Painting tutor of the month: Carl March...drawing and design are his passions
Our new Watermill watercolour tutor,Carl March, is an English painter and printmaker. He has studied in Milan and lived in Dubai: a truly international artist! His week with us this year is called ‘Drawing and Painting for Pleasure’. It will run from 10-17 July 2021.
Drawing and design are Carl’s passions: he likes to experiment with various drawing mediums, combining them with traditional watercolour painting processes to create distinctively subtle works. The evocative watercolour above is called Garden on the Coastal Walk, painted on a holiday in Muscat, Oman. And below is Hotel Garden, painted in Paphos, in Cyprus.
Carl is also a great teacher. He says: “I love the genuine satisfaction in passing on my knowledge to others. For example, demonstrating a ‘step by step’ exercise, then witnessing students repeat the exercise for themselves. Suddenly the penny drops, and it all makes sense. Surely this is the real reward for any teacher.”
Here’s a comment from a previous student: “Carl has a gentle but effective way of teaching and we have learnt a lot from. Most importantly, however, under his guidance the class always becomes a very sociable and happy group. Quite simply, his classes are not only well planned and informative but also great fun.”
Here’s a watercolour sketch by Carl,
called Sarah’s Lilies,
a study showing great spontaneity
And another says “When I went on my first painting holiday with Carl, I had never picked up a paintbrush other than to paint a ceiling. But within a day I had produced my first-ever watercolour and the result was beyond my wildest dreams. Since then I have spent two further holidays under Carl’s tutelage, each time learning new skills as well as refreshing my knowledge of basic techniques. Thanks to Carl’s endless patience and encouragement I have become an enthusiastic watercolour painter and look forward to further enjoyable holidays led by this inspirational teacher.”
We already have six people signed up for Carl’s 2021 course at the Watermill, so if you’d like to join us, now is the time to book.
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.
3 - 10 July 2021 - two or three 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.
Rebecca de Mendonça
31 July - 7 August 2021 - plenty of places
Pastels and Mixed media
To learn more about Rebecca and her course at the mill, please visit her 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.
28 August - 4 September 2021 - three or four places remaining
4 – 11 September 2021 - one or two places remaining
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.
11 - 18 September 2021 - two or three 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 - fully booked, waiting list open
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.
Why Lois is particularly looking forward to our knitting retreat this summer
For quite a few weekends in recent months we have been motoring from Florence to the watermill at weekends, not only to see how things are going with essential maintenance and planning for the summer courses, but also to try and enjoy a quiet time in beautiful surroundings. Chance would be a fine thing, what with juggling dates for Watermill creative courses, running our weekly online, interactive painting sessions, and working on all the setting-up and administration for our new Watermill Patron scheme. But we have managed some quiet walks and occasional chatty suppers with friends.
Lois’ relaxation begins soon after we set out from Florence: when we are in the car we put on one of those erudite In Our Time BBC podcasts with Melvyn Bragg, in which a group of experts discusses everything from atomic theory to mediaeval poetry, and much else besides. We feel quite intellectual while listening, although I suspect a few hours later we would be be hard pressed to tell you cogently about all we had heard! And while we both listen, Bill drives and Lois knits. She’s working on a fairisle cardigan by our friend Marie Wallin, who has led many knitting courses at the Watermill in the past.
Lois says: “It’s a lovely pattern by Marie and I find it really relaxing just knitting away. It’s slow going, as you can see from the picture, and I'm still a long way off the finished garment.. I’m looking forward to joining our guests on this year’s knitting retreat, so I can get a few more inches done under the dappled sunlight of the vine verandah and enjoy the company of fellow knitters.”
Knitting under the shade of the vines in the Watermill garden.
Photo: Phil Wright
As Bill says: “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 (British 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.
We will also 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 and 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. Lois is looking forward to it immensely! Details and links below.
We are delighted also to welcome Louisa Harding, the celebrated cashmere knitter and yarn producer, to the Watermill knitting team. She has also established a new brand, called Yarntelier, combining the finest yarns from the English county of Yorkshire with beautiful designs, to make each item a piece of hand-crafted couture. Louisa is now planning the projects she will bring for our knitters during her week and is talking of a cashmere shawl, where you can draw on designs in the Tuscan countryside and incorporate them in your knitting; and another, smaller project, involving beading using a crochet hook. Louisa will be with us from Saturday 7 August to Saturday 14 August 2021. Again, there are more details about her week below.
