In the 1960s, artist Phil Dike began to focus on semiabstract interpretations of the sea, the beach, and beach life. The E. Gene Crain Collection has extensive holdings of these works, which includes the Wave Series and the Malibu Set Series. Dike, who grew up in Redlands in San Bernardino County, first came to Newport Beach with his father. One of his earliest interpretations of the area is California Holiday from 1933, which is in the Crain Collection. In 1947 he and Rex Brandt established the Brandt-Dike Summer School of Painting, based at Brandt’s home in Corona del Mar. In the 1960s, Dike added the coastal region around Cambria to his subject matter after establishing a summer residence there. These works represent Dike’s mature style and powerfully express his passion for the sea. “The days I walk on the beach,” he said, “are not just a search for a subject to paint, or to fill a notebook of facts and ideas, but to somehow reawaken the sensations of pleasure and wonder that I have felt for the sea in the years I have been painting. There is a deep satisfaction in the rhythm of the waves, the light, the smells, the sand and rock pieces that change from day to day…”
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