Our inspiring 2022 painting tutors
Here is the complete list of our painting tutors for 2022. You can find out more about each of them by clicking on their Profile page link in their entries below.
Mary Padgett - fully booked, waiting list open
30 April – 7 May 2022
Pastels (and other portable materials) en plein air
To learn more about Mary and her course at the mill, please visit her 2022 Profile Page.
Keiko Tanabe - fully booked, waiting list open
21 – 28 May 2022
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2022 Profile Page.
Maggie Renner Hellman
28 May - 4 June 2022
Courageous Color Workshop’ Your choice: oils, acrylics, pastels and/or watercolour travel sketches
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2022 Profile Page.
Ruth Korch - fully booked, waiting list open
4 - 11 June 2022
To learn more about Ruth and her course at the mill, please visit her 2022 Profile Page.
Randy Hale - fully booked, waiting list open
11 - 18 June 2022
To learn more about Randy and his course at the mill, please visit his 2022 Profile Page.
25 June - 2 July 2022
Watercolours and drawing
To learn more about Ted and his course at the mill, please visit his 2022 Profile Page.
2 - 9 July 2022
Oils and watercolours (and other mediums)
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please visit her 2022 Profile Page.
16 - 23 July 2022
Drawing and watercolour en plein air
To learn more about Carl and his course at the mill, please visit his 2022 Profile Page.
20 - 27 August 2022
Watercolours (and acrylics)
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2022 Profile Page.
Rebecca de Mendonça
27 August - 3 September 2022
To learn more about Rebecca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2022 Profile Page.
Mike Willdridge - fully booked, waiting list open
3 - 10 September 2022
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics, with a special emphasis on drawing on location.)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2022 Profile Page.
10 - 17 September 2022
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2022 Profile Page.
17 - 24 September 2022
To learn more about Milind and his course at the mill, please visit his 2022 Profile Page.
Cynthia Armstrong - fully booked, waiting list open
24 September - 1 October 2022
Watercolours and gouache
To learn more about Cynthia and her course at the mill, please visit her 2022 Profile Page.
Tim Wilmot - fully booked, waiting list open
1 - 8 October 2022
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2022 Profile Page.
Grahame Booth - fully booked, waiting list open
8 - 15 October 2022
To learn more about Grahame and his course at the mill, please visit his 2022 Profile Page.
Watermill painting tutors of the month Maggie Renner Hellmann and Ruth Korch
In coming newsletters we would like to introduce you all our inspiring tutors for next year. There are so many painting tutors that we going to have do it two at a time, in strictly chronological order. This month it is the turn of Maggie Renner Hellmann and Ruth Korch.
Maggie Renner Hellmann is a contemporary California painter who paints with love, passion and energy. Her work is characterized by a unique blend of loose, energetic brushwork and strong compositions of exuberant color. She says: “I love the joy of color and the poetry of brushwork.” Her oil painting above is called Wine Kissed by the Sun and Sea, an evocative title chosen by Maggie from suggestions by Watermill guests and followers.
Maggie is also an enthusiastic tutor who has been teaching for more than 15 years – and loves it! Her workshop will cover oils, acrylics, pastels and drawing, sketching mediums including wax pastels and watercolour. She will encourage the beginner and challenge the more advanced painter. Maggie says: “In this plein air workshop, we will paint in spectacular Tuscan locations. You’ll be learning and practising the core elements of successful paintings.”
Maggie’s painting of the castle at Verrucola,
where we take our painting groups on Mondays
Maggie will be with us from Saturday 28 May to Saturday 4 June 2022.
Some comments on Maggie’s courses at the Watermill:
“Maggie is good at teaching in all mediums and with all levels. She did wonderful demos in watercolour, acrylic, pastel and oil. Every day we did critiques together and learned from each other. I highly recommend this art workshop, as well as the most wonderful accommodation with great food and wine. A little piece of heaven in experiencing Italy.”
“An art workshop in a place like that Watermill can’t get better than that, especially with you guys as host and hostess.”
“One of the best vacations I have ever had.”
One of the Paris pages from Ruth Korch’s journal
Ruth Korch, from Santa Cruz, California, USA, has two particular passions: watercolours and calligraphy. Art journaling allows her to marry these two loves. Her wonderful picture above is from Paris.
Now she is looking forward to Posara! She says: “On this amazing art journaling adventure in Tuscany, we will fill our pages with vignettes of the gorgeous sites we visit; perhaps a still life of delicious food and wine; we may capture the dappled light and deep shadows on an ancient building; or the vibrant colors from The Watermill’s garden.
