"Quintessentially Australian" artist Katrina Goldsworthy has been knocked down by the trials of life, but out of those challenges a new passion and career path was forged.
She's quick to remind you of the power of a smile - a positive act to keep you going and help you move forward.
At 19, she met her husband while working as a governess at Clermont. They married during the beef depression of the 1970s and were running properties in the Emerald area.
In those days, she dabbled in patchwork and had a love of fabric, sewing, stitching and design.
It wasn't all smooth sailing, though; she and her husband lost their son Michael to leukaemia.
They decided they didn't want their four children to go to boarding school and made a lifestyle change, moving to Brisbane and buying her father's financial planning business.
After the move, Katrina battled breast cancer and eight years later, as a consequence of chemotherapy, she was diagnosed with cardiomyography.
"That made me take stock of life and about that time I went to an art exhibition," she said.
"I saw the work and thought, 'why don't I take up painting again?'"
"It has two kangaroo hides in it and it's the best painting I've ever done."
Katrina's distinctive pieces are painted on kangaroo hide; it's a style that is unique and something she taught herself.
Her first painting on kangaroo hide was of a horse and foal; however it was the suspension of the live export trade in 2011 that set her on a path of painting bulls from some of Australia's leading beef studs.
"What ignited the passion for using the kangaroo skin was the live export debacle. I was furious. I don't like knee-jerk reactions; the cause and effects can be so catastrophic," she said.
"So I decided to paint bulls on kangaroo hide and to do that I needed to take them to the best beef producers in Australia."
Katrina held her first art exhibition at Beef 2012 in Rockhampton to raving success.
She will return to Australia's 'Beef Capital' in May for Beef 2015 and has plenty of new paintings, including a hero piece, that are set to delight producers.
"My hero piece took me two-and-a-half months to paint," she said.
"It has two kangaroo hides in it and it's the best painting I've ever done.
"I have to pinch myself to believe I've painted it; that's how amazing it is."
The Three Boys, from Garthowen Brahman Stud, Biggenden.
Each painting takes upwards of 50 hours to produce, but Katrina said seeing the effects was worth it.
It's the kangaroo hide and stitching, which makes the skin and muscle tones seem almost life-like.
"Every kangaroo hide is hand selected according to the bull or painting I'm doing because there are so many variables in skin and texture," she said.
"It's predominantly acrylic paint but sometimes when I need to get a graduation of shading I'll use a scalpel blade and scrape pastel on to the leather; then I'll use a fixative to adhere the powder-like pastel. That gives lovely variations of colour that you can't get with anything else.
"Once the hide is painted I then stitch all of the muscle tone in on the sewing machine and then I paint up the background. Finally, I glue and stitch the kangaroo hide on to the canvas."
Katrina wonders if perhaps art found her, acknowledging that it was a cathartic process.
"It takes you into another world. Sometimes you don't need anything else in your life; it's so powerful," she said
"The more you do with the subject matter, the more intense it becomes.
"I'm reinventing myself through my unique style of painting."