They say memories come back to us in a coalition of scattered bits and pieces, like rubbed off soap flakes or melting iceberg caps. Memories are the debris of past experiences that streak and doodle our minds in sporadic and uninvited flashes, they swirl and bounce and hiss by imperceptibly with the ripples and whirlpools of time. Some return to us with lesser injuries, but most of them are marred and maimed by the ferocious lapping of the all-consuming ocean of our subconscious, where they float calmly amid forgetfulness and orbs of electric darkness.

I believe, however, that there are full-blooded memories so wholeheartedly fleshed-out, engorged, fed, carved, into our brainpans by the onset of the experiences they stemmed from, that they fasten themselves to unknown compartments of our hearts, where they throb to the rhythm of their own pulsations and refuse to be flung into the diaspora of oblivion.

My experience at Studio Faire pulses and resides at the tip of my heart, my memories of that enchanted place dwell in a warm region peopled by all the other chronicles and occurrences that have nourished and given nutriment to my passion for the craft of writing.

A chart of pink-hued mornings and orange-streaked afternoons sustained me for four weeks. The pomegranate bleeding color of the setting sun splashing against the granulated window panes of my personal studio remains etched in glittering patterns on the walls of my eyeballs. You couldn’t get more inspiration even if you sold your soul to the devil. The burning windows at dawn, the morning runs along the banks of a river of jade, the serene whispering of the wind tickling your earlobes in the middle of the afternoon when I strolled through the gardens, the tiptoeing moonlight that made my breastplate creak, and the blinking, acid stars winking at me when I sat down to stare at the bruised sky before going to bed, my limbs peppered with the appeasing certainty that in this world, in this chunk of terrestrial wonder with its own axis, existed no hurried pressure, no devouring ordinariness, only art and determination, all of it kindled my brain ablaze, transfigured it into a radiant spot where cells and dark matter and imagination collided and a gush of words churned and materialized in shapes and colors and smells I never thought myself capable of conjuring.

I pierced through the veil of uncharted dimensions while working at Studio Faire. I accomplished feats and smashed down barricades that for years had vexed and shunned and pilfered my self-confidence as a writer. For the first time in a long while, I was being given the right space, regaled with the appropriate atmosphere, overindulged with the encouragement of peers and artists, to look into myself, and watch the waters of my soul swell and ebb.

Studio Faire not only changed me, it transformed me. Julia and Colin have established a sanctuary, a wondrous village within a village where judgement is the only foreign word, and everything is connected by the same ligature of love, and urge for creation. Miguel Guerrero Becerra


Studio Faire fulfilled all of my expectations and more. My stay was an unforgettable experience, one that will be held close to my heart.

Julia and Colin provided a peaceful space for me to think and create. You can’t help but feel inspired by picturesque Nérac and their grand home, full of history and quirk. It’s exactly as the pictures suggest – idyllic, comfortable and stunning. Snippets of Studio Faire will seep into my work for a long time to come.

I was able to achieve all of my goals. For someone who works with clay, the residency was the perfect opportunity for project development, research, writing and website updating. I even took personally tailored photography lessons with Colin.

To top it all off, I met and worked amongst a talented, friendly line-up of artists. If Studio Faire is this great already, with Julia and Colin’s passion, dedication and continued renovations, it’s set to be one of the greats. Apply now before there’s a waiting list a mile long! Peta Berghofer

Ceramic Artist

My summer at Studio Faire in Nérac was a dream come true. From the moment I saw a photo of the room that would be my living/writing space for 4 weeks, possibilities opened in my mind for new pathways as a writer and translator.

Quiet, early mornings making coffee in the beautiful, historic house; walks through town, with the heavenly smell of fresh baguettes and croissants wafting down the street from the boulangerie; reading, writing, laughing, and talking about life and art with Julia and Colin and the other residents in the garden over wine and camembert; taking personalized French lessons that played a critical role in the development of my book and my practice as a translator; having the extended time to get to know the people and places in the town and fully immerse myself in the language, culture, and lifestyle of southwest France; the food, the markets, the views, the sights, and the friendships I’m lucky to take with me beyond Studio Faire — all of it was such a gift for my writing and my life.