A sketch by Ruth of the Watermill,
in preparation for her visit
We will conjure the sights, smells and sounds of the beauty around us - using both imagery and words.”
Here is a lovely comment from one of her students: “Ruth’s love for beauty and life, along with her patient and gentle teaching manner has boosted my confidence, helped me tap into an artistry I never thought I had, given me new eyes to see the world around me, and taught me skills and techniques I can carry forward on my creative journey.”
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.
Our notable knitting and elegant embroidery weeks
Norah Gaughan - fully booked, waiting list open
23 - 30 April 2022
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about Norah and her course at the mill, please visit our 2022 Profile Page.
7 - 14 May 2022
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about Louisa and her course at the mill, please visit our 2022 Profile Page.
Debbie Abrahams - fully booked, waiting list open
14 - 21 May 2022
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her course at the mill, please visit our 2022 Profile Page.
9 - 16 July 2022
Embroidered ‘postcards from Posara’
To learn more about Rachel and her course at the mill, please visit our 2022 Profile Page.
Norah has needlework and artistry in her blood
Norah Gaughan, Editor of Vogue Knitting in the USA, has needlework and artistry in her blood! Norah, who will be leading a week of knitting and La Bella Vita Italiana at the Watermill this spring, is the younger child of Phoebe Gaughan, artist and needlework illustrator, and Jack Gaughan, illustrator of fantasy and science fiction books and magazines.
Norah first learned to knit at the age of 14, while she and a friend avoided a heat-wave by staying indoors for the day, knitting to pass the time.
As a freelance designer, according to her Wikipedia entry, she published designs in "Vogue knitting" and "Woman's World" magazines and single pattern flyers of Reynolds and Bernat yarn companies. Although previously known to hand knitters for her knitting patterns, following the 2006 publication of her book Knitting Nature: 39 Designs Inspired by Patterns in Nature she became internationally known.
Norah’s designs “are often based upon the mathematical expressions underlying natural patterns as opposed to naturalistic visual impressions. They are complex in origin but not necessarily so in execution or appearance. She has an innovative use of texture and combination of stitches, often creating new knitting stitches for her designs. Her work is noted as very recognizable on sight.”
Norah tells us: “I'm inspired by nature and science, while at the same time keeping an eye what's happening in the fashion world. My teaching style is rather relaxed. My goal is to have the class be fun and interesting.”
Norah will bring two special projects for her week, based on her new Twisted Stitch Sourcebook, published this year.
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.
What is your favourite memoir?
Picture: Penguin Books
“A memoir can be a lot of things,” said a recent story from the publishers Penguin Books, “a journey through someone's life, an insight into their mindset at a particular time, a comfort to someone experiencing similar things, an inspiration for those seeking something more.”
It adds: “Memoirs are both intimate and all-encompassing; in telling their own story, the author is often speaking to a vast audience.”
When Penquin Books asked people on Twitter tell them about their favourite memoir,“we were inundated with recommendations, encompassing everything from reflections on war, grief, sexuality and religion, to insider accounts of Hollywood life, political conspiracy, even philosophical sporting legends.”
Here’s the Top Ten list. It’s your your favourite among them? Do you have any other suggestions for the best memoir of all time?
No 1: Educated. (2018)
Penguin say: “Tara Westover’s compelling coming-of-age memoir was a popular fixture on "Book of the Year" lists back in 2018, from The Guardian toThe New York Times,The Economist and Vogue. Documenting her escape from a strict Mormon household in Idaho, Educated is an inspiring ode to the power of education and self-determination.” Readers said: “An extraordinary story in itself, but beautifully and unsentimentally written. Still think about it a year or two later.”
No. 2: Priestdaddy (2017)
Penguin says: “Poet Patricia Lockwood’s loving take on her unorthodox Catholic upbringing is an absolute joy. From anti-abortion rallies to virginity pledges, it explores the complexities of balancing tradition with hard-won identity.” Readers say: "Funny, but lyrical, and an incredible story.”
No 3: Becoming Michelle Obama (2018)
Penguin says: “The candid memoir of the United States' former First Lady inspired Nadia Hallgren's brilliant 2020 Netflix documentary of the same name. From her childhood in Chicago to her time spent at the world's most famous address, this is a revelatory reading experience.” Readers say: “She’s had such a unique experience. Every night I sat down to read it, it felt like girl talk time. A mentor via a book.”
