AN artist who did not expect his labour of love to last more than ten years is nearly ready to publish his work in a book.

Andy Beck, of Bowes, in Teesdale, has spent nearly every day for a decade working on his project to reproduce famous fellwalker Alfred Wainwright’s sketches in colour.

Every one of Wainwright’s 1,500 sketches has been painstakingly recreated by the 59-year-old who will be unveiling them as part of a limited edition book in May.

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The watercolour artist took the black and white sketches from Wainwright’s seven pictorial guides to the Lakeland Fells which he completed between 1952 and 1966.

Mr Beck said he decided to start the project after a “chance moment of inspiration” while out walking in 2006.

All of the 214 fells known as the Wainwrights are included in the book which will also feature descriptive text.

The work, entitled The Wainwrights in Colour, will be self-published with only 5,000 copies which will each be individually numbered and signed before the official launch at the Castle Green Hotel, in Kendal.

Mr Beck said: “It’s good to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

“When I look back at some of the pictures done in the early years I can see how my work has definitely improved, but there’s no going back after ten years: it’s set in stone!”