John Pike studied at the Cape Cod School of Art, then moved to Jamaica in 1933, where he lived for five years. He worked on many different art projects, including designing theaters and nightclubs, painting murals, and promoting a local rum company. Back in the States, he created illustrations for magazines and advertisements for everything from insurance to oil. In 1945 he traveled to Asia with the military, making sketches of the United States’ occupation of Korea, and also traveled around the world painting pictures for the Air Force Historical Foundation. He established the John Pike Watercolor School in Woodstock, New York, in 1960, and took people on “painting holidays” to Europe and South America.