I will never forget my time at Studio Faire because it is embedded in my book. In fact, I would not have written this book in the way I wanted to without my time at Studio Faire. There is a magical thing happening there, created by Julia and Colin’s immense generosity, their infectious spirit of adventure, and their commitment to fostering a life where every moment aligns with your values and passions. I am grateful to them beyond words. Naomi Washer

Writer & Translator

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.

Deborah Whitney

Artist & Writer

Thanks to Studio Faire, it was more than a visit. For three weeks I lived in beautiful Nérac, France, fully immersed in an alternate universe where I forged relationships and memories that will last a lifetime. Leaving reduced me to tears. I never expected that.

Thank you Julia and Colin for providing me with the space to create without the distractions and responsibilities of my day-to-day life in the States. I accomplished more in three weeks than I dreamed possible. Illustrations magically poured onto paper. As a result, publishing my book finally feels like a reality instead of a pipe dream.

Yes, I worked hard, but Julia and Colin assisted me in creating the perfect balance of work and play. I will never forget: boating down La Baïse, the photo exhibit at Lectoure, the cats of La Romieu, fields of sunflowers, a French beer festival where a four course meal cost just 17 euros, and Tuesday night market in Nérac – an intimate party for 2,000 of your friends and neighbors. Most of all I will never forget the people.

My three weeks at Studio Faire was perfect. I have only one regret – I had to leave.

Pamela Heck

Artist & Writer

My friend said to me, that I was ”in for a real treat” when I told her I was going to spend three weeks in Studio Faire. And a real treat it was. The house was a real historical dream, perfect for finding inspiration and time for my project. Every room has a character of its own and the house has a perfect balance of unique details and inspirational emptiness that lets your imagination run wild.

The city of Nérac is also a good environment to explore and to be able to focus on your work in solitude. It provides opportunities to experience the southern France lifestyle while creating in peace.

Everyday I was surprised how much time and energy Colin and Julia invested into us residents. Staying at Studio Faire felt like visiting old friends. And Becca and Dougie ensure that dog therapy is part of the package! Johanna Naukkarinen

Photographer & Artist

I had the pleasure of spending a month at Studio Faire in June/July 2019.

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.

Jen Thorpe


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.

Colin Andrews

Photographer & Filmmaker

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.

Victoria Negri


Still reeling from 4 weeks in heaven – I am a firm believer in space and place as inspirational in the process of creative development. Colin and Julia @ Studio Faire provided me with just that: a (studio) space in which to dive into my creative process, my way of making work, investigation, exploration and as always inspiration from them and time to simply be in their beautiful home. I am still there in some ways, referencing our daily walks with the dogs, conversations about art and the world, how we struggle to make it all fit. During my time there I was able to begin to work on several movement strategies/bodies/vocabularies that were immediately put into place upon my arrival in the US. More importantly I was inspired and encouraged. Landed in the US and went to NY to restage a work, then on to Cape Charles, VA where I made a film that uses drone technology to explore expansive and intimate spaces – based on the work done with Colin at Studio Faire. The film is really close to my heart – will have a trailer to share shortly. Thank you to this wonderful family for your hospitality and warmth – you are inspiring artists everyday. Keep doing this important work – already planning my return with my collaborators!
Robin Gee

Choreographer & Dancer

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.

Alana Dawes

Designer & Photography Student

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.

Justine Gaubert


I spent four weeks at Studio Faire and it’s been four of the most fruitful weeks in developing my practice. I came here not knowing exactly what I wanted to do but knowing that I needed space, time and some new inspiration. Studio Faire and Nérac had this in spades! After a few days of getting my bearings and soaking up this new beautiful town it was into the studio and the ideas came quickly. Thanks to Julia and Colin’s passion and knowledge for the arts they knew of lots of different dance companies nearby that I might be interested in reaching out to, so I did. This resulted in me working with two professional dancers based in Mézin. This new working collaboration allowed me to discuss my research with them and hear more about what they do and their thoughts on dance. It was a kind of eureka moment with my practice.

