Grandparents, cousins, aunts -- everyone wants to join Mike’s international painting classes
Another very popular Facebook post last month was Bill’s report on how our friend and Watermill painting tutor Mike Willdridge is running virtual art classes on Zoom for his grandchildren (aged between four and 10 years old) living in Australia, Wales and England. The picture of his five-year-old Welsh granddaughter, Evelyn, posing in front of some of her artwork (top right in the montage above) had more than 600 Likes on Facebook.
As well as a picture of Mike, the benign grandfather, the montage also shows another granddaughter, seven-year-old Joselyn from Australia, who is not just going to be a student, but also a tutor!
Mike says: “My virtual art classes are really taking off. We’ve now been joined by grandparents, cousins and aunts, all keen to share some special time with their younger relations. Tomorrow’s class, in a fascinating twist to these sessions, is being run by my granddaughter in Australia - Joselyn, who is seven years old and is shown with her artwork prepared for her first teaching assignment - scraper board art.”
***Mike has kindly offered to run an online painting tutorial for our Watermill painting enthusiasts as well. He and Lois are just working out the details and we will let you know how to join up, if you’d care to have as much fun as the Willdridge grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and children. Come and join us online -- and come and meet Mike himself at the Watermill later this year.
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 postponed and you cannot make the new dates for the tutor you have chosen, you can postpone to an alternative course with one of our other inspiring tutors.
- If we cancel a workshop, rather than just postpone it, we will refund any payment in full.
Our sympathetic, caring, inspiring 2020 painting tutors
We have exciting new tutors, as well as old friends, for our 2020 painting courses. Choose a tutor, a medium or a date that suits you best. If you like the look of a course that is fully booked, don’t worry, let us know and we will put you on a waiting list. There are often cancellations and we will tell you immediately a place becomes available.
11 - 18 July 2020 - one or two places remaining
Colourful Acrylics, Drawing, Pen & Wash
To learn more about Mark and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.
18 - 25 July 2020 - three or four places remaining
Drawing and watercolours en plein air
To learn more about Carl and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.
29 August – 5 September 2020 - three or four places remaining
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.
Rebecca de Mendonça
5 - 12 September 2020 - two places remaining
Pastels and Mixed media
To learn more about Rebecca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.
Maggie Renner Hellmann
19 - 26 September 2020 - still plenty of places
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, watercolours and pastels
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.
26 September - 3 October 2020 - one place remaining
Pastels (and other portable media) en plein air
To learn more about Mary and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.
3 - 10 October 2020 - fully booked, waiting list open
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.
10 – 17 October 2020 - fully booked, waiting list open
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2020 Profile Page.
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.
‘Tune in‘ to a knitting chat with Renée
Our enthusiastic, inspiring and talented knitting tutor, Renée Callahan, who will be with us this August (all being well), is hosting a series of podcasts on YouTube, which knitting enthusiasts may care to check out to enjoy a half hour or so chat about their favourite subject. In the latest podcast, which you can see by clicking here. Renée talks about one of her new patterns and also promises “a cameo appearance from the Lazarus socks.”
Renée is a prolific knitwear designer, working in London, England, who loves to combine texture and colour to create hand-knit patterns that are enjoyable to knit and remain wearable for years to come. As ever, the knitting week will combine expert tuition, like-minded company, wonderful food, the delightful ambience of the Watermill and outings into the surrounding unspoiled Tuscan countryside of Lunigiana.
Renée has been hard at work designing two new projects for her course, which her guests will be working on during her week here. She says: “These wonderful exclusive projects will give us the opportunity to try out new techniques.” She has designed a lovely brioche stitch hat and a colour work cowl “just in case the students don’t love brioche stitch, so they will have some fun stranded colour work to do.” The pictures show the elegance hat and some of Renée’s colour experimentation for your week here with her. She will choose the best range of colours for her designs and our guests will be able to choose which they prefer before beginning of the course, so we can order them up.
15 - 22 August 2020 - still places
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about Renée and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 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 or writing.
