Watermill painting tutor Vicki Norman


Vicki Norman

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Painting by watermill tutor Vicki Norman

Lazy Afternoon

Oil on linen 10” x 12”

After several busy days inland near Fivizzano, I took a trip down to the beautiful town of Lerici. I spent a wonderful, lazy afternoon painting people on the beach, as the sun dropped over the Gulf of Poets, the sparkle on the sea backlit the figures of a family on the sand. I wanted to capture the relaxed atmosphere at the end of a warm afternoon at the beach. I kept the figures simple and focused on the light, and those lovely Tuscan colours.

Painting by Vicki Norman a tutor at the watermill in Italy

Massa Sunset

Oil on linen 10 x 12” 2015

Looking south from the coast below Fivizzano, it is possible to see the marble docks at Massa, this is where they took Michaelangelo’s marble from the mountains and prepared it for transport. What an amazing place! And it’s still working now! I liked the sense of history and the colours of the industrial machinery against the sky at sunset was irresistible. The soft colours blended in the sky and I found repeating spots of orange and red along the beach that allowed me to play with mark making and small accents of colour. I’m very fond of this painting, it sums up so many things I love about Tuscany!

Painting tutor at the watermill in Italy Vicki Norman

Marinella Evening

Oil on linen 7 x 12” 2015

After a rainy afternoon, the late sunshine lit up the mist from the sea as it blew across the road behind the pine trees, it seemed to glow. I decided to try to paint the light behind those beautiful trees, the trees seemed to dance, and they’re so typical of that coastline in Northern Tuscany, I loved the way they shifted from dark green through to red too. I made this little oil painting quickly by the side of the road. Whilst I painted, an old man stopped his car and came to say hello; something else so typical of the region, the friendly people.

Painting tutor Vicki Norman at the watermill in Italy

Bastia colour study

Oil on linen 10 x 12” 2015

I got up very early one morning to make a study of the colours as I looked across the valley towards the village of Bastia. The painting was made close to Fivizzano and the mountains behind are the Alpi Apuane. I wanted to record the colours of the hills as they receded. The bright yellow of the ginestra at the front contrasted so beautifully with the lilac of the marble-capped mountains behind. I knew if I could capture the colours of the moment, I could use them for subsequent studio paintings at home.

For me, this painting is a happy memento of a beautiful sunny morning high on a hilltop with the smell of wildflowers and the morning sun on my back – heaven.

Course dates

Course Completed


Oils and watercolours (and other mediums)

Based in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, Vicki Norman received her BA in Fine Art in 2000 and later studied for a teaching certificate, specialising in post-16 education. In recent years she has studied with master painters from Italy and the USA, searching all the time for the traditional skills and methods which can be applied to paintings of a modern world.

Vicki’s paintings are usually a response to the light in her subject. She travels worldwide creating studies that seek to capture the essence of the day and the sense of place through the colour and play of the light. Vicki’s paintings have won awards in the UK and Ireland, where she is a regular contributor to en plein air events and competitions.

A popular tutor and demonstrator in all media, Vicki gives workshops and classes on various aspects of drawing and painting. She’s been teaching professionally for more than 20 years and offers plenty of help and individual attention. Specialising in painting on location, Vicki is an ideal leader for a painting holiday.

To view more of Vicki’s work please visit www.vickinormanstudio.com

Vicki’s course at the Watermill

Where better to develop your en plein air painting skills than in this idyllic location? This holiday will focus on giving you the confidence to approach painting outdoors, with a set of key principles to help you.

Vicki offers a relaxed, supportive approach for painters in all media, combining her knowledge of traditional painting and drawing disciplines with an ability to tailor her tuition to suit the needs of each individual.

Through lively demonstrations and constructive guidance Vicki will help you to master the key principles of design, colour and technique in your chosen medium. She will offer advice on how to choose your subject, make sketches and plan a successful painting that will express your own vision of the beautiful local scenery.


Some comments from students on Vicki’s courses:

Excellent tutor – fantastic teaching skills and a wealth of experience and knowledge. Plenty of food for thought and helpful handouts. A warm, friendly relaxed atmosphere. Thank you. AD

Vicki was great with interesting ideas and input; her enthusiasm is infectious! I learned a great deal about many aspects of painting, design, composition, colour values and a whole lot more besides. Vicki Norman is enthusiastic, helpful, attentive and instructive. AK

Inspiring and enthusiastic tutor with a new approach PB

I am fortunate enough to attend Vicki’s classes and these opportunities to study intensively with her in such a beautiful setting are precious to me. I feel extraordinarily blessed to have found such a teacher. This artist’s star is in the ascendant, catch her while you can! EG

Some teach well and some paint well but very few can do both at once. Vicki has a way of explaining complex ideas that makes them simple enough for a beginner to grasp easily, yet she can stretch the advanced painters in the group too. JH