This idea of ‘buddy work’ really interests me. I’m always acutely aware of how I’m influenced by the work I do when I’m not really doing it and then, in a lovely twist, I realise that it might well be the essence of what I want happening in my ‘main work’.
When I’m not working away on carefully prepared surfaces, whether they be on board or canvas, I’m splashing paint around on paper or my sketchbooks. It’s the latter that I’m usually most drawn to; there’s something about these little books that speak volumes (excuse the pun) – I like to think that they are hermetically sealed, private spaces that bear no relation to anything but they aren’t really because they capture the energy and formal space that I want to achieve in my paintings. What occurs on a sketchbook page has such a different dynamic to what plays out on the canvas – understanding the ‘what’ and ‘how ‘of this intrigues me. I’m as equally perplexed as I’m content to have these little books humming along between coats of paint on bigger more ‘serious’ works. I imagine them as little conversations between people in different scenarios; ‘Painting’ is the formal wedding party; ‘sketchbook’ is the part where everyone gets drunk! Sometimes the roles reverse and my paintings become recalcitrant – which I like. Sometimes my sketchbooks get a bit mean and taunt me, as if to say, go on, we dare you to make us again! But of course, nothing can be forced and it’s the bit in between, when I don’t realise it, that good things happen. – Inga Dalrymple, 2012