Daven describes himself as an ‘urban realist’, painting life as he sees it on the city’s streets. He is essentially self-taught spending only one year in a twice weekly open painting session at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. A long time Chicagoan and only moving to St. Louis in 2006, Daven is fascinated by urban life and architecture. In 2007, he picked up his brushes again after a fifteen year hiatus. He paints in his studio in the Lafayette Square neighborhood. As of July 2013 Daven has a studio and gallery on the Plaza in Lafayette Square, St. Louis, Missouri. Monthly he teaches watercolor classes in his studio.
Daven’s work is represented in many noteworthy public and private collections. A recent painting, ‘Reflections’ has been selected as one of the seventy-five best watercolors of 2011. This year, ‘Tis the Season’ was chosen as one of the year’s finest mixed medium works and will be published in a forthcoming book, Incite: Dreams Realized. Daven is currently concentrating on three series of works:
The Blues Scene Daven is capturing ‘Blues’ musicians in performance in a planned series of approximately thirty paintings. When the National Blues Museum opens in downtown St. Louis in late 2014, it will open with Daven’s ‘Blues’ paintings on exhibit. It is planned that the exhibit will travel after the Blues Museum exhibition to the Meek Gallery at ‘Ole Miss’ in Oxford, MS and then perhaps to New Orleans.
Working the Rivers As a US Naval Academy graduate, nuclear submariner and sailor, Daven loves the water. He intends to complete a long series of works celebrating life and work on the inland waterway and river systems. The Mercantile Library purchased the first work in the series, Pushing Upstream at Sunrise, for their permanent collection. Daven has traveled extensively on the inland waterways including completing a three day trip on the M/V Mountain State, an AEP River Op push boat, pushing 15 barges on the Ohio River. The weekly Waterways Journal celebrated the trip with an article and pictures of two of his works that resulted from the trip. Daven was made an ‘official’ Coast Guard Artist in 2012 and as such is listed on the Coast Guard website with a link to Daven’s site. He has ridden with the US Coast Guard many times. Daven has also spent considerable time on Mobile Bay and on the Lower Mississippi: on the river, in the shipyards, on the workboats and cranes . Other river trips are planned. Daven is preparing an art museum exhibition of the series.
The Low Country Daven and Kathie lived in Charleston, SC while Daven was serving in submarines. The area holds a very warm place in their hearts and they have revisited the ‘Low Country’ countless times since. Daven has painted a number of Savannah and Charleston works and will complete others of Beaufort and the low country area in the near future.