The Rivers: A Celebration of Life & Work on America's Waterways
with artist Daven Anderson
THE RIVERS paintings carry viewers to the banks of America's greatest waterways and beyond, into the shipyards, onto the docks, aboard the ships, and out on the swift, broad currents. Here, unbeknownst to the vast majority of Americans, more than 500 million tons of freight (grains, gravel and aggregates, paper, wood, coffee, coal, petroleum, chemicals, iron, steel, rubber, and manufactured goods) flow past our towns and cities every year. All this is just the traffic on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, all beyond our view and outside our purview, since commercial shipyards are cordoned off from the public. Commercial and industrial maritime operations, brawny, demanding, and usually dangerous to those untutored in nautical transport, are isolated for the safety of the pubic.
Artist Daven Anderson describes himself as an ‘urban realist’, painting life as he sees it on the city’s streets and 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 Daven is fascinated by urban life. In 2007 he picked up his brushes again after a 16 year hiatus.
Daven is a studio painter, walking the streets or plying the rivers or Ports with his camera constantly searching 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. The end results are beautiful rendered and composed views of a busy, yet mostly unknown world.