Combers (No. 4)
Musings | Monthly Muse October 2022
I’ve always loved the fluidity of watercolor, those tinted liquids being pushed and pulled across the surface of paper and soaking into its fibers. A similar phenomenon happens at the beach, where ocean tides push water up against the land, some of it soaking in, some of it being pulled back out by the tide. Phil Dike was captivated by both, returning year after year to a summer home on California’s central coast to commune with the ocean and reimagine it in his favored medium of watercolor. Combers (No. 4) catches the dynamism of that environment, where land meets sea. Its horizon line is placed near the top edge of the painting, which focuses the viewer’s attention on the beach—an invitation to look out as much as look down. His view opens the flatness of the sand and water and reveals the layers of life that sustain the coast as a rich, complex place.
Chair and Associate Professor of Art History, UCI