Dusti Bongé ‘painting’ with a felt tip pen

I’m loving these small, colorful, felt tip pen artworks by Dusti Bongé shared with SeeGreatArt.art by the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation. Below, DFAB Executive Director Ligia M. Römer, gives us one more.

Dusti Bongé, Untitled (Blue & Green Rectangle on Red & Brown Ground), 1983, felt tip pen on paper, 8” x 5”

Another felt tip pen masterwork. In this one, Dusti Bongé chose to blend the distinct colors almost as if she were painting with the pens, rather than making marks. The result is a rich melded color scheme hard to achieve with markers.

She may have added a bit of watercolor to accomplish this, but regardless, the effect is stunning.

Usually, the immediate permanence of a mark made by a felt tip pen is such that it makes it hard to blend with other colors. When used on paper the pen’s solvent quickly dries and consequently the pigment gets totally absorbed into the porous paper. This is why markers so often bleed through to the next page. It also makes it very hard to manipulate the pigment once deposited.

But Dusti Bongé, in her ever-experimental attitude, didn’t let any of that stop her. In this work, both the central figures, as well as the background, have a fluid color variation atypical for felt tip work.

Here, the blueish trapezoids have hints of green and purple running through them, while the background moves counterclockwise from red at the top, to a deep orange, then to brown and gold. With the exception of the deliberate black outlines around the blue forms, the colors transition into one another smoothly, even though one can still identify distinct marks made by the pen.

Compositionally, this work is seemingly straightforward, with the cool blue forms situated just right of center against the warm red ground. A slight tilt to each trapezoid creates a small gap between them, which is colored a deep purply-red. Jotting out from this gap is one powerful trapezoid of hot pink. It winds up positioned right at the center of the sheet.

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