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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Tess Pirrie


29x21cm, acrylic on paper, done en plein air

Drumbeg series

Acrylic on paper, photographed back in context

Cowboy research

Sketchbooks, research, and film still studies investigating Western artists and movie tropes

Poetic cinema

A3 acrylic on paper, combining classic movie tropes with issues in Hollywood

Tartan Tart

Acrylic on feet, size 4

Tartan Tart

Acrylic on feet, size 4

Do I really look like this?

Series of self portraits, oil on canvas board, each 35x25cm

Do I really look this this?

Series of self portraits, oil on canvas board, each 35x25cm


Soft pastel, coloured pencils, and paint pens in A4 hand bound sketchbook


A1 acrylic on paper, letting the land affect the process


50x43cm acrylic on board, rendering transparency and light

Transparent structures

Acrylic on plastic film, A4 oil on board

Transparent sketches

A4 acrylic on paper, considering mark making and colour


Acrylic on paper and canvas board, various sizes

Long poses

A2/A3 charcoal, acrylic, and oil long poses

Life drawing wall

Collection of 59 drawings done in a two hour life drawing session

Short poses

A4 acrylic on paper


Reductive ink monoprint, charcoal, acrylic paint renderings of a skull

Marks and materials

Paper structures, charcoal, acrylic, and experimental mark making

Me With People I Love

acrylic on cardboard, each 17.5x25.5cm