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Julian Vilarrubi

Julian is an artist from Brighton, UK who has Catalan heritage.  He draws and ‘paints’ using an iPad. “…All drawings are made from direct observation initially. In some cases the drawing may have been subsequently manipulated. I’ve been working with the iPad since July 2012. My book ‘Life Drawing on the iPad’ has just been published by Crowood Press. It is a guide to drawing and painting from the figure using the iPad.” For more information on Julian and his work visit

Viv Finney

Viv is a poet from Bury, Lancashire. Her Poem, The half-open sky gives us hope is constructed from the titles of paintings by Joan Miró.

The diamond smiles at twilight
a drop of water on the rose coloured snow.

A Catalan peasant stands in the moonlight
a woman in front of the moon
a woman with a beautiful hat
a woman in front of the shooting star
a woman with three hairs, birds
and the smile of a tear

hands flying off
towards the constellations.

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Ava Lonergan

Ava is an art maker and writer from Richmond, Virginia. During her residency she explored new ideas by asking herself deep questions inspired by books she has identified with, one of which was Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. She also painted in watercolour. Ava is one half of Corner Office, a gallery space and, now, arts publication based in her hometown. We recorded a conversation about life, art and success, part of which is available by clicking here. More information about Ava is at

Lou Peake

Lou is a writer and artist originally from Perth but a long-term Londoner.  An author of children’s fiction, she began to draw so that she could illustrate her own books. Lou found that there was a deep creative renaissance waiting for her in the act of drawing. She spent her time here honing her visual art skills and allowed us to interview her about her creative life. Read the full interview by clicking here. Nick in The Dark, by Midge Kelly, is out on kindle on 15th November 2018.

Louise Garman

Louise studied at Chelsea School of Art and graduated with an honours degree in Fine Art/Sculpture. Since then, her work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions and galleries. Much of Louise’s work is drawing based, and she combines this with silkscreen, solar plate etching, photography and installation. She is currently working on a broad body of work based on journeys and collecting discarded objects from both nature and man.

The size of the studio was fantastic, as was the garden… I particularly liked that even though Odette and Jim were around, I could find privacy and time for thought and contemplation which is required on a retreat. Personally, If I cant think clearly and without distraction, I find it hard to come up with new creative ideas .” Louise Garman, 2018.

Janet Brady

Janet is primarily a painter and printmaker although she is always open to trying new mediums. “I see patterns in natural landscapes which evolve and dissolve. Over millennia life comes and goes leaving a particular stamp on Place. The place leaves its own mark on the people too.” She lives and works in Lancashire.

Nicky Lester

Nicky is a style consultant and beauty-guru who is developing a new business back home. During her stay with us she was able relax, and think about the new style services she will be offering in 2018. You can read more about Nicky, and about personal style, at

My stay at CDN was utterly perfect, it fulfilled every one of my requirements. The rooms  are really comfortable in a stylish and uncluttered way. All have desks and lamps and are the perfect environment for me to rest, and with a clear mind I  was able to reflect on my business. Feeling refreshed and inspired I planned its next steps.” Nicky Lester, 2017.

Kat Shann

Kat is a technical author by day and a fiction writer in the evening. She writes fantasy and science fiction short stories and novellas. Visiting Cel del Nord was a great creative reset for her, kicking her productivity into overdrive. Kat returned home from Cel del Nord with a full outline for her next book and a newfound appreciation for the therapeutic value of paint stripping.

Dan Would

When he’s not working or commuting, Dan is mostly found in his garage, filming himself making things. Dan says “I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, hitting things with hammers and making some videos”. You can see more of Dan’s videos on his youtube channel.

Whitney Curry Whimbish

The accomplished journalist and creative writer from Edinburgh via New York. Read Whitney’s latest fiction and publications at

Kate Haynes

Kate joined us on a barter to help with DIY. She is a British comedy writer living in Berlin, where she is also a recruitment consultant. She got us all high on paint stripper before leading a chorus of ‘Africa’ by the band Toto and was exceptional at applying white emulsion and wielding a heat gun.

Meredith Lester

Meredith is one quarter of the band Zonama. By day she is a bad-ass project manager and was able to clarify our vision into tangible goals. Meredith also picked us a magical soundtrack that has yet to get boring. As soon as she got her hands on the stereo the house came to life and began to feel like our own. For Zonama listings see zonamaband

Amy Rose Enskat

Amy is a curator at Monotreme and member of the team at Factory Settings. She helped us work out how to maximise creativity and inspiration by being clever with the building, advising us on where to set aside room for showing the work that comes from use of the studio. She made us the most delicious negronis while she was here, we haven’t yet been able to match them.

David Burt

David Burt
 David Burt is a writer and photographer from London. He is working on a novel and an accompanying screenplay. He posts a daily photograph on Instagram @braeburnphotos and can be found on twitter @marcusbraeburn.