ONLINE: The Junior Art Major Exhibition 2020 > Darby Hurlbert

As a studio art major intending to pursue a career in art restoration and/or conservation, I experiment with as wide a range of mediums as I can. I start each piece by choosing the materials, and then the concept for the work follows. My favorite mediums are watercolor and charcoal because I find that I can experiment with value and color to better understand them. When working with still-life, I am interested in finding beauty in everyday objects that some may see as mundane and ordinary, such as in Still Life of a Bird. When working with watercolor, I paint flowers and landscapes from unusual or atypical perspectives. When Spring Turns to Summer: A View from Confer/Vickner, depicts the view from the interior window of the second floor of the Confer/Vickner Academic building. I chose this location to paint because the trees outside that window are beautiful and I would walk past them every day. Whenever the season changes I always notice the trees on campus first. I chose this window in particular because I like the way the interior architectural elements framed the view from the window.
When painting with watercolor, I often start with a photograph I have taken. For example, The Last Dinner on the Rooftop in Prague, was inspired by a photograph taken on a family bike trip from Vienna to Prague. The trip was magical and brought our family together in a new way. The image is the view from our last dinner together on a rooftop in Prague. Painting this image and others is a way for me to relive memories. I abstract the image to imply the gestalt of memory rather than the rendering form to replicate a photograph.
In Hershey’s Chocolate: The New Superfood, I collaged dated advertisements in order to create a new image with new meaning. I combined a Hershey’s chocolate ad and a milk ad to create a new advertising narrative of Hershey’s chocolate as a superfood. I edited the faces of the two children in the original ad to look like my cousins, Hannes and Mabel. I used a milk chocolate-colored ink that I mixed in order to create the illusion that the print is made of chocolate.