[Vilma.] c. 1930. Watergraph (stencils with watercolor). 11 7/8 x 9 7/8 (sheet 17 1/2 x 14 1/4). A fine impression printed in subtle shades of russet on cream wove paper. Numbered '58' in the lower right-hand margin. Signed in pencil in the image.
Darling studied for several years in France at the Academie Libre in Nice, at the Grande ChimÃ¨re in Paris, and at the Academie Coloraise. His works have been exhibited at the Galerie Nice and the Salon des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Then he spent time in the Austrian Tyrol. Upon his return to Rochester, New York, he was invited to contribute to a joint exhibition of eminent watercolorists in company with John Marin and George Ennis at the Memorial Art Gallery. So favorably were his watercolors received that he was asked to submit his pictures for an exhibition at the Art Center of New York, where he had the distinction of winning the praise of metropolitan critics.
Subsequently, he moved to 46 Washington Square in Manhattan. He held a one-man show at the Art Center in New York City of a new type of decorative watercolor which he called "Water-Graph," which he made by a secret stencil process of his own invention. He used seven, eight, or more stencils to obtain the well-defined outlines and transparent watercolor applied with a dry brush to produce the subtle gradations of tone. The general effect is of a beautifully handled color woodblock print, but with richer tonal effects and more shading. The process gives the appearance of something which is between a transparent, brushed watercolor and a pastel.
He gained a reputation as a painter and as a book illustrator. He painted murals that are in the Pennsylvania state-building in Harrisburg. After 1930, he was Assistant Professor of Art at Marshal College, Huntington, West Virginia, where he taught and worked in oils and etching. In 1932 he exhibited the water graphs at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.