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A preview of our 2021 creative courses.

Your hosts at the watermill, Italy

We will not be publishing full details of our 2021 courses on our Watermill website until September 2020. For more information, please select from the menu below, the Holiday preview that interests you and then choose the Tutor/Date that suits you best. It's never too early to book a visit to the Watermill, After the terrible year of 2020, you deserve an inspiring creative treat at the Watermill. We would love you to join us in 2021.

Your hosts at the wtaermill in Tuscany

Lois and Bill Breckon

 

Keiko Tanabe

Keiko Tanabe

Watercolours

Keiko Tanabe was born in Kyoto, Japan but now lives in San Diego, California. Her paintings show stories of everyday life in different corners of the world. Keiko is a much sought-after instructor and has led many international workshops. She says: “Watercolour painting is a vehicle to communicate my artistic vision on the joy of living and the ingenuity of human creations.”

Some comments from previous guests: “Keiko was so warm and friendly, so enthusiastic and truly inspirational.” “A wonderful week at the Watermill—it was way and beyond any of my expectations! Caring and warm hosts added to the enjoyment and inspiration of having Keiko as our tutor -- and the gourmet food was not something I had expected, nor was the beauty of the rooms, villa and rose blooming gardens!! I am taking away many happy memories indeed”!

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Tony White

Tony White

‘Simple, Strong and Striking Watercolours’

Tony White is a watercolour artist from Newcastle, Australia, who specialises in landscape painting in a traditional impressionistic style, with a strong emphasis on light and atmosphere. He says: "I am inspired by light. Even in the most innocuous of scenes, if the light is dramatic and the mood is misty, sharp or rainy, then I'm in!”. Tony says: “We’ll be producing simple, strong and striking scenes, featuring the surrounding landscape. As well as en plein air painting at lovely locations there’ll be pre-prepared exercises in the bright and airy Watermill studio.”

Here’s a comment from a student on one of Tony’s previous courses: “Best workshop I’ve ever done! Loads of painting and laughs, I learnt so much.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2020 course at 2019 prices

 

Carl March

Carl March

Drawing and watercolours en plein air

Carl March, an English painter and printmaker, has studied in Milan and lived in Dubai: a truly international artist! Drawing and design are his passions and he likes to experiment with various drawing mediums, combining them with traditional watercolour painting processes to create distinctively subtle works. His course at the Watermill will concentrate on drawing and watercolours en plein air. Carl says: “I enjoy working with different media and particularly enjoy sharing my knowledge with others.”

As one of his students says: “Carl has a gentle but effective way of teaching and we have learnt a lot from him. Most importantly, however, under his guidance the class becomes a very sociable and happy group. Quite simply, his classes are not only well planned and informative but also great fun.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Grahame Booth

Grahame Booth

Watercolours

Grahame Booth paints only in watercolour and his success is reflected in the numerous awards he has won over many years. Also, his YouTube channel now has more than 20,000 subscribers. Grahame only started to paint in his early 30s, some 30 years ago, and, because he clearly remembers the problems and frustrations of learning to master watercolours, he is a particularly sympathetic tutor.

Grahame believes that plein air painting is the key to success in this beautiful medium and he will show how to use a logical approach to translate the landscape into watercolours full of light, excitement and impact. One previous student said: “Grahame can both paint and teach. He can manage a group of all levels and everyone learns and improves. Most importantly it’s always fun.” Another said: “Grahame is inspirational. No matter what skill level you have he can give you the confidence and encouragement to put paint to paper in a way which makes learning and improving a very enjoyable experience.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Sandra Strohschein

Sandra Strohschein

Watercolours

Sandra Strohschein from Michigan, USA, has achieved an extraordinary mastery of her medium, transparent watercolours. She works in a fast, loose impressionistic style, but above all, she produces passionate, emotionally charged paintings, full of energy. As for her teaching, Sandra says: "What I hear over and over again is how much fun people have in my workshops and how nobody ever wants them to end. I think that is a great thing… to leave people wanting more."

A previous guest said: “It was although everything was magically suspended for a week and all I had to do was to show up for one delightful painting session after another with Sandra.” Another said: “Sandy was a fantastic tutor and the food, the wine, the organisation, the host and hostess and all the staff were superb.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Paul Talbot-Greaves

Paul Talbot-Greaves

Watercolours

Paul Talbot-Greaves is a professional English painter who works primarily in watercolour. He says: “I seek out compositions employing patterns of light, shade and contrast and I aim to achieve vibrancy in the colours that I use.” As well as receiving many accolades for his work, Paul is also an inspiring and sympathetic tutor. He says: “I get an enormous amount of pleasure seeing people improve and enjoy their own work.”

