Painting tutor of the month: Vicki Norman
(Left) Vicki’s vivacious painting of Laundry Day
(Right) Vicki’s oil painting of the rose pergola at the Watermill
Continuing our review this year’s inspiring painting tutors, this month we would like to present Vicki Norman, who is returning this summer for another of her vibrant painting weeks. Vicki will be with us for her course, in oils and watercolours (and other mediums), from Saturday 3 July to Saturday 10 July 2021.
English painting tutor Vicki Norman specialises in painting on location. Her paintings seek to capture the essence of the day and the sense of place through the colour and play of the light. Vicki will teach primarily in oils and watercolours, but is happy to help with other mediums, too. She has been teaching professionally for more than 15 years and offers plenty of help and individual attention.
Here’s a comment from one of our guests on Vicki’s last course at the Watermill: “An excellent painting and holiday week. All the trips out to painting locations were well organised and Vicki was excellent as a teacher: Her wonderful paintings were an inspiration.”
I have made one of those short, fun Facebook slideshows with more of Vicki’s exciting paintings which you can see by clicking here.
A vibrant still life by Vicki
Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation, pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca or the Cinque Terre).
You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!
And you will be Cool and Green: all our rooms are air-conditioned, powered by photovoltaic panels which make us self-sufficient in electricity.
Our inspiring 2021 painting tutors
Here is the complete list of our painting tutors for this year. You can find out more about each of them by clicking on their Profile page link in their entries below.
12 - 19 June 2021 - three of four places remaining
28 August - 4 September 2021 - three or four places remaining
4 – 11 September 2021 - fully booked (waiting list open)
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.
19 - 26 June 2021 - four or five places remaining
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.
Rebecca de Mendonça
26 June - 3 July 2021 - two places remaining
Pastels and Mixed media
To learn more about Rebecca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Profile Page.
3 - 10 July 2021 - three or four places remaining
Oils and watercolours (and other mediums)
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Profile Page.
10 - 17 July 2021 - 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 2021 Profile Page.
21 - 28 August 2021 - three or four places remaining
To learn more about Randy and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.
11 - 18 September 2021 - three or four places remaining
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.
Brienne M Brown
18 - 25 September 2021 - one place remaining
To learn more about Brienne and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Profile Page.
2 – 9 October 2021 - fully booked, waiting list open
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.
9 - 16 October 2021 - one or two places remaining
To learn more about Ali and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Profile Page.
23 - 30 October 2021 - four or five places remaining
To learn more about Grahame and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 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.
Relax, we’ve tidied up our knitting
Knitting under the shade of the vines in the Watermill garden.
Photo: Phil Wright
Because of continuing doubts about an early resolution of the coronavirus situation in the United States of America we have decided to postpone Norah Gaughan’s knitting week until next year. Our relaxing knitting retreat will continue as planned, from 17 to 24 July this year. And to be absolutely on the safe side, we have moved Louisa Harding’s knitting week from May until 7 to 14 August this year.
After a year of tensions why not join us for a relaxing, mollycoddled week, where the only tension you have to worry about is getting it right with your needles. The Watermill knitting retreat will run from Saturday 17 July to Saturday 24 July 2021 and, since there is no official tutor, we are offering a special discount of £200 (UK pounds) per person. We already have eight knitters booked into this course, so we have room for four or so more.
The Watermill sitting room,
an ideal place to knit and chat.
Picture: Phil Wright
Yes, instead of having a tutor, individual guests will bring their own projects to knit during the week. The rhythm of the week will be much the same as usual, with morning and afternoon sessions on the vine verandah or in the Watermill sitting room, where you will enjoy convivial like-minded company in the peaceful ambience of the Watermill.
As well as knitting days on the vine verandah or in the Watermill gardens, or in the sitting room or studio, we will take you on outings to savour the beautiful unspoiled surroundings of the mill in the environmentally protected area of Lunigiana. We’ll venture to a nearby ancient village with its imposing 13th century castle, to market day in a nearby walled mediaeval town, to a tranquil monastery where you can knit in the shady cloisters or the enchanting gardens, to a 1000-year-old hilltop village with stunning views of the Apuan Alps, the marble mountains of Carrara. And we’ll organise an excursion for you to the beautiful Ligurian fishing villages of the Cinque Terre or to the quintessential Italian city of Lucca. Add to that the wonderful food, both at the Watermill and at typical local Italian restaurants, and we think this will be a week to remember.
Verrucola castle and village,
where we go to enjoy lunch at a typical
Some comments from guests on our previous knitting weeks:
The Watermill is an idyllic setting for a knitting course - beautifully situated on the river, you are lulled to sleep in your comfortable room by the sound of the millstream. Bill and Lois are perfect hosts and your every need is catered for. BE
Thank you and for such a lovely week at the Watermill. It was truly a memorable week to stay at the Watermill, knit, meet new friends, enjoy fresh Italian cuisine and be shown such a glorious part of Tuscany. EP
Bill and Lois have the knack of making everyone feel special. Add a magical knitting tutor, and the result is an unforgettable experience. I can't wait to go back! Excellent food, relaxing atmosphere, lovely people. Perfection! Thanks to you both for another wonderful knitting holiday. I feel ten years younger! NB
Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation, pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca or the Cinque Terre). And even in the height of summer you will be Cool and Green: all our rooms are air-conditioned, powered by photovoltaic panels which make us self-sufficient in electricity.
