It’s been freezing in Northern Europe for the past few days, although it’s not so cold in Posara, where we have been monitoring progress on the building of a new laundry room, or Florence, where we have been cosy in our apartment — and it’s certainly not been as cold here in Italy as Scotland, where we used to live. The chilly UK weather forecast on the BBC made us shiver in sympathy.
The cold snap got me thinking about one of my favourite paintings in The National Gallery of Scotland, in Edinburgh, the elegant ice skater above, Henry Raeburn’s Minister Skating.
The cold weather also prompted Magda Michalska, from the online art magazine, dailyart.com, to write an article about ice-skating in art and she chose that painting as one of her illustrations.
She says: “This fun and extraordinarily unusual portrait shows a priest who is thought to be the Reverend Robert Walker, minister of the Canongate Kirk and a member of the Edinburgh Skating Society. This was the oldest such a club in Britain and its members usually met on the frozen waters of Duddingston or Lochend on the outskirts of Edinburgh to show off their skills and to play. Although the minister looks very relaxed as if his pose was effortless, it would have been recognized by others as a sophisticated one.”
He also looks like he is having fun, which is not always the case with Church of Scotland ministers! You can have fun, too, reading Magda’s article, by clicking here.
There’s even more artistic fun to be had on our world-renowned painting courses. You won’t be cold, but you will be Cool and Green at the Watermill: all our bedrooms and public rooms are air-conditioned, powered by our hidden array of photovoltaic cells, which make us self-sufficient in electricity. We’ve already saved more than 35 tons of carbon emissions from conventional power stations. Not only that, we’ve set up toa scheme to remove this year from the most polluted parts of our oceans plastic waste equivalent to some 40,000 plastic bottles. This means our creative course guests will be ‘plastic neutral’ during their stay with us. You can learn all about it by clicking here.
‘Save the planet’ and enjoy inspirational teaching, warm hospitality, delicious food and wine, spectacular locations and, of course, the convivial company of like-minded people.
Below are the courses on which at the moment we still have availability. Other courses are fully booked, although there may be cancellations and if you would like to come on one of these, we will put on a waiting list. You can see the whole list by clicking here.
Maggie Renner Hellmann
24 June – 1 July 2023 – one place available
Oil, watercolour (acrylic, pastel)
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2023 Tutor Profile Page.
1 – 8 July 2023 – still places
Painting en plein air (oil, acrylic, watercolour, pastel)
To learn more about Fiona and her course at the mill, please visit her 2023 Tutor Profile Page.
8 – 15 July 2023 – still places
To learn more about Belinda and her course at the mill, please visit her 2023 Tutor Profile Page.
26 August – 2 September 2023 – still places
Pastels (and other portable media) en plein air
To learn more about Mary and her course at the mill, please visit her 2023 Tutor Profile Page.
.Our wonderful knitting weeks:
29 April – 6 May 2023 – Still places
6 – 13 May 2023 – one place available
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about Georgia and her course at the mill, please visit our 2023 Tutor Profile Page.
Watermill Knitting Retreat
15 – 22 July 2023 – two or three places left
Knitting and La Bella Vita
To learn more about the Watermill Knitting Retreat at the mill, please visit our 2023 Retreat Page.
Our unique Italian course:
14 – 21 October 2023 — still places
Learning Italian with the Italians
To learn more about Giulia and her 2023 course at the mill, please click here.