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