AN artist and Wainwright fan who combined his two passions in a new book of 1,500 watercolours inspired by the Lakeland fells has been nominated for a prestigious award.

Andy Beck spent ten years wandering the fells and taking pictures from the exact spots that master fell-walker Alfred Wainwright stood for his seven pictorial guides more than 60 years ago.

Using the photographs, the 59-year-old then painted the scenes, and after a decade of work released The Wainwrights in Colour.

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Mr Beck, who lives in Bowes, Teesdale, does not have any formal training as an artist other than one O Level in art.

And during the course of the project, he did two rounds of the 214 Wainwright fells which involved walking a total of 1,746miles and ascending 580,000feet.

Mr Beck said his "labour of love" was all worth it though when he was able to print his limited edition book, with only 5,000 copies individually numbered and signed being available.

Mr Beck has sold more than 1,800 of his work so far and only stocks his books at 21 independent book shops.

However, he said he was shocked and delighted when he found out he had been shortlisted in the book of the year category for The Great Outdoors Magazine's Great Outdoors Awards 2017.

Mr Beck is one of 13 finalists in the category and will find out if he is crowned the winner at the awards ceremony at The Kendal Mountain Festival, next month.

He said: "It's just amazing to be shortlisted - this is probably my only chance on this book so it's make or break for me."

He added: "It's quite a thrill and I'm quite excited but I know it's a difficult game.

"If I got the title it would be amazing."

Since the launch of his book in May, which also includes a short film on his adventures, Mr Beck has been giving talks about his experiences across the country - many for charitable causes.

He also praised his wife, Esther, for all her help and support which even included proof reading the final copy.

"This has been a very selfish occupation for me," he said. "I went through two pairs of boots but I was not bothered about the miles; I wasn't going to take any shortcuts."

He added: "I'm never going to do anything like this again and I'm really proud."

Mr Beck, who served in the Royal Air Force before running his own art gallery in Barnard Castle, for more than two decades, said he is now working on his next challenge.