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! Julie Duffy


My time at this summer Studio Faire was quite special on many fronts. Not only was I in need of time away from my usual ‘routine’ (if I can even call it that), but I wanted to refresh myself creatively and this was just the place in which to do so! The warmth of the welcome extended by Julia, Colin, Becca and Dougie (their adorable labradors) surely made settling in a straightforward affair, as everything felt so very natural and easy. A room with two huge shuttered windows onto their wonderful garden truly set the scene for what transpired to be a week of sourcing and painting natural forms, found in the garden, on walks by the river and at the market, abundant with every imaginable colour and texture. Quickly reenergised, my senses responded and my creative juices flowed, as I worked in the dappled light of the garden with Becca and Dougie by my side, like joint muses! A week was just long enough and also just not long enough for all that could be tapped into, here…

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. Brigid Collins


With it’s lush fields of sunflowers my week at Studio Faire has been a very solar stay. The people we met in Nérac were most warm and welcoming. There is so much to do and see in this magical area with it’s lively food and antiques markets that I hardly had enough time to paint. Beautiful landscapes are abundant, one does not need to go very far, beauty is just around the corner. I was amazed at what a vibrant community of people live in this corner of the world. The slower pace lifestyle was definitely a welcome pause from my busy city life.

I would absolutely recommend the Artist residence, the facilities are clean and vast. The sunny bedrooms with their beautiful old wallpapers will haunt your memories and leave you wondering if perhaps it all happened in a dream. I hope I get to visit this lovely old house someday again. Julia and Colin are just the best!

Caroline Kinkead


From start to finish, Studio Faire was welcoming, relaxing, inspiring and productive! Although short (one week), I still had time to discover the town, paint in the studio and meet some wonderful people. I absolutely loved my time in Nérac. Thanks to Colin & Julia.

Rebecca Curling


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.

Meredith Alloway


I spent a month at Studio Faire, working as a dancer and choreographer on my solo performance. What I found so wonderful about the residence was the relaxed and pressure-free atmosphere that created a safe space for exploration and trial-and-error learning. During my stay, I got deep into the themes and movement that I was working on and after my return home, I noticed a remarkable difference in my dance. I took part in a dance battle event in Estonia, and even though I hadn’t competed in such a long time, somehow it all just worked out. I felt relaxed on the stage and ended up winning the house and taking second place in hip hop. And I do believe that this is thanks to my time at the residence and the way I was able to devote to dance.

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. Lilli Huttula


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.

Alan McGowan


It was critical to find surroundings that coincide with my inner rhythm for seamless creation. Studio Faire was among a list of residencies I had been accepted to and was considering. It was the only one that satisfied every need and want I had, and then some!

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. Brittany Loar


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.

James McGinley


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.

Elín Gunnlaugsdóttir


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.

Leena Nammari


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.

Paola McClure


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!

Vicky Morris


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.

Highly recommended.

Karl Stern


The truly unique and valuable thing about Studio Faire is the way of life the residency offers. The Town, Colin and Julia all provide a sense of wonder and excitement about their environment that is extremely beneficial to making work. Time slows down in Nerac in the most productive way, letting you notice the details and giving you space to address them thoughtfully. Studio Faire was an incredibly important experience and helped me to see my practice in a new light. Holly Knox Rhame


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!

Louise Ritchie


Contact us

58 Avenue Georges Clemenceau
47600 NéracFrance

General enquiries and residencies

Courses and educational residencies
Email: colin@studiofaire.co.uk

Call: +33 (0)6 34 56 10 70

All detail & imagery are © 2019 Studio Faire, Colin Usher & Julia Douglas