Jackie Gaskill

I attended the Portfolio Course from October 2011 to March 2012 and it was absolutely FABULOUS encouraging me to try things I'd never have dreamed of attempting previously and giving me the opportunity to spend a block of time discovering whether or not I could actually "do" art.

The most joyful aspects of the course were the excellence of the variety of tutors who came to work with us, making it such enormous fun, and the exuberant enthusiasm of of the group of students. The learning crept up on me stealthily and it only became apparent how much I'd developed my own skills after the course had ended. I can't stress enough how much positive impact the course had on my life!

Having been encouraged to apply to UHI to do at least the first year of their BA Fineart degree, I started at Taigh Chearsabhagh, Lochmaddy on North Uist in September 2012 and successfully completed the Year 1 programme. Everything I had done on the Portfolio Course gave me the confidence to tackle whatever was thrown at me....there were no surprises.....the preparation for starting a Degree Course had been cleverly built in to the portfolio course.

I was able to use the "points" awarded by UHI to transfer to an Open College of the Arts "distance learning" BA degree programme at Year 2 level and that's where I am at the moment....still working towards a qualification but able to be based at home. Whenever I get the chance I pop back to Ullapool for a week of nurturing on one of the summer-school courses.