Melvin Marvin King was born December 17, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois to Willie Mae and Thomas Jefferson King formerly of Durant and West Mississippi. His parents migrated to Chicago before Melvin was born and raised their seven children in an attic apartment at 3141 South Calumet. Melvin attended Douglas and Wadsworth Elementary Schools and graduated from Hyde Park high school in Chicago.
The family lived in two rooms until he was 11 years old. His father was the only wage earner in the house making a modest living to support the family. Yet, both parents managed to raise all seven children well despite the many difficulties along life long road. Both parents were born again Christians and were great inspirations.
Melvin King‘s best subjects were woodshop, tumbling and dancing. He participated in swimming, volleyball, archery and drawing. He became interested in art at a young age, especially clay modeling. His interest in art continued to grow. At age 12, he won a two year free class in commercial art based on a drawing. Melvin started drawing and painting in his early teens from books. His parents could not afford formal study so the pictures in the books became his models.
After a stint in the Armed Forces, he studied sketching at the Art Institute for one semester under the G.I. bill. At the time, Melvin painted only for his own enjoyment. Earlier on, as a child, expressing himself verbally was difficult because of stuttering. He expressed himself through his art and drawings and painting became his avenue for self expression.
Melvin King experienced the greatest asset to his life in April of 1958 in Washington, D.C. when he accepted Christ as his personal savior. He credits that experience with changing his life, as though God was guiding him through all of his artistic works.
Melvin King has worked in several mediums: oil, acrylics, pastels, watercolors, wood, clay and metal. His first love was large abstractions though he continued on to explore realism. For years, he went in many directions to develop his own personal style and after years of painting, he discovered his distinctive paintings style at 40. Now Melvin King’s works are enjoyed worldwide.
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