Dusti Bongé’s often cubist representations of various Biloxi waterfront and harbor scenes, or her landscapes and cityscapes, all captured the quality of the place or space without lending them any clear sense of scale. Her usual scenes would include boats, piers, masts, trees, factories, and miscellaneous buildings, often rendered from her unique bird’s-eye view.
In the many drawings and paintings Dusti produced during the early years, rarely did she use conventional perspective. Even more rarely, and interesting to note, did she include any people in these scenes.
Here we have a rare exception, a waterfront scene with two figures in a boat. In the background you can see a strip of land, with some sparse trees. This is most likely Deer Island, one of the many coastal barrier islands, and the one that is clearly visible standing on the beach in Biloxi. In the foreground there are white caps on the water indicating the motion of the waves. In the middle the two figures in the boat are slightly hunched over, as if bracing against the wind as they row into it.
The layering of foreground, middle ground, and background, aided by the presence of the two human figures, sets up a more conventional sense of perspective. Unlike her typical scenes with multiple objects presented at various angles, here we have just the one row boat amidst sparse surroundings. The whole scene is skillfully rendered with quick dynamic strokes of pastel.