Tropical Beach with Palms
Original Watercolor by John Pike
John Pike Watercolor
Palm Tree Detail Full margins

Sheet with full margins

Signature
Detail

John Pike (1911-1979)
[Tropical Beach with Palm Trees]
American: Mid 20th Century
Watercolor on paper
19.75 x 26 inches image, where formerly matted
20.5 x 28 inches, overall
$1,800

A dramatic, tropical, sandy beach landscape, showing two men standing beside a red boat beneath windswept palm trees.  The location appears to be the Caribbean, possibly Jamaica where the artist lived for a period of time and later in his life brought tour groups for painting workshops.  The dynamic composition is painted in a bravura style and accented with dashes of opaque white.  Pike was known for his landscapes and marine subjects, and specialization as a watercolor artist.

John Pike studied with Charles Hawthorne and Richard Miller.  He lived in Jamaica from 1933 to 1938, where he worked in advertising and design and painted murals.  During World War II, Pike served in the military and in 1945 transferred to the Combat Art Section of the Corps of Engineers as head of the unit recording the U.S. occupation of Korea.  He made paintings in Europe, South American and Asia for the US Air Force from 1945 to 1960 as a member of the Air Force Historical Foundation.  He also worked as a magazine and advertising illustrator for publications such as Colliers, Life, Fortune, True, and Readers Digest, and companies such as Alcoa, Standard Oil, and other large corporations.

From 1960 to 1979, he operated the John Pike Watercolor School in Woodstock, New York, led painting trips overseas, and marketed art supplies, instructional books and videos under the John Pike brand name.  These products are still available today.  Pike was a member of the National Academy of Design, Salmagundi Club, American Watercolor Society, Society of Illustrators, among others, and accumulated many awards from these and other organizations.  Pike exhibited widely during his lifetime, including 200 Years of American Watercolor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and his works today are in the collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Butler Institute of Art, US Air Force Academy, NASA and others.

Condition: Generally very good with light toning and wear.  Professionally removed from former backing, with some light scattered skinning verso, not affecting front, and rebacked on archival paper.  Artist’s pencil guidelines and light mat burn in margins where formerly matted, can be rematted in same way.

Reference:

“John Pike.”  John Pike Art Products.  1997.  http://johnpikeartprod.com/JPikebio.htm (17 January 2008).


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