PAINTER and author Graham Lupp is candid when asked if he ever wondered if his exhaustive two-volume Building Bathurst book was getting out of control.
"Yes. Most of the time, in fact," he told the Advocate late last week in his studio in lower Piper Street.
"But I'm a fairly pedantic sort of character and I thought, well, there's only one way to do this. And I didn't want to look back on it years later and say I wish I had gone that extra yard with it.
"Looking back on it, I think I achieved fairly much what I set out to achieve."
Mr Lupp now has another achievement: an OAM in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for his service to community history in Bathurst.
The Bathurst Living Legend said the recognition had come as a surprise, but "I was obviously very pleased and honoured".
Mr Lupp was born in Bathurst, but spent years away from the city, studying architecture at the University of NSW in the 1960s and fine art in London in the 1970s.
He taught photography, art history, drawing and painting for five years from the late 1970s at what was then Bathurst's Mitchell College and has been painting full time in Bathurst since.
Building Bathurst, 1815-1915, which he self-published in association with Bathurst Regional Council, was a big project that got bigger over time.
The book began with Edward Gell, who designed about 150 buildings in the Bathurst district, including Stannies, from 1858 to 1880.
"I knew a lot about him, I did my undergraduate thesis on him, and I decided to write a book which not only included him, but all the other 19th century architects of Bathurst and prominent builders," Mr Lupp said.
"I stopped painting in 2012 to write this book, started writing in January 2013 and I finished it at the end of November 2017."
The two volumes contain more than 800 pages.
"It's something that I just wanted to get off my chest and pay acknowledgement or homage to the people who built Bathurst - literally," Mr Lupp said.
"And of course it's the buildings that are left. So we see their legacy every day.
"I found very quickly that these guys, even before trains and Cobb and Co coaches, they went on horseback and they worked all over the state; they didn't just work in Bathurst.
"Once I realised that, I couldn't just leave that side of it out because it would have been half the story. So that prolonged the process of writing by about two years."
Mr Lupp is a long-time member of the Bathurst Family History Group, Bathurst District Historical Society, Bathurst Golf Club and Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Society.