THE husband of one of Cumbria’s most successful artists and illustrators is publishing a book to celebrate her work.

Christine Isherwood, who died two years ago from cancer, was a trained botanist and switched to art while bringing up the couple’s three children.

Her husband, naval architect Mike, who since Christine’s death has identified as a woman and is now called Rachel, wanted to celebrate her talent.

She has worked with fellow artist Sally Bamber to produce the book: “Inspired by Nature: The Life and Art of Christine Isherwood.”

“I want to record and make available to as many people as possible the body of artwork that Christine left,” said Rachel.

“She was very well known in Cumbria and built a wide audience through her exhibitions and art classes.

“When you live closely with someone for a long time, it is easy to become blasé about their work, but as I’ve worked on the new book, I’ve been more and more impressed by the sheer quality of her art.

“I would like her output to be more widely appreciated and enjoyed.”

Using her encyclopaedic knowledge of plants and birds, Christine used her painting and line drawing skills to illustrate numerous guide books and magazine articles.

She was famously known for working with writer Mary Welsh on around 30 walk guides-which totalled to more than 800 hikes.

Her works included front covers, maps, landscapes and vignettes of flowers and birds.

Christine was born in Burnley in 1946 and studied Natural Sciences at University of Cambridge.

Moving to the Lake District from Hertfordshire with her husband and starting a family were the main triggers and inspirations that started Christine’s passion for drawing and painting.

“Her early works were botanical illustrations of wild flowers, done in water colour,” continued Rachel

“But as a trained biologist, her interest in the natural world did not stop at flowers and she soon began to paint other subjects - animals, birds and then landscapes.

Christine, who lived in Kirkby-in-Furness, was also an enthusiastic walker and hill climber until she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. She died on August 5, 2017.

She is buried, as she wished, in Woodland churchyard, “surrounded by her beloved daffodils”.