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
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
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.
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
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 Douglas Usher. I am eternally, celestially, sincerely grateful.Meredith Alloway
My time at Studio Faire this summer 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
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
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.
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
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
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
All detail & imagery are © 2018 Studio Faire, Colin Usher & Julia Douglas