Everything about Studio Faire facilitates creative expression and creative rest. My office space was comfortable, spacious, and private with a beautiful view of the garden to let in the light. It’s also (bonus!) close to the kitchen so you’re not far from a snack or hot cup of coffee. My bedroom was also spacious and comfortable, with shutters to keep out the heat and help me to rest properly. The garden is an absolute dream.
Julia and Colin have literally opened up their home to make space for people to be their best creative selves, and I felt completely at home. Because the house and garden are so spacious you have the opportunity to decide how much time you spend with the other residents, which means you can put your head down when you need to and socialize when you’re keen for a break. It’s ideal!
Nerac is a lovely town with a marvelous forest walk, some bakeries to die for, and plenty of things to keep you interested. I loved my time there and would love to return in the future.
I spent a fortnight at Studio Faire and enjoyed a great residency and a lot of laughs. Colin & Julia are fantastic hosts, friendly, funny, welcoming and always willing to provide information, advice and help with practical matters. The relaxed and supportive atmosphere put me quickly at ease and I was able to settle in to creative work immediately.
The house is dripping with character. Julia and Colin are slowly peeling back the layers of history and revealing and restoring the period features to provide a charming space to live and work.
Nérac itself is a great base – small and friendly but with loads of history and character. I loved the old architecture, narrow streets and faded facades and spent a lot of time walking, exploring and filming around the town. There is so much visual and aural richness right there on the doorstep. Studio Faire is a great location for a residency whether you are seeking inspiration and creative recharging or needing some time for quiet reflection and development.
I cannot say enough about my experience at Studio Faire. My week-long residency flew by, as the environment Colin and Julia created allowed for the most productive, fulfilling and focused screenwriting work I’ve done in quite some time. Leaving my little “writing cave” in New York City for the peacefulness of Nérac was inspiring, as my mental and physical space at Studio Faire freed my mind and I successfully pushed through major writing blocks I’ve been struggling with. In addition, Colin and Julia are lovely, and I enjoyed our dinners, conversations, and fun out and about in southwestern France. (And their dogs Becca and Dougie are the sweetest). I already miss my routine of going down to my studio and opening up the garden doors to fill my writing space with beautiful light, and the long runs I’d go on exploring the countryside in the early evening. I can’t wait to return to Studio Faire in the future. To all of my artist friends in the States, make the hop across the pond over to Nérac. And do the full month if you can. Studio Faire quickly felt like home away from home.
If you’re looking for a downtime retreat – somewhere to make new work (be it big and messy or desk confined), hatch a new project, finish a current one, or just need quiet and thinking time to prepare for the next one – I heartedly recommend Studio Faire in Nérac in the South of France. You’ll be warmly greeted by Julia, Colin and their two soft and lovely labs Becca & Dougie.
Studio Faire is at the edge of the lovely little town of Nérac surrounded by fields of sunflowers and medieval villages. Great amenities, great people, great wine!
Huge thanks to Julia and Colin for their wonderful hospitality and their creative support!
I stayed one week at Julia’s and Colin’s residency, Studio Faire, in the beautiful town Nérac. It was a really good time for me.
Since it was quite a short time I didn’t start anything big but I worked on some smaller projects like rearranging songs and I also worked on my postcard project i.e. I write short pieces for some musicians and I send them the piece on a postcard. I call those pieces Circles of Sounds. The piece I started to write in Nérac and I didn’t quite finish was for an Icelandic oboe player.
Other things I did was a lot of walking, jogging and enjoying the company of Julia and Colin. I want to thank them for their hospitality and help.
It was an absolute privilege to spend a week-long residency at Studio Faire with fantastic hosts Julia and Colin.
There is so much of pleasurable interest to see and do (the food!) in the delightful Nérac, its surroundings and nearby villages. There are lovely walks to be had in and around the town, fascinating pieces of architecture both on the grand and domestic scale, as well as some, unsurprisingly, fabulous eateries. But you could easily spend a day or two just relaxing in the gardens enjoying its peaceful atmosphere and exploring the orchard and its overgrown corners – broken by an arduous two minute hike to the boulangerie across the road (did I mention the food?).
Julia and Colin throw so much of the same hard working energy into creating a welcoming atmosphere as they do into their on-going renovations that I can only see Studio Faire going from strength to strength and I look forward to witnessing its development. I thoroughly recommend and I am grateful I have had the opportunity of the experience.
I would return to this oasis like a shot and would love to do so regularly, to get a shot of everything that this gorgeous part of France has to offer and to the relaxing surroundings that have been carefully created by Julia and Colin, so conducive to art-making and meaningful pause.
I stayed at Studio Faire for 4 weeks in May/June 2018 to create ‘collographic’ paintings and found the place, Julia and Colin delightful, relaxing and inspiring.
I was given a large bedroom and a huge studio space in which to work… [Colin and Julia] were very inclusive and inviting during my stay. I was lucky enough to get to know another ‘resident’ who was there from America, for the same period, to work on her choreography. We all had chats about different music, life etc. We shared a kitchen with little hassle and occasionally cooked meals for each other, such was the natural feel of the place…
… Both Julia and Colin were excellent at introducing me to people they knew when the opportunity arose and we had 40 people at our Meet the Artist session…
I loved being away from my usual environs with the purpose of enjoying myself in a creative frame of mind. Colin and Julia have made a fabulous residency space… I hope to return again and work, as well as catch up with the many delightful people I met there.
