The Watermill Announces 2020 Creative Holidays


Situated beside a river in the small village of Posara in Tuscany, The Watermill is a complex of beautifully-restored buildings originating in the 17th century, set around a sunny courtyard, with an adjoining vine-clad verandah, rose pergola and sun-filled walled garden – an inspiring location for its expert-led painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language holidays.

Throughout the week-long holidays, guests of The Watermill enjoy delicious traditional Italian cuisine (both home-cooked and at local restaurants), the generous hospitality of owners Bill and Lois Breckon and the chance to connect with like-minded individuals, while improving their skills in the beautiful gardens, well-equipped studio and at nearby villages and viewpoints.

Here is a full list of the courses taking place in 2020:

Drawing and watercolours en plein air with Carl March (18-25 April)
With a passion for drawing and design, painter and printmaker Carl March will demonstrate how to combine various drawing media with traditional watercolour painting processes, to create distinctively subtle works of art.

Watercolours with Grahame Booth (25 April-2 May)
Painting only in watercolours, Grahame Booth is an award-winning artist who shares tips and tutorials for aspiring artists with over 20,000 YouTube subscribers. Grahame will guide students as they capture the landscape with paintings full of light, excitement and impact.

Scriptwriting with Laurence Marks & Maurice Gran (2-9 May)
Comedy screenwriting duo Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran are renowned for their success with television programmes such as ‘Birds of a Feather’ and ‘Shine on Harvey Moon’. Guests will develop an original idea, from structure, plot and character to final script, through one-to-one tutorials, team writing sessions and the study of classic films and TV programmes.

Write your life stories with Jo Parfitt (9-16 May)
This course is the perfect first step for any writer hoping to develop the skills and confidence necessary to write an engaging memoir, exploring childhood, people, place and also writing with humour. Advice will be offered on producing publisher-friendly manuscripts for those hoping to sell their work.

Watercolours with Brienne M Brown (16-23 May)
Brienne M Brown’s style incorporates strong value sketches, bold washes and quick energetic strokes. During this workshop week, students will explore the process of watercolour painting on location, after mornings spent learning and practicing in the studio.

Knitting and La Bella Vita with Louisa Harding (23-30 May)
Celebrated cashmere knitter, designer and yarn producer Louisa Harding’s course will include a cashmere shawl project which draws inspiration from the Tuscan countryside, as well as a smaller project which focuses on beading with a crochet hook.

Watercolours with Sandra Strohschein (30 May-6 June & 6-13 June)
American watercolourist Sandra Strohschein is one of The Watermill’s longest serving and most celebrated tutors, popular for her unique teaching style, which involves demonstrating an entire painting from start to finish in under an hour, noting her thoughts on composition, light and colour.

Watercolours with Randy Hale (13-20 June)
Originally from Colorado, USA, Randy Hale has taught all over the world and enjoys travelling with fellow painters, helping them to create expressive works of art to enrich their experiences. Randy’s first course at The Watermill will provide hands-on tuition and one-to-one tutorials for aspiring watercolour artists.

Oils and watercolours (and other media) with Vicki Norman (20-27 June)
With a BA in Fine Art, Vicki Norman is an award-winning artist, inspired by using traditional techniques to create paintings of a modern world. Vicki’s course will consist of lively demonstrations and plenty of individual attention to enable students to express their vision.

Watercolours en plein air with Chris Hughes (27 June-4 July)
Watercolour, oil and ceramic artist Chris Hughes is inspired by nature, and many of his paintings depict landscapes or wildlife. Join Chris, who has been teaching for over 25 years, for a masterclass in painting the unspoilt countryside of Lunigiana which surrounds The Watermill.

Knitting retreat (4-11 July)
Following demand from guests of The Watermill, this new activity week offers knitters the chance to bring their own projects and enjoy the beautiful setting, delicious food and company of like-minded individuals without formal tuition. As there is no official tutor, this course is offered with a £200 pp discount.

Colourful acrylics, drawing, pen & wash with Mark Warner (11-18 July)
Artist and tutor Mark Warner believes in creating a relaxed and encouraging environment for his students to unleash their potential. Mark’s course will concentrate on numerous drawing and painting techniques, with an emphasis on colour, line and atmosphere.

Watercolours (and oils, pastels & acrylics) with Terry Jarvis (15-22 August)
Terry Jarvis is one of Australia’s exceptional watercolour artists, with a sincere passion for his craft demonstrated through paintings which depict his travels all over the world. Terry will offer expert and friendly guidance to Watermill guests, in a relaxed and positive environment.

Italian Language with Langues Services language school (22-29 August)
This immersive course, taught by the prestigious Langues Services language school, aims to equip students with practical know-how through real-life practice. The mixed-level Italian course encourages peer learning, and tutoring is tailored to the needs and ambitions of individuals.

Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics) with Mike Willdridge (29 August-5 September)
Mike Willdridge has experience working with a variety of painting and drawing media, usually opting for a quick, loose style which reflects his energetic and enthusiastic character. Mike’s course will explore how to gather speedy sketches, which can later be worked on in The Watermill’s studio.

Pastels and mixed media with Rebecca de Mendonça (5-12 September)
Working with soft pastels, pen and ink, Conté crayons and pastel pencils, Rebecca de Mendoça’s artwork aims to capture movement and atmosphere by focusing on the energy and life of her subjects. Rebecca will demonstrate how to vary materials to suit subject matter, both in the studio and en plein air. 

Courageous Colour Workshop in oils, acrylics, watercolours and pastels with Maggie Renner Hellmann (12-19 & 19-26 September)
Maggie Renner Hellmann is a contemporary Californian artist who combines a unique blend of loose, energetic brushwork with compositions of exuberant colour. Concentrating on the basics, each day will offer advice on overcoming specific obstacles faced by aspiring painters.

Pastels (and other portable media) en plein air with Mary Padgett (26 September-3 October)
Mary Padgett’s course will focus on observation using all the senses. Look, listen and smell the unique character of Tuscany to create drawings and paintings which reflect the experience, with one-to-one tutorials, technical insight and peer critique.

Colourful watercolours with Milind Mulick (3-10 October)
Milind Mulick has been painting for over 30 years, having first learnt from his father while growing up in India. Renowned for his atmospheric watercolours, Milind has won multiple awards and written books on the techniques of watercolour painting.

Watercolours with Tim Wilmot (10-17 October)
Specialising in vibrant watercolours, Tim Wilmot paints landscapes in a loose, impressionistic style. Tim’s course will offer plenty of time to ask questions during demonstrations, before students recreate what they’ve been shown with expert guidance on topics such as light and tone.


A Watermill all-inclusive creative week is priced from £1,725 pp (two sharing), and includes all tuition, full-board accommodation (with delicious home-cooked Italian cuisine and meals at local restaurants all within the price), drinks and aperitivi, transfers (to/from Pisa), local transport, course materials and a mid-week excursion to either Lucca or the Cinque Terre. Flights extra.

Non-participating partners are very welcome to attend and enjoy a discount of £250 per person. Bookings received before 31 December 2019 will qualify for the Early Bird Offer of £75 discount per person.

For more details, call The Watermill at Posara on (UK number) 020 7193 6246 or visit

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