UPPERHunter artist David Darcy's portrait of Warakurna elder Daisy Tjuparntarri Ward has been named winner of the Archibald Prize's People Choice Award.
Murrurundi resident Darcy said it was a "wonderful feeling" that people had connected with the work and taken the time to vote.
He worked as an author and photographer before taking up painting full-time two-and-a-half-years ago.
He met Mrs Ward after she travelled from her home in Western Australia to visit a friend and stopped in at his studio and shop, Darcy and the Fox, looking for art supplies.
"This work is so much about her," Darcy said.
"I could have painted someone else and would not be here today.
"When someone comes in - and having the history of doing portraits - and someone has something about them, as a good artist you want to bring that out and put it on canvas.
"She's a beautiful human being and that's what shone through in the painting."
Mrs Ward is a cultural and community liaison officer for regional schools, a director on the NPY Women's Council, an advocate against domestic violence, a qualified translator, an artist and storyteller.