KEIGHLEY'S 'royal' artist Hilary Roper has created new works inspired by the beauty of her hometown.

She took a break from her work as a children's book illustrator to paint the "extraordinary beautiful" tulips that grace the town hall square.

Hilary was inspired to create the artwork after reading about Keighley being ranked among the top 10 worst places to live in England.

Keighley came seventh in the rankings in a poll on satirical website I Live Here, with voters claiming the town was “depressing, unfriendly and dull".

Hilary responded by creating the tulip painting to showcase at the prestigious Parallax International Art Fair this month in London.

She said: "I was inspired by the extraordinarily beautiful tulips which are planted every year around the cenotaph in Keighley. They are streaked and frilled with so many colour fields.

"Whoever stated Keighley is the worse place to live in the country displayed ignorance of the highest order. Keighley and the surrounding area is a haven for beauty.

"People would give their right arm to live where buzzards fly above, swallows and martins dive across old oak trees in the summer months, where the River Worth harbours fat brown trout, and where the moors clad with heather rise splendidly above the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.

"If I had the chance I would paint some paintings on the walls of Keighley town."

Hilary, who trained at Lancaster College of Art and Design and Leeds University, is a professional artist who writes and illustrates books for children. She has held major art exhibitions, and her illustrations were represented by Prince Charles for exhibition with the National Trust.

Hilary uses professional oils with brushes and palette knives, sometimes thickly applied and sometimes with the finest of linear patterning.

Hilary, whose first book in the 1990s was entitled Macfaddion's Finest Hour, recently completed 1,300 short fairytales for Buttercup Publishing.

She also sells her self-published children's books ‘Surtsey the Cat’ and ‘Sashka the Snow Princess and All the Creatures of the Frozen North’ at local outlets such as East Riddlesden Hall.