We offer them a range of Alternative activities for partners on all our 2020 courses, as well as a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you.
How quickly are you writing your book? It doesn’t matter as long as you write something every day
Come the end of the lockdown around the world, publishers and literary agents are going to be inundated with manuscripts, judging by the conversations we’ve had online with our friends in recent weeks. Everyone seems to be writing a book, but what’s interesting is the different speeds at which they’re doing so. Our friend Brian Klein, for example, is totting up some 1800 words every day, while Bill who is working on The Illusion of Reality, doesn’t get through more than 500 or so. So, Brian is a Stephen King and Bill, a Grahame Greene, though I’m not sure that either of us aspire to such best-selling or literary heights.
Stephen King likes to write 2000 words (10 pages) each day, come what may. In his memoir On Writing, King says: “On some days those ten pages come easily; I’m up and out and doing errands by eleven-thirty in the morning… More frequently, as I grow older, I find myself eating lunch at my desk and finishing the day’s work around one-thirty in the afternoon. Sometimes, when the words come hard, I’m still fiddling around at teatime. Either way is fine with me, but only under dire circumstances do I allow myself to shut down before I get my 2,000 words.”
Graham Greene had a much more modest target, some 500 words a day. Even so, he wrote 24 novels as well as travel books, children’s books, plays, screenplays, and short stories. He said: “Over twenty years I have probably averaged five hundred words a day for five days a week. I can produce a novel in a year, and that allows time for revision and the correction of the typescript. I have always been very methodical, and when my quota of work is done, I break off, even in the middle of a scene. Every now and then during the morning’s work I count what I have done and mark off the hundreds on my manuscript.”
At the end of his writing career, Greene’s target dropped even further, to around 300 words a day. Bill knows the feeling: his excuse is that he is also writing blogs, Facebook posts, tweets and newsletters about our Watermill activities, as well as trying to get his book moving along.
But the important point is that if you want to write anything, you must write something, every day. Set yourself a target, even a modest one, and make sure you meet each day. We are looking forward to Brian Klein’s launch party and hope that, like a tortoise to his hare, Bill won’t be far behind.
If you’re a keen writer, you could do far worse than all the secrets of the trade from our renowned creative writing tutors: Jo Parfitt, who will tell you all you need to know about the secrets of writing a compelling memoir; and Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, ‘living legends’ of comedy and drama writing. Come and spend a fulfilling week with them – and write at your own pace.
11 – 18 July 2020 - one or two places remaining
Write the stories of your life
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.
Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
8 – 15 August 2020 - three or four places remaining
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill, please visit their 2020 Profile Page.
Italian words mispronounced by millions
I've been looking at some of the YouTube videos in the ‘Marco in a BOX’ series and thought it would be fun to share with you the episode in which he goes through a list of common Italian words which are commonly mispronounced by millions of non-Italians every day. Grab yourself a tea or coffee and enjoy a fun eight minutes or so, learning how to pronounce things properly, including everyday words like grazie and spaghetti (and you can’t get more everyday than that!). I also particularly like the way that Marco rails against the way that both the Brits and the Americans pronounce his name. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But his mimicking of our attempts to get it right are hilarious. Just click here to join in the fun.
You won’t find any problems in hearing the correct Italian pronunciation from Francesca la Sala on this year’s Italian language course at the Watermill. We are looking forward to another Italian language course this Summer, where we will again be soaking up knowledge in the dappled sunlight under the vine verandah and making forays into the towns and villages surrounding us, to learn Italian from the Italians.
We have teamed up again with the Florence language school Langues Services and our old friend Francesca to bring you a unique course which is both fun and illuminating. Bill has made another of those 30-second slideshows on Facebook, to give you a flavour of the week. You can see it by clicking here.
Join us and your Italian pronunciation will be impeccabile (im-peck-ar-bill-ay!)
Langues Services and Francesca la Sala
22 - 29 August 2020 - two or three places remaining
Learning Italian with the Italians
To learn more about Francesca and her
2020 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, writing, 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