In 1929 Drysdale developed a detached retina in his left eye which plagued him for the rest of his life and left him virtually blind in that eye. He left school the following year and spent six months working on a Pioneer estate with his uncle Cluny Drysdale, and later moving on as the overseer at the family property, Boxwood Park in northern Victoria.
After recovering from eye treatment in a Melbourne hospital, Drysdale begun to draw in pen and ink and his doctor Julian Smith, an amateur photographer, handed his pieces to Daryl Lindsay, a known artist and later director of the National Gallery of Victoria. Lindsay proved to be a great factor in Drysdale's life, able to connect with him because of similar backgrounds and connections with country life.
"Lindsay was interested enough to...ask me whether I had ever thought about taking up painting as a career. Well, it had certainly never occurred to me, but I liked Lindsay because he had had the same sort of life that I had led... He had been a jackeroo and a station manager and we could talk about horses and sheep...really the onl