Julia and Colin are working hard to provide a flexible, relaxed and inspirational environment for artists of all disciplines to spend time experimenting and thinking. The house has a fantastic atmosphere with space and beautiful surrounding gardens. Very proud to have spent time there. Well done both!
Carlton Cuse writes: The creative process is not like a situation where you get struck by a single lightning bolt. You have ongoing discoveries, and there’s ongoing creative revelations. Yes, it’s really helpful to be marching toward a specific destination, but, along the way, you must allow yourself room for your ideas to blossom, take root, and grow.
Studio Faire was my garden for the early summer. The house is a sanctuary of peace and calm. The experience of having the quiet lovely town of Nerác unfold and the daily walks along the moss green river became the norm. The process of unwinding…literally unfurling the layers of daily life in the unfamiliar allows for ideas to enter. There is nothing else quite like it.
Colin and Julia are generous, humorous and kind. They did whatever they could to aid to the blossoming, rooting and growing. It goes far beyond providing a room to sleep and work in. The exchanging of ideas and personal histories, storytelling and music…we had it all. And I loved learning about the disparate lives of the other residents as they too made their own discoveries. One could be private in the studio working in one’s personal rhythm, yet there was also opportunity to chat and come to understand what it was to live and work in this very sweet part of the world.
It is opportunities like these, and the people who provide them, that we should be grateful for in the quest for creative revelations. And I very much am.
Studio Faire is very much part of the town and thanks to the wonderful reputation Julia and Colin are developing I was able to stage a public performance in the heart of Nérac, being given the ok from the Mayor himself! Staging this performance and seeing the two professional dancers respond to my work is truly one of the most exciting moments in my career.
The environment Julia and Colin (along with Becca and Dougie) have created at Studio Faire is quite special. I felt completely at ease as soon as I arrived, and it quickly became my home away from home. I look forward to returning, not only for this artist retreat which is second to none but to catch up with all the new friends I’ve made in Nérac, and in particular Julia and Colin!
It has been beyond beautiful to work at Studio Faire this month. It’s exceeded all of my wildest dreams. Like, truly. Any artist knows the best work comes from a centered soul – and that’s how I feel in more ways than one. No better way to cap off the residency than a photo shoot with Colin Usher. I am eternally, celestially, sincerely grateful.
Julia and Colin were very hospitable and fun to be around. Their home and their town are breathtaking and gave me everything I needed for inspiration, a quiet work space and social interaction. Colin was able to share his photography knowledge with me, catering to where I needed to grow. I would not hesitate to recommend staying at Studio Faire for an artist’s residency.
I’m extremely happy and grateful that I had the chance of creating and spending time in the beautiful Nérac and Studio Faire. For a young artist like me, it is one of the best experiences of my life and I hope to come back at some point. I want to thank Colin and Julia for their kindness and hospitality and congratulate on building such a wonderful place and opportunity for artists.
My residency at Studio Faire was a great experience in a great part of France. Julia and Colin have created a lovely atmosphere in which I found it possible to be creatively productive and also enjoy the different rhythm of life in that part of the world. I enjoyed the room my wife and I stayed in, the room I was working in, and the lovely garden in which I also worked. One week was not long enough to do as much as I would have liked, but in that week I did achieve quite a lot for which I’m grateful.
I’d certainly recommend Studio Faire and Julia and Colin as friendly, interested and supportive hosts.
My short but life changing two weeks was, in every possible way, a dive to permeate myself with care and gentle intentions. Julia and Colin are two of the best people I’ve ever met and they have created an incredible space for transformation, growth, and creation. Nérac is the most perfect town for such a place to reside and the house and studio have an energy about them that invites you to be a part of their stillness in order to hear and understand your own vision. There’s a freedom to listen to what your spirit needs, even if it was unconventional. I would wake up late and stay in the studio until deep into the night and next morning. Breaks from working involved drives out to vineyards or nearby towns, long walks in the beautiful park along the river and through Nérac, meals with Julia and Colin and their friends, or indulging in the incredible local cuisine solo.
Part of myself will forever remain in that studio where my heart and soul were filled with so much joy. I hope to return one day, if only for a moment, and gaze through those windows to reminisce of a time where my creativity soared and I discovered a little bit more of myself.
Jusqu’à la prochaine fois.
Thanks for having us and for all your help and support! It’s been such fun and great to kick start the project too. The web pics and support with the website was invaluable! It’s been so great to get to know you both – you’re both absolute legends… Going to miss you all and the lovely dogs too! Thanks again.
What a joyous week it has been.
Time to decompress, to reflect & reenergize.
Finding the light from another sun, another sky, rethinking & reflecting at Studio Faire was exactly what I was needing. The quiet courtyard, the rustle of the leaves, the hooping hoop birds, Eurasian Jays, red squirrels and the resident canine friends: Dougie & Becca, brought other parts of life into the thinking space.
With Julia & Colin as consummate hosts, we were peaked through, sampled and glimpsed treasures of the region, which made us wish we could stay longer, and determined to revisit and try further exploration at another time.
A week was definitely too short for such a glorious opportunity.
Thank you so much for such a wonderful, calm & fun time – in a place from the past that provides presence and space for people to create.
All detail & imagery are © 2019 Studio Faire, Colin Usher & Julia Douglas