ARTIST Lucia Smith is walking every dale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park to inspire her latest collection of paintings.

"A helpful Park ranger told me there were more than 40 Dales," said Lucia as an exhibition of her work opened at the Dales Park Authority offices in Bainbridge. "And I was rather embarrassed that I could name only 12."

So Lucia began her quest to walk and experience each named dale in the Park, to find what she describes as its essence and capture it in a painting.

A new interest in geology sparked off the exhibition leading her to look at the startlingly different shapes and colours caused by the sandstones or limestone lying underneath.

She added:"It is really about the journey. I have no desire to rush it. I am about half way through.There are tributaries of tributaries, hidden dales, dales with no roads and and even dales which connect underground. Our beautiful dales deserve to be carefully discovered and revelled in." Lucia is also sharing her journey in a blog. The exhibition, How Many Dales is open until the end of Jamuary during office hours at Yoredale in Bainbridge.