John Pike (1911-1979)
Born: Boston MA
Studied: Charles Hawthorne, Richard Miller
Member: National Academy of Design, Salmagundi Club, Allied Artist, American Watercolor Society, Society of Illustrators, Woodstock Artist Association, Southwest Watercolor Society (Honorary), Philadelphia Watercolor Society and Grand Central Galleries.
The extent of John Pike's formal art study was with both well-known artists Charles Hawthorne and Richard Miller. At sixteen years of age Mr.Pike went to Provincetown, Massachusetts to study under Charles Hawthorne, here is where he gained a great deal from the standpoint of color and values. At the same time he also studied under Richard Miller in portraiture.
John Pike's personal inspiration was from a great Bostonian "boy genius" named John Whorf. When Mr. Pike was eight or nine (Whorf was 21) his Sunday school teacher "Sarah" who happened to be John Whorf's mother held a class gathering at her house that Mr. Pike attended. While at the house Mr. Pike observed Mr. Whorf painting. From that point on Mr. Pike started his long journey into painting watercolors.
In 1933 Mr. Pike went to Jamaica; he later married and had one son. He returned to the United States in 1938 to exhibit after painting murals, doing advertising for the rum industry, designing stores, and designing nightclubs and theaters for MGM in Jamaica.
After completion of pilot training in the military, Mr. Pike served in the Psychological Warfare Branch in Egypt and Italy. Mr.Pike, then went to the Philippines where he transferred to the Combat Art Section, Corps of Engineers, as head of the unit given the job of recording U.S. occupation of Korea in 1945. The resulting paintings are in the Historical Properties Section of the War Department.
As a member of the Air Force Historical Foundation (1945-1960), Mr. Pike painted for the USAF in France, Germany, Thule Greenland, Ecuador, Columbia, Japan and Formosa. These paintings are in the permanent collection of the USAF Academy.
Mr. Pike also did paintings, illustrations, and covers for Colliers, Life, Fortune, True, and Readers Digest; and advertising paintings for Alcoa, Standard Oil, National Cash Register, Equitable Life Insurance, General Tire International, etc... His paintings are in many public and private collections.
His awards include the National Academy, Hallgraten Prize; Salmagundi Black and White prizes; A.W.S. "Watercolor U.S.A. Award"; 1974 recipient of the National Academy "Walter Briggs Memorial Award"; the "Franklin Mint Gold Medal Award" for being one of twelve best American Watercolor Society prize winners for five years; 1976 top National Academy Watercolor award; the "William A. Paton Prize"; A.W.S. "The John Young Hunter Award"; Academic Artists Association "The Helen Gould Kennedy Award"; He was also invited by the National Gallery of Art and NASA to be one of two official artists on the Apollo Moon Shot. He was invited as the "Artist of the Year" at the Ohio State Fair, 1975, and was also invited to hang in the "200 Years of American Watercolor" show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.C.
While operating the John Pike Watercolor School in Woodstock, N.Y. 1960-1979, he attracted many professional artists from around the country. The reputation of the school was such that corporations, ad agencies, etc., sent their artists for advanced study. At the time of his death in 1979 he had done over sixty one-man shows.
John Pike Biography information: JohnPikeart.com; John Pikes book: "John Pike Paints Watercolor"