A small, violet gem: Dusti Bongé watercolor

As the partnership between See Great Art and the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation moves forward, we take a look at another Dusti Bongé watercolor: Untitled (Green Feathers and Black Lines), 1984, watercolor on paper , 5 1/2” x 8 1/2”, Paul Bongé Collection.

Analysis of the Dusti Bongé watercolor comes from Ligia Römer, PhD, Executive Director at the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation, with offices located in Biloxi, open to visitors for discovery.

Ligia Römer

This small work by Dusti Bongé from 1984 offers an excellent example of the range of her artistry. It shows her never-ending artistic quest to explore new ways to see, and to play with colors, media, and … scale. 

During this period in Dusti’s career, her alternating pattern of working on extremely large canvases and very small works on paper, allowed her to “think” at completely different scales. It also meant a very real physical shift in setting, with her large works being produced in her studio and the small ones at the table at home. This change in both scale and environment, from very intimate to expansive, in turn offered her completely different opportunities to examine and/or revisit all manner of details, patterns, colors, movement, and light.

Although in some cases the works conceived at home served as initial inspiration for larger works, In many cases these small masterpieces stand on their own. That is clearly the case in this work. Its delicate luminous quality stems from its scale and medium. Like most of her work from this later period, the composition is clearly structured, with well-defined vertical elements arranged in a rhythmic way. And yet at the same time Dusti allows the watercolor to do what it does best, flowing loosely and pooling in some spots.

It is as if the light shines through the watercolor. The exquisite thin lines over the blue areas create a feathery appearance. The violet accents add depth to the black columns, and the few moments of yellow offer a touch of incandescence.

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