2021 knitting breaks
17 - 24 July 2021 - three or four places
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about our knitting retreat week at the mill, please visit our 2021 Profile Page.
7 August - 14 August 2021 - four or five places remaining
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about Louisa and her course at the mill, please visit our 2021 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 2021 courses, as well as a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you.
Our writing living legends are ready to roll!
Again being cautious, we have relocated the scriptwriting course with with our friends and comedy-and drama-writing ‘living legends’ Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, from mid-May until the summer. It will now run from Saturday 24 July to Saturday 31 July 2021 and they have already switched their flights and are ready to roll.
Laurence reckons it is a wonderful opportunity for isolated writers to get out of lockdown and share their ideas with others, probably under the dappled shade of the Watermill vine verandah. (Don’t worry that you are going to be too hot: we will use the verandah in the morning and in the evening, and if it’s too hot during the day we can repair to any of the Watermill’s public rooms, all of which have air conditioning, powered by our hidden array of photovoltaic cells. As we say, you will be Cool and Green.) Grab your place and watch your writing career take off.
The week-long residential course will provide fascinating and expert insights into what it takes to create a successful script. While concentrating on comedy drama, Laurence and Maurice’s unique insights are invaluable for anyone wishing to discover the secrets of scriptwriting for all drama genres.
You will learn all about the complete scriptwriting process, from developing an original idea, through structure, character, plot and, finally, script. There will also be one-to-one tutorials, team writing sessions and, of paramount importance, the study and analysis of classic films and television programmes.
A montage of pictures of participants
on Jo’s last writing course at the Watermill
As a previous guest on a Watermill scriptwriting course said: “The teaching is truly inspiring, the setting beautiful and the hospitality, second to none.”
Laurence and Maurice say: “We can’t promise you success, of course, but we can promise that you will leave the Watermill a much better scriptwriter than when you came.”
Our other 2021 creative writing week is Jo Parfitt’s renowned Writing your life stories course at the Watermill this August has just one or two places remaining. And please remember again, you will be Cool and Green: all our rooms are air-conditioned, powered by those photovoltaic panels which make us self-sufficient in electricity.
2021 Our illuminating creative writing courses
Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
24 – 31 July 2021 - Places available
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and their course at the mill, please visit their 2021 Profile Page.
14 – 21 August 2021 - one or two places remaining
Write your life stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Profile Page.
We’ll be pronto when you are
Picture: The Local
It’s a funny word, pronto. The English borrowed it from the Italians, but in the process its meaning seems to have subtly changed. We English and Americans use it to mean ‘get a move on’ or ‘right away’, as in “Bring me a beer, pronto.”
But in Italy it usually means ‘ready’, in the sense of “I am/it is prepared.” Thus: “È pronto il pranzo?” Is lunch ready? Although just to confuse the issue, it sometimes means ‘speedy’ or ‘prompt’: “Le ho augurato una pronta guarigione.” I wished her a speedy recovery; or “La pronta consegna è garantita.” Prompt delivery is guaranteed.
But by and large, it means ‘ready’. It’s even what many Italians say when they pick up the phone, a throwback to the old days, when you ask the operator to get you a number and when she called back, she asked: “Are you ready to receive your phone call?” And you replied “Pronto”. Ready!
We are grateful to a fascinating article in The Local, our Italian English-language newspaper, for more about this. "That's why, if you're getting ready for a race in Italy, you'll hear whoever's got the starting gun call out: "Pronti... via!" It's the equivalent of 'Ready, set, go'.
The article adds: "But where you won't hear it is when you're talking about something urgent - something that needs to be done, pronto. When you want to translate an English pronto into Italian, it's more natural to use the word subito ('right away') instead”.
Thus, you can translate “Lo faccio subito” into English as ‘I'll do it pronto’!
Come and learn more about the fascinating Italian language on our week-long immersion course this autumn. We are pronto when you are!
Our language week really is a ‘course with a difference’. Not only are there formal lessons on the vine verandah (some 20 hours in the week), but we also make trips and excursions to savour the natural beauty of Lunigiana, the area surrounding 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 we’ve learned.
We’ve teamed up again with the experienced and sympathetic language teacher Francesca La Sala, to design a week in which people can learn Italian in the most natural and enjoyable way ever. You'll meet Italian people and interact with their daily lives. 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.
You will have the perfect opportunity to make new friends in the company of like-minded people learning and improving their Italian language skills... and enjoying unspoilt Italy and, of course, fantastic food and wine. Everything will be pronto when you arrive!
2021 Language Course
Francesca la Sala
16 - 23 October 2021 - fully booked, waiting list open
Learning Italian with the Italians
To learn more about Francesca and her
2021 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