As one of his students said: “You are immaculately prepared, but more than this you understand intuitively how people learn. All this added to the fact that you are an amazing artist makes you an inspirational teacher.” And here’s a comment from a guest on Paul’s recent course at the Watermill: “The combination of the place, the excellent art course with Paul Talbot-Greaves and the care from you and your staff made a really lovely experience.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Ted Dansey

Ted Dansey

Watercolours and drawing

Ted Dansey, from Melbourne in Australia, has been painting in watercolours for more than 30 years. He believes a painting should be honest and reflect our personality.

He says: “My course at the Watermill will look at the importance of the sketchbook and in planning your work. You will learn to break down complex subjects, simplifying and eliminating the unnecessary. You’ll learn to ‘see’ the image and paint the feeling, while keeping it simple.”

One of Ted’s previous students says: “Ted is a very good teacher, so encouraging, so skilful, so helpful and extraordinarily patient. And when he demonstrates it’s like watching magic!”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Vicki Norman

Vicki Norman

Oils and watercolours (and other mediums)

English painting tutor Vicki Norman specialises in painting on location. Her paintings seek to capture the essence of the day and the sense of place through the colour and play of the light. Vicki will teach primarily in oils and watercolours, but is happy to help with other mediums, too.

She has been teaching professionally for more than 15 years and offers plenty of help and individual attention. Here’s a comment from a guest on one of Vicki’s previous weeks here: “An excellent painting and holiday week. All the trips out to painting locations were well organised and Vicki was very good as a teacher and an inspiration due to her wonderful paintings.” And another student says: “Vicki’s enthusiasm is infectious! I learned a great deal about many aspects of painting, design, composition, colour values and a whole lot more besides.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Sue Ford

Sue Ford

Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic

Sue Ford was born in York in England and has experimented with almost every conceivable media in her career. She says: “I just love creating pictures in any medium – and I love passing on what I’ve learned to other people and to help them release their creativity.”

She adds: “Each student will be guided carefully throughout the day, from initial demonstration to ‘getting started’, followed by patient, professional tuition. I want to help my students to create paintings which will give them the confidence in their abilities and help them to develop their own artistic vision.”

One of our guests on Sue’s previous painting course at the mill said: “I had a wonderful time. Everything was superb – the accommodation, the trips out and the food! Utterly wonderful. It was an experience that I will treasure. Sue Ford is an exceptional tutor with a lovely manner and treats all with respect and kindness.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Caroline Deeble

Caroline Deeble

Watercolours

Caroline Deeble is a passionate artist from Canberra, Australia, who uses her art to share her love of the natural world. She likes to explore using layers of colour and shadows, to capture the essence of the landscape. She is often known as the ‘rock painter’ for her particular interest in them. Caroline is also an experienced teacher who encourages her students to explore their passions, as well as learning technical skills.

As one of her students says: “It is such an artistic adventure to have Caroline teach you. Fantastic watercolour classes, fun, creative, enriching your soul.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Randy Hale

Randy Hale

Watercolours

Randy Hale is an exciting watercolour painter from Colorado in United States. As well as his workshops in the USA, he has taken painting groups all over the world. After a successful business career, he returned to his first love, watercolour painting.

But his true passion has proved to be in sharing his knowledge as a teacher and workshop instructor. Randy says: “My courses offer students a chance to enjoy the excitement of travel with fellow painters, discovering exotic locations and capturing expressive paintings that enrich their travel experience.”

Randy’s students are full of praise for his teaching. One said: “Randy knows his stuff and he knows how to teach! The best watercolor instructor I have ever had!” Another said: “He’s an excellent artist and instructor, offering clear and positive help.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Jude Scott

Jude Scott

Watercolours (& acrylics and oils

Jude Scott is an artist from Western Australia who has been creating, painting and teaching for many years. She loves watercolours for “their immediacy, unpredictability, translucency, dazzling colours and powerful tones” but she also paints in acrylics and oils. She says: I love a new challenge and paint all subjects - faces, florals, boats and landscapes.”

As for teaching, Jude says: “I love sharing what I have learnt over many years of painting and it is always a thrill watching ‘the artist within’ emerge from each individual student.”

One of her previous students says: “Jude was truly amazing, great tempo, strong knowledge base, strong interpersonal skills, just the right mix of doing and listening.” A comment from a guest on Jude’s previous week at the Watermill: “Very many thanks for such a wonderful week. I trust your gorgeous corner of Tuscany continues to thrive with all the warmth and creativity...such a charming and memorable week.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Mike Willdridge

Mike Willdridge

Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

Mike Willdridge works in a wide range of media and is an enthusiastic and energetic tutor, often encouraging his students to be bold and to take chances. His classes are always light-hearted and fun. Mike will concentrate on watercolours, but is also happy to help with gouache and acrylics too.

Mike is particularly keen on all forms of drawing as a way of recording and responding to everyday events. He constantly uses a sketchbook and will encourage you to do the same, gathering speedy impressions and building up a visual record of your time at the watermill and among the mountains, castles, walled towns and hilltop villages of this unspoiled region of Tuscany.

