A native Angeleno, Ellen Armer King has always loved making art. As a girl, she drew and painted constantly, and began winning school and city competitions by age ten.
King attended college at Oregon State University and finished her education at Cal State Northridge. In her early 20s, she moved to Europe to visit museums and learn from the masters. She lived in Haarlem, Holland for one year and Paris, France for three years, where she studied French and art at the Sorbonne. In Paris, King discovered her passion and love for teaching — what she describes as "a psychological challenge: taking thoughts and making them clear, succinct, and inspiring to herself for her students." Back in Los Angeles, she began her 30-year career at the Brentwood Art Center, where she educated and trained new teachers, designed curriculum, and implemented programs for some of the city's most prestigious institutions, including the J. Paul Getty Museum. King credits Jim Dine, Richard Diebenkorn, and Eric Fischl among her artistic heroes and greatest influences.
King's travels throughout Israel, Africa, and India have inspired much of her work. She was asked back to Zimbabwe after a visit by the National Gallery Museum in Harare, though a government edict prevented her from fulfilling the honor. Instead, King exhibited her collection at the Ernie Wolfe Gallery, where critics heralded the show.
Today, King's mixed media work is vivid, fiery, teeming with energy, sometimes subtle but always alive. Her Southern California roots have influenced her love of bright, rich illuminated color. She currently resides in Manhattan Beach, CA, where the sun, sand and sea provide endless inspiration.
Her ongoing body of work grows out of her search for honest expression. "We all have something to say to the world," King says. "Painting is my way of finding a universal truth, revealing our humanity, our vulnerability, and our grace."