Our enticing 2019 painting holidays
We have more than a dozen exciting and inspiring painting courses next year, tutored by internationally renowned painters who also have a reputation for warm and sympathetic teaching. This year we are welcoming back many old friends among our tutors, as well as some new teachers who we think are going to be a fantastic addition to the Watermill team. Places are filling fast, so if you like to be sure of a particular tutor, a particular medium or a particular week, now is the time to reserve your place. And don’t forget the Early Bird discount offer: £75 GBP off the cost of your holiday if you book now.
Tutor of the month: Varvara Neiman
Watermill painting tutor Varvara Neiman has captured the animation of village street in this amusing picture. She says: “I witnessed a morning scene of the local ladies meeting in the street discussing last night's village party and their pets having a gossip on their own. They were part of a beautiful mosaic of morning colours, so clear that I painted the whole thing full of humour.”
You, too, can capture the vibrancy and humour of village life, as well as painting the unspoiled rural scenery of Lunigiana, which surrounds the Watermill, when Varvara returns for another painting course next year. There will be plenty of gossip, for example, at the weekly market in the nearby walled mediaeval town of Fivizzano, where we go to paint on Tuesdays.
Varvara Neiman, who now lives in Buckinghamshire, England, was born into an artistic family in St. Petersburg, Russia, where art and teaching were professions passed on from generation to generation. Varvara tutors in water-based oils, acrylics and watercolour and she will be with us again from Saturday 31 August to Saturday 7 September 2019.
Varvara’s work combines classical discipline with a modern imagination. She is enthusiastic about painting en plein air and passionate about Cezanne's famous quote: "Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one's sensation.”
Varvara has been a popular and inspiring teacher for many years. She is skilled in oils, acrylics and watercolours and will teach in any of those mediums. (Water-based oils for easier transportation.) During her course there will be group demonstrations as well as one-to-one guidance.
Varvara likes to create a friendly atmosphere in the group, encouraging students to share their experiences.
You can see more of Varvara’s paintings, and learn more about her course at the Watermill, by clicking here.
As well as plein air painting, Varvara specialises in portraiture and moving figures in watercolour and she is also famous for her cityscapes, capturing fleeting moments.
Here’s the 2019 painting team .....
We have more than a dozen exhilarating painting courses next year, tutored by internationally renowned painters who also have a reputation for warm and sympathetic teaching. We are welcoming back many old friends among our tutors, as well as some new teachers who we think are going to be a fantastic addition to the Watermill team. If you see below that your favourite tutor is fully booked, don’t worry too much, there are often cancellations. So please be in touch and we will put you on the waiting list. On the other hand, to be sure of a place on a Watermill painting course, why not choose one of our other inspiring tutors where there are still places?
27 April to 4 May 2019 - fully booked, waiting list open
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.
18 - 25 May 2019 - still two or three places
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.
1 - 8 June 2019 - fully booked, waiting list open
8 - 15 June 2019 - fully booked, waiting list open
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.
22 - 29 June 2019 - fully booked, waiting list open
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please see our 2019 Courses Preview page.
29 June - 6 July 2019 - still two or three places
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.
13 - 20 July 2019 - still plenty of places
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.
17 - 24 August 2019 - still plenty of places
24 - 31 August 2019 - still one place
Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.
31 August - 7 September 2019 - still plenty of places
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.
14 - 21 September 2019 - still plenty of places
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.
Maggie Renner Hellmann
21 - 28 September 2019 - still one or two places
Courageous Color Workshop' in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.
28 September - 5 October 2019 - still three or four places
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.
5 - 12 October 2019 - still one place
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.
12 - 19 October 2019 - still plenty of places
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.
Our Summer painter in residence,
Come and join us and enjoy the magic at the mill!
*** Why not bring your non-painting partner as well?
There’s a generous £250 discount for him/her if they share a room with you - and there’s plenty for them to do. Have a look at our Partner’s Activities Page for suggestions.
Use the 2019 courses link below to view the list of our inspiring 2019 painting tutors.
A knitting week ‘out of time’
This marvellous colour wheel, photographed on a table on the Vine Verandah, was made by some of our guests on Sarah Hazell’s inspiring knitting week here earlier this year. After arranging swatches of yarn to show the relationships between colours, one of the group, Linda Walker, brought flowers from the Walled Garden to augment the display, with this stunning effect. Gina Davidson took the picture.
A renowned knitting designer, Sarah will be with us next May for her third inspiring course at the watermill. Here’s what one guests had to say about her course last year: “Thanks for such a wonderful week! It had everything: fun, knowledge, good food and drink. It was like a week out of time.”
Sarah’s main project for the week next May is in response to feedback from our previous guests. She says: “I am aware that lots of knitters want to understand how they can alter an existing pattern to get a better fit. I’ve devised a project to do just that.” Sarah’s project will show you how to make a simple garment to fit your size and body shape, based on one of Sarah’s most successful designs, the Phoebe Poncho. She says: “This is a relaxing knit that will help you to acquire some technical expertise along the way!”
