Phil Dike (1906-1990)
Phil Dike was born in Redlands, California in the year of the great San Francisco earthquake. When he was 17 he attended the Chouinard Art Institute on scholarship and by 1929 after further studies in New York he was back at Chouinard as a teacher.
He became one of the first exponents of a new bold approach to painting watercolors that came to be known as the “California Style.”
In the 1930s he was a popular teacher and exhibited his work in museums across the country, receiving high acclaim and winning awards. By the mid-1930s he was working for Walt Disney Studios where he taught artists and worked on classic animated films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Three Caballeros, and Fantasia.
Mr. Dike also worked alongside other regional en plein air watercolor artists of the “California Group” and in 1938 he was elected president of the California Water Color Society.
After World War II and after leaving Walt Disney, Phil Dike started to teach and paint full time, forming the Brandt-Dike Summer School of Painting with his close friend Rex Brandt.
Phil Dike taught at the Chouinard Art Institute, the Claremont Graduate School, and Scripps College. His modern quasi-abstract style is studied, innovative and direct and his stylistic influence is wide spread in the fine and commercial art fields.
— Watercolor Masters: Phil Dike © 2010 Greg Conley —