John Pike

John Pike

The American painter John Pike left us some wonderful paintings. He was also a famous teacher who designed his own watercolour palette – still popular today – and various teaching aids.

He loved natural subject matters such as woodlands and coastal scenes and was a master at portraying the various moods of nature from calm sunsets to tropical storms. Also his use of the charcoal thumbnail sketch is instructive. Here he would work out the tonal plan of the painting and decide on a focal point.

Born in Boston, USA, in 1911, John Pike has gained international recognition for his watercolours.

He was a student of Charles Hawthorne and in 1933 he went to Jamaica where he produced advertising art for the rum industry. He also painted murals for night clubs and theatres.

As a member of the Air Force Historical Foundation he did paintings for the USAF, which are now in the collection of the USAF Academy at Colorado Springs.

John Pike was the official artist for NASA during the Apollo 10 launch and was included in the “200 Years of American Watercolor” show at the Metropolitan Museum, New York. He was also a cover artist and illustrator for such magazines as Life, Fortune, and Readers Digest.

From 1966 he was an instructor for “Painting Holidays” covering over a dozen countries.

The John Pike Watercolor School in Woodstock, New York, attracted professional artists from around the country every summer for advanced study.

He was a member of the National Academy of Design, The American Watercolor Society, Allied Artists of America, and the famous Salmagundi Club, among others.

He is also famous for being the designer of the “John Pike Palette” which is still a popular choice up to this day.