AN artist’s collection of pitman paintings has been pulled together to create an illustrated picture book that explains coal mining to children.

Working with children’s author and Rupert Bear illustrator, Stuart Trotter, Derek Slater, of Ferryhill, said he is proud to see his art in another format.

The Coal Mine is Mr Slater’s first book although he hasn’t ruled out the prospect of another.

The fine art graduate said: “I have really enjoyed the process and it’s nice to have something with my name on.

“My family and friends think it’s great, and my grandchildren each have a copy.

“I painted my first oil painting in 1978 and I still have it today.

“There are around 40 of my paintings in the book, I also paint portraits and make ecological pictures.”

The 32-page book has been published by Mr Trotter’s publishing company, Rockpool Children’s Books.

Mr Trotter said: “The idea to create a story using Derek’s pictures came after we were introduced and he told me he was a painter.

“We’ve collaborated on the text and now Derek has this wonderful book that acts as a window into his artwork.”

The Coal Mine is available to buy now and costs £5.99.

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