WENSLEYDALE artist, printmaker, poet and author Piers Browne will open his new exhibition, La Route de Violettes, on Friday evening at Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York.

Wine and nibbles will be served at the 6.30pm to 8.30pm opening, when Browne will be on hand to sign copies of his new book of the same name at its official launch ceremony.

Open every day until October 16, the new exhibition will feature oil paintings of the Yorkshire Dales and etchings that illustrate Browne's novella, his eighth book.

The Askrigg artist has long held a fascination for the French region of Provence with its olive trees, lavender, vineyards, its beautiful light and rocky herbal landscapes, and – a rarity even in France – its violet fields.

In his debut novella, based mostly on a true story, Browne has created a love story set in the area of Tourrettes-sur-Loup, shouldering the Alpes Maritime in south eastern Provence. Two teenagers meet and fall madly in love – he English, she the daughter of a local violet farmer. The pair part and then reunite more than a decade later when they meet again as adults. In the meantime both have faced unhappiness and a lack of fulfilment.

Browne’s story weaves the enchanting landscape into a tale of loss, hope and reconciliation, a story of twists and turns that proves that first love truly never dies. He has illustrated his book typically meticulously with a series of 26 radiantly coloured original etchings that capture the flavour of both the place and his story.

La Route des Violettes is being published by Otley printers and bookbinders Smiths Settle in a beautifully printed edition of 350, complemented by a special edition of only six books, boxed with an embossed jacket and containing 25 etchings with a loose etching inside the cover. Etchings from the book will be for sale at the exhibition.

On show too will be work by York ceramicist Ben Arnup, a leading exponent of trompe l'oeil forms and vessels, while Peter Layton will be celebrating his 80th year with a range of glass inspired by Van Gogh's Sunflowers. "Pyramid Gallery is honoured to have been chosen as one of the partner galleries to show Peter's new work," says Pyramid Gallery director Terry Brett.