WHILE much is known of his Lewis Creighton's paintings, his work as an artist was only part of his remarkable life story.

Known as The Moorland Painter, Lewis was also a philosopher, astronomer, pilot and musician to name but a few of his talents and passions.

Three years ago, his son John was contacted by Kirkbymoorside History Group to ask if he had thought about writing a book about his father who died in 1997.

Thus began a project which resulted in John's book, The Brush The Lathe and The Double Bass - the life and times of Lewis Creighton.

John said: "Writing a book had been on my mind, but there was much more to him than 'The Moorland Painter' as he was known far and wide - indeed there was much, much more.

"I therefore began a three-year project of navigating, sorting and trying to make some sort of order out of a mountain of assorted, disorganised material; photographs, negatives, old barely legible letters and documents, scraps of paper with scribbled notes, many audio recordings, interviews with Lewis's old friends, paintings drawings, cartoons, steam engines and my own memories of living with a most wonderful and remarkable father."

Lewis was born on June 24, 1918, in the same room in Renny Garth, Appleton-le-Moors, that his mother had been born in about 20 years earlier.

While little is known about his childhood, but it can be assumed that the surroundings of the North York Moors significantly influenced his artistic inspiration and interpretation in later life.

Lewis went on to serve in the Second World War as a Spitfire pilot, taking part in the famous Battle of Britain. After his service, he later became a full-time artist.

John said: "My father put considerable energy into his pursuits and developed many of them to a very high level of skill and artistry. Some people have said what a pity he never applied himself, he could have been a success.

"I think my father knew what he valued in life - freedom, creativity and especially, always time for people. In his terms and mine I would say that his life was a great success."

John said on listening to one of the early recordings he made with his father he had come across an exchange which he had forgotten about.

"I was suggesting to my father that there was enough material to write a book about his life. I said 'you should write a book about all this', he replied, 'Oh what a job, I've sometimes thought that there's enough stuff to write a book, I just haven't got the energy.'

"The only way to do it was to record it, in fact I could not have made better preparations if I had been conscious of it from the start. Somehow I just had an instinct to save and record and I am glad that I did."

John said his father was supremely gifted and he was in turn, a gift to many, many people.

"My father was also one of the best friends that I shall ever have, a sentiment I have heard expressed again and again while talking to people who knew him as part of the research for this book," he said.

"Speaking about feelings was something my father never did and indeed kept well away from any expression of these if at all possible. We never spoke about feelings and yet we could not have understood how each felt any more profoundly."

The Brush The Lathe and The Double Bass - will be launched in Kirkbymoorside at The Moorside Room on Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 4pm, where John will be on hand to sign them or answer queries and questions about his father.

The book will be on sale for a special launch price of £25. There will also be a collection of Lewis's work on view, along with some more interesting items. The project has only been possible through the grant of S106 monies from local housing developments in Kirkbymoorside.