will include several methods and genre and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.”

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

 

As I said, Jo’s first week with us, from 22-29 September, is now completely full, but we still have a few places on her second week:

Jo plus pic

Write Your Life Stories
Jo Parfitt

18 August to 25 August 2018 Still two or three places

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

 

Sunrise at Posara: Sandra Strohschein captures the moment

Painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Watermill painter in residence Sandra Strohschein created this lovely watercolour as the early sun caught the church tower at Posara. And here’s Approaching storm inspired by a walk in the nearby countryside.

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

We have another delightful group of students for Sandra’s third week with us this Summer and we’re looking forward today to paint the ancient castle and village of Verrucola before an authentic Italian trattoria lunch at the Locanda al castello.

Here are some of the group painting yesterday in the Watermill’s Walled Garden:The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

If you’d like to join us, we’ve one bedroom left on Sandra’s fourth week, starting next Saturday, and a (very) few other places on creative course this year. We’re taking bookings for 2019, too: details below.

Painting:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
16 June to 23 June 2018 1 place or 2 sharing
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 

Andrew plus pic

Andrew Geeson
23 June to 30 June 2018 1 place or 2 sharing

Watercolours
To learn more about Andrew, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

terry plus picTerry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018 Two or three places
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

On our Writing your Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

 Jo Parfitt
18 August to 25 August 2018 Two or three places
Write Your Life Stories

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

On a knitting course:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Lisa Richardson
9 September to 6 October 2018 One place
Knitting and La Bella Vita

To learn more about Lisa and her course at the mill, please visit her Profile Page

** We are already taking bookings for our 2019 creative courses, with a special offer of any 2019 creative week at 2018 prices. Please go to our 2019 courses preview section, by clicking here.

Fivizzano by night: the start of another inspiring and colourful painting week with Sandra

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.This is the square in the nearby walled Medieval town of Fivizzano, taken by our artist in residence Sandra Strohschein last night as we welcomed another enthusiastic group to a painting week.  We were enjoying a ‘taste of Tuscany’ dinner with our new guests as Sandra took the picture.

We were also impressed by one of our guest’s stripy socks. She told us she has many more. We are in for a colourful week! (The confetti, incidentally, is from a wedding earlier in the day.)

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

Come and add colour to your life! We still have a few places left this season and we are already booking up for next year, too.

Here’s the list of the few places left on our creative courses this year.

Painting:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
16 June to 23 June 2018 1 place or 2 sharing
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 

Andrew plus pic

Andrew Geeson
23 June to 30 June 2018 1 place or 2 sharing

Watercolours
To learn more about Andrew, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

terry plus picTerry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018 Two or three places
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

On our Writing you Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

 Jo Parfitt
18 August to 25 August 2018 Two or three places
Write Your Life Stories

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

On a knitting course:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Lisa Richardson
9 September to 6 October 2018 One place
Knitting and La Bella Vita

To learn more about Lisa and her course at the mill, please visit her Profile Page

** We are already taking bookings for our 2019 creative courses, with a special offer of any 2019 creative week at 2018 prices. Please go to our 2019 courses preview section, by clicking here.