We call Sarah’s week ‘Knitting and La Bella Vita’ and you will have a really relaxing holiday in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, with leisurely knitting days, wonderful food and wine, as well as learning new skills from Sarah. We have nine people booked for Sarah’s course one of whom is a non-knitting partner, so we have room for three or four more knitters
Our exciting knitting holidays: the 2019 line-up
4 - 11 May 2019 - still three or four places
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.
25 May - 1 June 2019 - fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.
6 - 13 July 2019 - fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Marie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.
Don't forget your partner!
And don’t forget that your friend or partner doesn’t need to participate in the creative course, whether it’s painting, language, writing or yoga.
We offer them a range of Alternative activities for partners on all our 2019 courses, as well as a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you.
Scriptwriting Living Legends come to the Watermill
We are proud to announce a very special Scriptwriting week with Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, described by the British Comedy Society as ‘Living Legends.’
They are famous for such TV hits as Birds of a Feather, Goodnight Sweetheart, The New Statesman and Shine on Harvey Moon. And in a new incarnation, they’ve written hit stage musicals, such as Dreamboats and Petticoats and Save the Last Dance for Me, as well as film scripts and award-winning stage, TV and radio plays. And it’s not just comedy: Marks and Gran are producing serious dramatic works as well.
Laurence and Maurice’s week-long course will show you how to craft your work from your original idea through structure, character, plot and finally, script.
They will lead you slowly through what makes classic television comedy, using one-to-one tutorials, team writing sessions, and most enlightening of all, studying films and TV series that have become 'classics'.
They say: "Comedy is the hardest of all genres; that is why that all the top TV comedies of the past 50 years have been written by no more than a dozen writers."
They cannot guarantee success, of course, but they promise that you will leave the Watermill a considerably better scriptwriter than when you arrived.
Our enriching 2019 Writing courses
15 – 22 June 2019 - still plenty of places
Write Your Life Stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.
Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
7 - 14 September 2019 - still plenty of places
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and to register an interest in their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.
Into the mouth of the wolf, or break a leg!
When the Italians want to wish you good luck, they don’t say buona fortuna, as you might expect, but rather suggest that you might place yourself in a wolf’s mouth: in bocca al lupo. The recipient of such good wishes should reply: Crepi il lupo!, death to the wolf!
The expression, it seems, came from the theatre and is akin to the English break a leg!, traditionally wished on actors before their performances, on the grounds that it is bad luck to wish anybody good luck. (Lois reckons that this isn’t the story at all: she says recent research suggests that the best actors were those who could be easily seen by the audience and who would show a leg. Bill is not convinced!)
Whatever the truth, the wolf, like the broken leg, soon escaped the boundaries of the theatre and the opera house and is now commonplace in the Italian language. By the way, buona fortuna does mean good luck, but if you say this to someone, the implication is: “Good luck, you’re really going to need it!”
You won’t be needing good luck or have to place yourself in the mouth of a wolf on our Italian language course next year. But you will learn lots about how Italian is really spoken from our lovely tutor Francesca la Sala. That’s her in the picture explaining the intricacies of the language on the vine verandah. You can join Francesca, soaking up Italian and enjoying la bella vita Italiana from Saturday 11 May to Saturday 18 May 2019.
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 you will 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 has teamed up again with the prestigious language school Langues Services in Florence to design a week in which people can learn Italian in the most natural and enjoyable way. Your immersion into the language and culture of real Italians will be customised for you, to suit your curiosity and your interests, helping you to treasure everything you learn and make it a seamless part of who you are.
A comment from a guest on this year’s course: “Our teacher was brilliant, and the lessons were always engaging, and all the other staff were remarkable in their efforts to make the week so perfect. I enjoyed every second. I loved the tranquillity and the natural beauty of the river as well as the wonderful food and convivial company...”
That’s the good news. The bad news is that at the moment our Italian language course is fully booked. There is, however, a waiting list, and there are often cancellations, so if you’d like to have the good fortune to enjoy a creative week under the vines, learning more of the wonderful Italian language, please let us know and we’ll make sure you’re on the list.
Our engaging 2019 language course
Langues services and Francesca la Sala
11 - 18 May 2019 - fully booked, waiting list open
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please click here.
Everything's included in your watermill painting holiday, creative writing holiday, knitting week or Italian Language course
Don’t forget that everything is included in the cost of a painting holiday, knitting, or language holiday: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport; an excursion by train to visit the ancient walled city of Lucca or the stunning seaside villages of the Cinque Terre).
All you have to do is to get to Pisa airport and we do the rest.
Whether you're travelling alone or with a partner you can be sure of a warm welcome, and that you'll be well looked after. We have built our reputation on the comfort of the mill and the care we provide.
Become a Friend of The Watermill at Posara
Visit our Friends Website (Link below). Just follow the instructions to Register as a Friend and then Log In to enjoy special privileges. If you become a ‘Friend’ (it will cost you nothing) you’ll enjoy many exclusive benefits, including dozens of practical and inspiring tips from our international painting and creative writing tutors and recipes from the watermill’s mouth-watering menus. And there will be exclusive offers for Friends to make our courses and holidays even more attractive.
We very much look forward to welcoming you to the mill and, for those of you who have already tasted the many delights at The Watermill at Posara, we look forward to welcoming you back.
With very best wishes a tutti
Lois and Bill Breckon