A comment on Mike’s tuition from a previous guest: “Mike Willdridge is a most inspiring tutor whose energy and enthusiasm encourages students to develop both their visual awareness and confidence. His patience and good humour create an enjoyable atmosphere in which students thrive.”

And the ambiance? One guest said: “A wonderful holiday. You were such generous and friendly hosts.” Another said: “The food was exceptional and the mill itself is great, in such a beautiful setting. A truly wonderful week.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Varvara Neiman

Varvara Neiman

Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolour

Varvara Neiman, who now lives in Buckinghamshire, England, was born into an artistic family in St. Petersburg, Russia, where art and teaching were professions passed on from generation to generation. Her work combines classical discipline with a modern imagination. She is enthusiastic about painting en plein air and passionate about Cezanne's famous quote: "Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one's sensation.”

Varvara has been a popular and inspiring teacher for many years. She is skilled in oils, acrylics and watercolours and will teach in any of those mediums. (Water-based oils for easier transportation.)

As a guest on her previous course at the Watermill said: “I have achieved my dream of painting in Tuscany and it was everything I hoped for and much more. The locations have been stunning, the attention to detail in all aspects of the holiday have been incredible, including amazingly supportive and considerate staff, the beautiful setting of The Watermill, the attentive tutor and even the food has been ‘Art on a plate’!”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Brienne M Brown

Brienne M Brown

Watercolours

Brienne M Brown, from Pennsylvania in the USA, is passionate about watercolour and plein air painting. She says: “I find beauty in everyday life. Each painting reminds me of where I was, the experiences I had, the sounds, smells, and the people I met … and I enjoy sharing how I see the world.” Brienne adds: “Painting in Italy is just a dream come true.”

During this workshop, she will demonstrate and explain her painting process for plein air painting, sharing some great exercises and practices that will help you become a better artist. Using strong value sketches, bold washes, and quick energetic strokes, Brienne will show you how to bring excitement into your paintings. No experience in watercolour painting is necessary, but some drawing experience is recommended.

Here’s a comment from a previous student: “Brienne goes through each step guiding you through the process clearly while demonstrating her techniques and approach. I would highly recommend her workshop to ANYONE, be it a beginner or an advanced painter.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Charles Sluga

Charles Sluga

Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

Charles Sluga is a highly respected and sought-after watercolour artist in Australia, who has gained a reputation for his versatility in both his technique and choice of subject matter. He has helped elevate the status of watercolour as a major contemporary medium.

Charles is also skilled in acrylics and oils and is happy to teach in those media, too. He not only teaches technique, but also how to think and see as an artist, which he considers just as important. His friendliness, sense of humour and willingness to impart his knowledge makes his classes relaxed, informal and inspiring.

Here’s what some previous students at the Watermill had to say: “as well as being a talented artist, Charles is an extremely capable and professional teacher: we all benefited from his instruction and guidance during the week.” Another said: “The most relaxing holiday I have had for a long time: lovely accommodation and exceptional food.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Tim Wilmot

Tim Wilmot

Watercolours

Tim Wilmot is an artist from Bristol in the UK, specialising in watercolours, exploiting the medium with tone and light. He says: “I prefer a loose or impressionistic style when I paint my watercolour landscapes, and I hope you like their informality.”

As well as an exciting artist, Tim is also an inspiring teacher and on his course, suitable for all levels, he’ll help you to improve your drawing skills, loosen up your style, learn how to incorporate figures in a landscape as well as nurturing you own artistic ambitions. As one student of Tim’s says: “I can’t help being inspired by the careful and wonderfully measured strokes of a genius"

And here’s a comment from a student on Tim’s course here last year: “Thank you for making my visit to Italy so enjoyable. Everything was perfect, your welcome, the luxurious accommodation, and the food, which was always delicious. Tim’s tuition was first class and it was lovely to be able to sit and paint all day.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Ali Hargreaves

Ali Hargreaves

Watercolours and mixed media

Ali Hargreaves, from Poynton in the county of Cheshire in England, started her working life as a primary school teacher, but after 20 happy years, she changed direction and followed her passion for art. Ali enjoys painting a wide range of subjects and in a range of different media. Her favourite technique is ‘mixed media’, using watercolour as a base and adding all sorts, such as collage, pastel, pen, acrylic and print.

As well as being a great artist, Ali is also an enthusiastic teacher, running classes and workshops that are fun, vibrant and informative.

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Norah Gaughan

Norah Gaughan

Knitting and La Bella Vita

Norah Gaughan is an independent knitting designer working out of her studio in historic Harrisville, New Hampshire, USA. She has spent her life immersed in knitting, including stints as design director at JCA and Berroco. She says: “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. After I’ve explained the basics, students dig in and start knitting. I'll give pertinent information as we go along, and questions will spur on more advice. My goal is to have the class be fun and interesting.” Norah will bring two special projects for her week, based on her new book, Twisted Stitches, which will be out in 2021.

