Phil Dike was born in Redlands, California, and was exposed to art from his childhood because his grandmother, Eliza Twigg, was a painter. In 1924, he began his art education at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, and in 1928 went to the Art Students League in New York where he studied with Frank DuMond and George Luks. He traveled throughout Europe and studied for a year in France at the American Academy of Fontainebleau and exhibited at that time at the Paris Salon.
He returned to Los Angeles where he taught at Chouinard’s for twenty years and also worked in the fine art department of Walt Disney Studios where he worked on animated classics including “Fantasia” and “Snow White” and was the first artist to put color into Disney animations. From 1950 to 1971, he was on the faculty of Scripps College and Claremont Graduate School. He first went to Arizona in 1931 during the Depression and returned to paint copper mining scenes, where he depicted a thriving copper mining industry of both open pit and underground mines. Some of his locations were Jerome, northwest of Phoenix, and Globe and Morenci east and south of Phoenix.
His work can be found at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio and the Pasadena Art Institute in California.
Phil Dike was one of the leading California artists during the 1940s and 50s. He was a member of the California Watercolor Society and a past President of that organization.