“A painting is good not because it looks like something, but because it feels like something.” - Phil Dike

Phil Dike was known as the intellectual leader of California watercolor artists, and developed a sweeping, vanguard style that was influenced by the likes of more avant garde artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, John Marin, and Charles Burchfield. Growing up in Redlands, CA, his grandmother was a painter and first exposed Dike to the arts.  He began formal arts study in high school, and continued to hone his craft at the Chouinard Art Institute, Art Students League, and the American Academy of Fontainebleau.  After studying extensively, he returned to teach at Chouinard, where he enjoyed a twenty-year tenure, and eventually moved on to serve as professor of art at Scripps College and Claremont Graduate School. 

Always one to push boundaries, Dike can claim an impressive number of  art world “firsts,” and was one of the most aesthetically modern of his American Scene peers. Within the California Scene Movement, Dike is well respected as one of the first artists to embrace and teach what became known as the California Style of watercolor painting. He was also the first artist to paint color into Disney animations, and incorporated calligraphy and geometric-abstractionist ideas into his artwork. He went on to complete altar pieces for churches, mosaic decorations, illustrations for national publications, and limited- edition lithographs and serigraphs. His versatility as an artist spoke greatly to his overall creative caliber.

Artworks by Phil Dike can be found at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, the Pasadena Art Institute in California, St. San Antonio College Fine Arts Center, Scripps College, and the chapel of Claremont Community Congregational Church. 

California Scene Movement Timeline
1923: Dike awarded a scholarship to attend at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, where E Tolles Chamberlin and Clarence Hinkle instructed him.
1928: Apprenticed under Frank DuMond and George Luks at the Art Students League in New York. 
1930: Studied in Paris, France at the American Academy of Fontainebleau and exhibited at the Paris Salon. 
1930-1950: Returns to Los Angeles, teaches at Chouinard and works in the fine art department of Walt Disney Studios as Color Coordinator for classics such as Fantasia and Snow White.
1938: Dike served as president of the California Water Color Society
1945: Formed the Brandt-Dike Summer School of Painting in Corona del Mar with fellow California Scene painter Rex Brandt.
1950 - 1971: Taught at Scripps College and Claremont Graduate School
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