Meg Rutherford

This section covers drawings not published, which therefore excludes book illustrations, greetings cards, posters and flyers. It also does not include drawings produced in the course of illustrating, such as roughs and discards. Drawings in this section will largely have been widely dispersed and therefore not to hand to be photographed or will have been photographed to well below professional standard before dispersal.

Meg showed early talent together with excellent observational skills. She was always drawing and from a young age could draw creatures with realistic representation.

At both the National Art School, Sydney and at The Slade School, drawing was something all sculptor students were required to do, but Meg drew almost to the exclusion of all activities other than sculpting.

In a tape recording to her mother, Meg Rutherford said ''I was sorting for the Slade. You have to submit sixteen drawings, but I had over a thousand of these things. I used to be compulsive about drawing. I used to draw every single time I had a second; it was something I could not be without'. Most of these drawings and sketches are pen and ink or pencil, with colour wash on some. At this stage, most of the drawings were on tracing paper as Meg could not afford anything better.

There is little doubt that Meg's excellent grounding in drawing enabled her to switch easily from sculpting to illustrating. Book illustrating is essentially drawing, but in Meg's case the former involved a specific commission for a particular book with particular boundaries, whereas drawing, in her case, involved more freedom and was often done for her own satisfaction.

Meg mainly used watercolour or gouache, but she also used pen and ink; scraper board, at which she was particularly skilled; and pencil. She never used oil paints and near the end of her life experimented with acrylic paint.