Open Studio — Portfolio Preparation Course,
Creative Practices 2020–2021

We Lost You For A Moment There

It gives us great pleasure to share the work of this year’s students who have studied with us on our Portfolio Preparation Course – Creative Practices. All have shown a prodigious amount of dedication to their studies during very challenging times and have embraced working online with us, establishing remote working spaces, with continued enthusiasm and commitment. They have all been remarkably abundant in their making and created portfolios of work that are diverse and engrossing; whilst supporting each other in their learning, being extraordinarily good natured and kind throughout.

Our primary focus is the creation of a unique and distinctive fine art, design or architecture portfolios of work, for both ‘Digital ‘and ‘Full’ Portfolio submissions for Further and Higher Education Courses and other directions. Students studying on the Portfolio Preparation Course work in a Studio Environment this year online, within which every student is supported in developing their creative skills, through the application of a wide-range of imaginative, technical and practical processes. The diverse online studio-based learning and teaching activities, have been and are designed to assist students in simultaneously developing experimental and innovative work as well as acquiring a strong work ethic.

This year being online has given the students this opportunity to showcase their work via the GSA Website at the end of their studies, self-selecting and curating their own work and promotional material, providing a professional experience where the emphasis is on learning and thinking through doing, and the site will be available for the public to view for a year.

The majority of our students go on to study Undergraduate Degrees, plus some Postgraduate Degrees in either Fine Art, Design or Architecture, at institutions across Scotland, the UK and Europe. Other trajectories include being self-employed, running their own creative businesses and undertaking internships.

This year’s students are all currently being invited for interviews and receiving offers, considering other and all their options and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for choosing to study with us and we wish them all the very best for their futures.

Deborah Holland + Joanie Jack

Joint Course Leaders

Portfolio Preparation Course – Creative Practices
Open Studio

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Iris Macklin

Tea Pots, Tea Stains

Exploring tea, tea pots and tea stains. Investigating the shape of a succulent.

Teapot Prints

Using Styrofoam sheets to create delicate monochrome prints.

Surface Folds

Acrylic paintings and coloured pencil drawing with a restricted colour pallet and limited brushes.

Surfaces 1

Exploring pattern and texture through constructed objects and bookbinding.

Surfaces 2

Exploring textures in a handmade sketchbook.

Line and colour

Exploring line and colour in a handmade sketchbook.

Stylized Portraits

Self-directed work, working with colour, collage, pattern and portraiture.

Wrappings and Weaves

Experimenting with wrapping coloured yarns and using photography to manipulate scale.

Observational Drawings 1

Analytical drawings with a focus on light and reflections.

Observational Drawings 2

Exploring shape and form through different drawing techniques.


Exploring the colours and shapes of gloves. Beginning to deconstruct them.

Marigold Gloves

Description - Deconstructing rubber gloves and focusing on detail and embedded pattern, reinterpreting an object.

Shadows, Creating Patterns

Description - Experimenting with light, shadow and hand-made perforated paper stencils to generate pattern.

Shadows and Colour Pallets

Further exploration of light and shadow, bringing in materials


Experimenting with shadows, paper cutouts and colour.

Shadows and Reflections

Exploring shadows and reflections. Creating colour pallets, drawings and watercolour paintings.

Applied colour and pattern explorations 1

Exploring where my designs could potentially be applied, in fashion contexts.

Applied colour and pattern explorations 2

Exploring where my designs could potentially be applied, in fashion contexts.

Patterns in Photography

Using my photography to expand on my ideas for textile designs and to create textile patterns.

Life Drawing

Life drawing with a focus on reductive charcoal pieces.