Sally Ridge has spoken of her jailhouse encounter with "Bali Nine" death-row inmate Myuran Sukumaran.
Ridge visited the 33-year-old at Indonesia's notorious Kerobokan Prison two years ago, while holidaying in Bali.
The mother-of-four visited the jail at the request of a local woman in the hope that it would help the condemned prisoner's cause.
What she discovered was a talented budding artist - and she left with a signed self-portrait of the condemned Australian heroin trafficker.
"It sounds so weird, but he's one of the loveliest people I've ever met," Ridge told the Herald on Sunday. "He's so calm and content and so well spoken and it just seems absolutely ludicrous that he smuggled drugs."
Sukumaran was arrested in an Indonesian hotel in April 2005, on his 24th birthday.
He was found guilty of drug trafficking in February 2006, and a panel of three judges sentenced him to execution by firing squad.
The execution of Sukumaran and fellow Bali Nine member Andrew Chan could happen any day, despite desperate pleas for clemency from their families.
On Friday Sukumaran's creativity was officially recognised with an Associate Degree in Fine Art from Perth's Curtin University.
His Australian mentor, artist Ben Quilty praised his feat on social media saying he was was proud of his friend's accomplishment.
Sukumaran only started painting in 2010 and has had his work shown in exhibitions as well as running painting workshops and the prison art programme. As the pair await their fate, Sukumaran's painting now hangs in Ridge's Auckland home. "I bought it because I wanted the money to go to the art studio in the prison," she said.
"I love it. It's pretty cool."
Before he handed it to Ridge, he signed the work with his name and 'Bali Nine'.
Ridge said being inside the prison was an eye-opening experience but one she would never want to repeat.
During her six-hour stay Sukumaran showed Ridge where he lived in the high security tower with his fellow Bali Nine inmates.
He told her he did not want to be executed and hoped she could highlight his case in New Zealand.
"He says he's innocent and we spoke about that and he doesn't want to die," she said.
"He wants to live his life like any young man."