It's now been over 4 months since I first started the residency, in September 2012, which saw me working primarily with schools, in Wakefield & Barnsley, gathering evidence for the mural. It has been an amazing experience working with these wonderful & talented children.

The children, all 1500 of them, have been charged with making self-portraits and other images, which will form the 60 metre mural.

The self-portraits will form a crowd, over 20 panels, which will stretch the length of the East Stand, before being moved to the new stadium at Newmarket. I am incredibly proud of the work produced with the children, which is even more extraordinary, given the fact that all the images for the mural have been produced on iPads. The first time this has been done.

The Process of Making Art for the Residency - And how it differs from my 'own art'
 
I wanted to post something about the new process in which I am working, in that 'my work' the art that I usually make is about me, it's about my disability, illness, and deals with the gruesome and taboo subjects of mortality, decay, etc, which is in direct opposite to what I am doing now. Making art about heroes, who are (or were) at the top of their physical peak.

There's something of a tension there, but rather than explore that at this moment, when I am knee deep in murals and all the practicalities of making the 13 commissions for the trust.

I think this is something that will supply me with much work when the residency is over....that tension, of my this middle aged geezer, who's body doesn't work, making art about 'geezers' who's bodies work really well.

At some point I will be going into the changing room to record what goes on, and this makes me nervous as hell, as it really brings that difference to the fore.

With the work Im doing for the club at present, where I a literally recording the heroes for the mural and commission, I am going back to making art as I did as a kid. I remember sat in front of the fire, with a sketchbook and pens, just drawing. Drawing superheroes, rugby league players like 'Toppo' and the great prop Trevor Skerrett. 

It's lovely not worry about making great statements, not worrying about making great art, but just drawing and and painting for the love of just doing it.

What it is or isn't will all come out when this process is over. I will probably leave it to others to decide :)

I really think a lot about my art, possibly too much, but that's because I absolutely love what I do. It means so much to me to be able to communicate through drawing and painting....although in my case I do this through using an iPad.

A lot of people ask me why I use an iPad to make art? WHy don't I just paint or draw traditionally? The answer to this is quite simple really. I use an iPad to make art with, as it's the most practical tool in which I can get my ideas down on the virtual canvas.

It's 9 x 7 inches, it's lightweight, fully portable, and even if I am laid up in bed or having a bad day, due to my illness, then I can still make art.

I am due a fairly serious operation soon, and because of the iPad, I will be able to continue making art, because of it's portability, etc. Not only that, I will be able to share it with people instantaneously, due to the fact that it's connected to the world wide web.

That decision I made to make art using the iPad changed my life and opened the floodgates for me to find my 'voice' artistically.

Someone recently said that my art was emotional, which is true, but then all art is emotional to some extent, because that row with the wife, or the kids misbehaving, or the letter from the bank about the OD, always creeps into ones work, whether we realise it or not.

Apologies for the long post, but just wanted to write something a bit longer this time, to explain the process by which I make art.