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.
Jo’s four essentials for vibrant writing: inspire, support, inform, entertain
The support of others
will also help you write a much better:
sharing work on
the Watermill’s vine verandah
Watermill writing tutor Jo Parfitt, who will be hosting another of her famous Writing Your Life’s Stories weeks at the Watermill this summer has recently published an excellent post to help ensure success in your writing.
Jo says that "Way back in the dark ages when I was first learning the writing craft, producing computer handbooks and features articles", she learned a rule that improved her writing life in four ways:
- It helped me decide whether an idea had legs or not
- It helped me choose the best content for the piece
- It helped me to write pieces that were more likely to sell
- It saved me heaps of time in the planning and research stage.
Jo’s rule is this......Anything you write must do one or more of the following: Inspire • Support • Inform • Entertain
A writing session the vine verandah,
learning to inspire, inform, entertain – and supporting each other
Jo adds: “If your writing does not inspire the reader in some way, maybe to do or think something different then it does not inspire. If your writing does not resonate with the reader, showing they are not alone and pointing them in the direction of resources that will help them, then it does not support. If your writing does not teach something useful, sharing new research, the voice of experts or fascinating facts, then it does not inform. If your writing does not compel the reader to keep turning pages because your writers’ voice is wonderful to read, you write captivating characters engaged in a gripping plot or you are amusing, then it does not entertain."
Good advice from Jo, and you can learn more on her Writing Your Life Stories week at the Watermill. Come and learn to inspire support, inform and above all, entertain with Jo. She has helped literally hundreds of aspiring authors writing success. You could be the next!
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 - three or four places remaining
Write your life stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2021 Profile Page.
Throw yourself like a fish into our Italian language course!
One of the mysteries of the Italian language is how they keep talking about fish.
For example: buttarsi come un pesce, to throw yourself like a fish, means to participate enthusiastically in an activity. And that’s just what you’ll be doing on our inspiring Italian Language course at The Watermill this May.
Not only will you improve your Italian on our unique, interactive language course,but you’ll also enjoy la bella vita Italiana in the heart of rural Tuscany and savour The Watermill’s warm hospitality. In fact, we’ll treat you like ‘un pesce grosso’, a big fish, or big shot, to us English and Americans. And we promise never to trattare a pesci in faccia, to throw fishes in your face, to show you disrespect.
We’re grateful to The Local, an Italian newspaper in English, for illuminating these fishy allusions. It tells us: “As you might expect in a country surrounded by water, fish regularly crop up in Italian conversation.”
For our week-long course, from Saturday 16 October to Saturday 23 October 2021 we’ve teamed up again with wonderful tutor Francesca La Sala, you’ll meet Italian people and interact with their daily lives. There will not only be formal lessons under the vine verandah (some 20 hours in the week), but we’ll also be making trips and excursions to enjoy 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, speaking Italian, practising what we’ve learned.
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.
Some comments from previous language course guests:
“A super language week. Well organised giving us a taste of ‘real Italy’. Francesca was amazing. The lessons were fun, interactive and helped me enormously."
“The accommodation was great and the camaraderie which evolved was, I’m sure, due to your relaxed and welcoming approach to your guests."
“We all had such Fun! I had a wonderful time on the language course and laughed so much! My confidence and knowledge has improved immensely over the week and Francesca has even sent us exercises to do at home to keep our learning going. She was tireless and gave us so much. The standard of accommodation, food, drink and your hospitality was, as ever, excellent.”
We have made one of those fun, 30-second Facebook slideshows to try to capture some of the atmosphere of our Italian language week. You can see it by clicking here.
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.
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 Patron of The Watermill at Posara
Visit our Watermill Patrons website (Link below). Just follow the instructions to subscribe and enjoy special privileges. By becoming a Patron you’ll enjoy many exclusive benefits, including practical and inspiring tips from our international painting and creative writing tutors, recipes from the watermill’s mouth-watering menus, and podcasts on Italian life. And there are also exclusive offers at the higher tiers for our courses and holidays.
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