The next seven most memorable memoirs of all time, according to the Penguin Books’ survey, are:
No.4: Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton (2018)
No 5: Know My Name by Chanel Miller (2019)
No.6: The Lonely City by Olivia Laing (2016)
No.7: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (2016)
No 8: The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X, Alex Haley (1965)
No.9: Set the Boy Free by Johnny Marr (2016)
No.10: Red Notice by Bill Browder (2015)
Is your favourite among that list? If not, why not write to us and let us know (you can reach us here). Better still, why not come and tell us all learn how to write your irresistible memoir on Jo Parfitt’s Writing Your Life Stories week at the Watermill
About our writing week
The vine verandah, a perfect place to share your thoughts
As ever, we are looking forward to another of Jo Parfitt’s renowned Writing Your Life Stories week next year. Jo’s course is the perfect first step for any writer wanting to develop the skills and confidence necessary to move into writing memoir, non-fiction, articles or blogs.
We have had amazing feedback over the years on the value of Jo’s course, and we are glad to say it remains as popular as ever. The course is designed to help both enthusiastic beginners and more experienced writers. It will help you to produce your best work, to find your true writer's 'voice' and to write authentically.
Jo Parfitt is an author, journalist, teacher, blogger, conference speaker and poet. She has published 32 books herself, has helped more than 250 authors get into print and more than 2,000 people to begin writing.
Jo's a compassionate, inspiring, and encouraging teacher: her motto is 'sharing what I know to help others to grow'.
This creative writing course is designed to help you produce your best work, to find your true writer's 'voice' and to write authentically. Among other things, you’ll discover the secret of SPICE, the seven steps to writing life stories. 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. You will be empowered to write in a compelling way, bringing your experiences to life."
The workshop will include several methods and genres 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 calm and supportive environment, this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.
Here are some comments from guests on Jo’s previous courses at the Watermill: “The most magical trip to Tuscany, which will stay with me forever!” “It is a very special and beautiful place, and everything was organised so perfectly. Jo is a great tutor and we all had an amazing time.” “It was just wonderful. The attention to detail and beauty are a sure recipe for a wonderful stay. Jo is an inspirational teacher.”Jo’s course runs from Saturday 18 June to Saturday 25 June 2022.
Jo Parfitt - fully booked, waiting list open
18 – 25 June 2022
Write your life stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2022 Profile Page.
Why 31 is the extra mile in Italian
Pope Leo X by Raphael
In 1519, Pope Leo X was in the middle of announcing the list of names for his new College of 30 Cardinals (a large number for the period) when he realised that he had inadvertently left off one of his most talented and prestigious prelates. Undeterred (he was a Medici after all), he simply added the man’s name to the list, much to the consternation of the room.
He silenced their murmurings with a phrase: ‘Chi ha fatto trenta può fare trentuno’: Whoever has done 30 can do 31. After the Medici Pope had shown the Cardinals who was boss, his phrase slipped into the language as an expression for doing more than was necessary or expected. In other words ‘to go the extra mile.’ Why stop at 30 when you can do 31?
Picture: The Local
The guests on our latest Italian Language course certainly seem to think that we scored 31. One writes: “Thank you so much for such a fabulous holiday. The Watermill was lovely and you really made us feel us very welcome and well looked after. It was a home from home. I loved the very sociable aspect of the holiday as well as the excellent food and excursions. Francesca was a super teacher making the lessons fun. The week went too quickly!”
As ever, we are grateful to The Local, the online Italian newspaper in English, for pointing this in the direction of this intriguing phrase and story.
We still have a few places left on our Italian Language course next October and we’d love you to join us.
The Watermill has teamed up again with the wonderful Italian language tutor Francesca La Sala, to produce a week in which you can learn Italian in the most natural and enjoyable way. Your immersion into the language and culture of real Italians will be also be individually customised, to suit your curiosity and your interests, helping you to treasure everything you learn and make it a seamless part of who you are.
This exciting language course is suitable for all levels of ability. The philosophy and method are inspired by Professor Bertrand Schwartz of Paris University, who overturned the concept of teaching to adults, with a method that not only develops theoretical knowledge, but practical know-how as well.
The aim is to enhance the personal qualities of each student, tailoring the teaching to their needs and ambitions, establishing active and confident relationships, where the student is the true protagonist in the course.
learning the language
under the dappled sun
of the vine verandah
One previous course participant said: “A super language week: well organised, giving us a taste of the ‘real Italy'.’ Despite the disparity in ability our tutor managed to help all of us towards a better understanding and production of the Italian language. The lessons were fun, interactive and helped me enormously.”
Our 2022 Italian Language course
Francesca la Sala
15 - 22 October 2022
Learning Italian with the Italians
To learn more about Francesca and her
2022 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