And as ever, your knitting week at the Watermill will combine expert tuition, like-minded company, wonderful food and the delightful ambience of the Watermill, it's gardens and riverside walks, and outings into the surrounding unspoiled Tuscan countryside of Lunigiana. As one guest said: “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. Your every need is catered for: good food and drink, and visits to local places of interest, including a convent, village market and a mountain-top restaurant.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Debie Abrahams

Debbie Abrahams

Knitting and La Bella Vita

Debbie Abrahams has been designing and teaching handknitted textiles for more than 20 years and is a specialist in the field of colour work and beading. Throughout her entire career she has worked alongside renowned handknit company Rowan Yarns, both as a Designer and a Design Consultant for the brand. She has tutored workshops across the UK, Europe and USA.

Debbie is best known for her Mystery Blanket and Cushion Clubs which have been become a global success with more than 1,000 knitters from all over the world signed up to her annual projects. "Blanket squares are the perfect vehicle for my designing, giving me the freedom to explore colour, texture and embellishment within a set number of stitches and rows for each block – it’s just pure adventure!"

A comment from a guest on Debbie’s previous course here: “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. Your every need is catered for. During the week you are plied with an abundance of good food, and drink, and there are visits most days to local places of interest. This is a beautiful area of Italy and much recommended”.

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Louisa Harding

Louisa Harding

Knitting and La Bella Vita

Louisa Harding is a celebrated knitter, designer and yarn producer. She worked for many years as an ‘in-house’ designer for Rowan Yarns. Louisa has recently 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. Among the projects for her week here is a cashmere shawl where you can draw on designs in the Tuscan countryside and incorporate them in your knitting.

And as ever, your knitting week at the Watermill will combine expert tuition, like-minded company, wonderful food and the delightful ambience of the Watermill, it's gardens and riverside walks, and outings into the surrounding unspoiled Tuscan countryside of Lunigiana. As one guest said: “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: good food and drink, and visits to local places of interest, including a convent, village market and a mountain-top restaurant.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Knitting Retreat

Knitting retreat

Knitting and La Bella Vita

Many of our knitting guests at the Watermill have asked is whether it would be possible to run a knitting retreat here, in which there would be no tutor, but rather individual knitters would bring their own projects and enjoy convivial like-minded company in the peaceful ambience of the Watermill, as well as our usual offering of wonderful food and outings into the surrounding unspoiled Tuscan countryside of Lunigiana. So, by popular demand, we are doing just that. A number of people have already put their names down, so if you're keen please let us know as soon as you can. Since there is no official tutor, we are offering a special blanket discount of £200 per person.

Our knitting holidays fill very quickly so, if you are interested in joining us, please do let us know as soon as possible.

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Francesca La Sala

Francesca La Sala

Italian Language

This exciting language course is suitable for all levels of ability, because of the special approach our tutor Francesca la Sala has developed based on the philosophy and method of Professor Bertrand Schwartz of Paris University, the educationalist who overturned the concept of teaching to adults, proposing an approach that develops not only theoretical knowledge but practical know-how as well. Francesca La Sala has run a number of successful language courses here and loves meeting people of all ages and cultures. She is also a nature lover and a cognoscente of Lunigiana, the land of her ancestors surrounding the Watermill.

Some comments from previous guests: “I can honestly say it was the nicest week I have had for a long time. Although I was the least proficient in the group, Francesca was charming and very patient.”

“I have come back feeling quite rested and relaxed. Francesca was great fun and has inspired me to further my interest in the Italian language. It is a beautiful place and I really enjoyed the wonderful food. The trips for me were particularly enjoyable. Perhaps a little more time for shopping next time!”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices

 

Jo Parfitt

Jo Parfitt

Write the stories of your life

Jo, a highly experienced writer and teacher, will give you the tools to write the stories of your life in a vivid and engaging way. She'll explain how to find your writer’s ‘voice’, about writing in themes; developing your characters so your readers can 'meet' them, too; and how to let your writing flow, particularly when looking back and writing about things that may have happened a long time ago. Among other things, you'll discover the secret of SPICE, the seven steps to writing life stories and put this into practice right away. There'll also be lots of time for writing exercises and feedback.

A comment from a guest on Jo’s previous course here: “It was just wonderful. The setting magnificent, food sublime, and our hosts charming. The attention to detail and beauty are a sure recipe for a wonderful stay. This week has been an absolute delight. Your hospitality has known no bounds, and Jo has been an inspirational teacher. I am heading home with a head full of writerly plans.”

 

*Book now to come on this 2021 course at 2020 prices