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Daven describes himself as an ‘urban realist’, painting life as he sees it on the city’s streets. Dave is essentially self-taught spending only one year in a twice weekly evening open painting session at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. A long time Chicagoan and only moving to St. Louis in 2006 Dave is fascinated by urban life. In 2007 he picked up his brushes again after a 15 year hiatus. Since moving to St. Louis, Dave alternates his subject matter between the three series described below, other urban settings and those of St. Louis.

One of his artistic intentions is to complete a series of approximately 50 works of the people and work on the inland waterway system.  Titled ‘Working the Rivers’ Daven has completed fifteen of the works and plans on completeing the series by December 2014.

The National Blues Museum is scheduled to open in downtown St. Louis in 2014.  When it does, it will open with approximately 20 of Daven’s paintings of Blues musicians ‘in performance’.

Dave is a studio painter. Walking the streets or plying the rivers or Blues Clubs with his camera he constantly searches for images that capture his imagination. The first phase of his effort is to capture the image in multiple shots even returning numerous times as the lighting changes. He uses his photos to develop a final composition. The next phase, the drawing of the piece, is critical to his work and can take significant time. Lastly, the final coloration and painting of the work completes the cycle.