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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The tentacular, manifold nature of the octopus is rendered in both visual and tactile form through material investigation.

Rooftop Vista

Drawing en plein air up high on Glasgow’s West End.


Exploring how physical features and body language can be key to characterisation, for example through hair as a form of expression.


Octopus and plant studies via monoprinting, coding and painting.

Social Distancing

Series of life drawings inspired by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s In Bed, The Kiss.

I Really Don’t Like Books

Showcasing notebooks made with different techniques and threads. Available on my Etsy shop craftyarda.

Leafing Through

Colours and volumes investigation through leaves and paper.

Inspired By Mucha

Digital and alcohol-marker works inspired by Mucha’s voluptuous figures and decorative backgrounds.

From The Shadows

Life drawings exploring volumes through reductive and additive use of charcoal.

Words & Stuff

Playful takes on words and objects via typography and illustration.

Gold, Leaf

Life drawings with model immersed in a natural pattern, rendered through watercolour, charcoal and gold ink.

Shrivelled Heart

Shrivelled autumn leaves depicted in different media through the use of complementary colours and used as primary source for printing.

Everything Is Green

Concertina book with wrap-around cover illustrating Martin Breul’s poem Everything Is Green. Entirely handmade.

About To Burst

White charcoal drawing of handmade 3D sculpture.

I’m A Barbie Girl

The theme of the doll is investigated through the icon Barbie, a controversial symbol of prefabricated girliness and body standards.

There, Not There

Monoprinting series in which shrivelled leaves are defined by their absence through the negative space.

Postcards From Sicily

Narrating my memories of the motherland through sketchbook and watercolour practice.

After The Storm

Documenting the littering ‘side effect’ through a series of pictures of abandoned face masks.

Made With Hand Sanitiser

Collection of pictures taken during my life in lockdown.