Jay Scott Pike is an artist and has been a professional artist almost since the day he was 16 and enrolled in the Art Students League in Manhattan. His connection to Sarasota is early, too.  He finished his art school training at the Ringling School of Art before going back to the northeast for the remainder of his career as a professional artist.

Retired now and living at Plymouth Harbor in Sarasota, Florida, where he had first arrived as a student in 1948, Scott still paints every day. He has a studio in his apartment, which he shares with his wife of well over 50 years, Margie, and also keeps an easel at the ready in the Plymouth Harbor art studio open to all residents.

Scott’s professional work spanned from commercial art for big name brands to comic books and pin-up art. While in the Marines at the end of WWII he even took commissions to paint lovely ladies on the sides of bomber aircraft. For fun, you might enjoy learning more about his career on Wikipedia where the page on Jay Scott Pike reveals even more.

But now he has a new series he has been working on for almost 6 years.

Scott Pike has painted portraits of his neighbors in Plymouth Harbor, but they are not the standard portrait you may imagine. Each individual is portrayed as a character that either plays off an actual trait or runs directly counter to the individual’s real personality. Whatever it is, Scott just saw the right way to capture his friends and we’ve all been delighted by the results.

His first was to capture the ebullient and musically talented George Heitler as a deadly serious gunslinger in Gary Cooper High Noon style.

Retired physician Dr. Jim Griffith was portrayed as a sea captain during a terrible storm.

For some, the portraits were created only shortly before their passing and have remained as a cheerful reminder of dear friends and the qualities that all loved. 

The list goes on. Not only do his portraits remain the “talk of the tower” at Plymouth Harbor, but also have become a meaningful gift and moments in the lives of those he has portrayed.

Gunslinger – George Heitler
Drill Sarge – John Knox Hess*
Riverboat Gambler – Dr. Richard Kessler*
Sea Captain – Dr. Jim Griffith
Coach – Marlow Cook
Spanish Dancer – Jill Wilson
Aviatrix – Wendy Underwood
Showgirl – Francie Jones
Seer – Marty Buenneke
Plymouth Harbor Gothic – Jean Lions and George Doty
Truck Driver – Larry Coffey

* deceased