The charming little watercolour above, sent to me by Watermill painting tutor Randy Hale, brought back memories of the peaceful Thursdays when our painting (and knitting, writing and Italian language) location is a peaceful 16th Century monastery called Il Convento del Carmine, a little beyond and above the nearby town of Fivizzano, with views over the town and the surrounding hills.
The convent (thatâ€™s what they call it, although the inmates were monks, not nuns) is of the Carmelite order and dates back to 1568. The Renaissance-style building has cloisters with sandstone columns and lunettes decorated with murals. The convent, forcibly closed down in the 18th century, is now a setting for romantic weddings â€“ and our Watermill guests enjoy the exclusive use on Thursdays, together with a delicious picnic lunch.
Hardly surprisingly, the peaceful setting has inspired both tutors and guests alike and I thought today Iâ€™d share with you some of the paintings they have made there. Here, for example, is a quick atmospheric sketch of a corner one of the cloisters by Mike Willdridge:
And Varvara Neiman captured the almost surreal atmosphere.
Tim Wilmot concentrated on the beauty of the exterior:
We still have spaces on our 2022 creative courses (see below for details and links) if you, too, would like to be inspired by this unspoiled corner of rural Tuscany. You can find out more about each of the tutors by clicking on their Profile page link in their entries below.
Paul Talbot-Greaves â€“ two or three places left
20 â€“ 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 MendonÃ§a â€“ three or four places left
27 August â€“ 3 September 2022
To learn more about Rebecca and her course at the mill, please visit her 2022 Profile Page.
Mike Willdridge (1) â€“ fully booked, waiting list open
3 â€“ 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.
Varvara Neiman â€“ still a few places
10 â€“ 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.
Mike WilldridgeÂ (2)Â â€“Â a few places available
17 â€“ 24 September 2022
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit hisÂ 2022 Profile Page.
Cynthia Armstrong â€“ One or two places left
24 September â€“ 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 â€“ one or two places left
1 â€“ 8 October 2022
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2022 Profile Page.
Grahame Booth â€“ one place available
8 â€“ 15 October 2022
To learn more about Grahame and his course at the mill, please visit his 2022 Profile Page.
Our unique Italian Language course:
Giulia Balestri â€“ still one or two places
15 â€“ 22 October 2022
Learning Italian with the Italians
To learn more about Giulia and her
2022 course at the mill, please click here.