John King Paintings

The abstract paintings of the late John King of West Sand Lake, generously donated to Sand Lake Ambulance by his wife, Ursula King, are being offered to the public for sale. All proceeds will directly benefit the Ambulance, being used to acquire new life-saving technologies for the community and maintenance of equipment and facilities.

Download the painting brochure here. All purchases are tax deductible.

Read the Jan 8, 2012 Article on King’s donation to Sand Lake Ambulance.

About John King

King’s artistic career of 50 years, from the 1950s till his recent death, included study at the Parsons School of Design and New York University in New York City, studying under nationally known artists Rudy Helms, Marvin Israel, Alan Gussow and Paul Brack. As artist and teacher in Rensselaer City School District and Ichabod Crane High School, he changed the art program curriculum, creating more excitement and relevance to the world art scene for students. He was appointed District Wide Department Chairperson, from 1968 until his retirement in 1995. At the same time he became owner of the Gallerie Miniature in Albany, N.Y., partnering with Phil Smeltzer, locally considered the best abstract watercolor painter at the time.

King’s accomplishments included art lecturer in the Tri-City area at local galleries and community centers, including the Jewish Community Center in Albany; the Albany Artist’s Group; and various adult education classes. King also initiated an annual art exhibit featuring former students and artists from the Capital District, held in the Village of Kinderhook, NY, which helped fund the Art Scholarship Fund for High School Seniors. He acted as judge for various shows, including the tent show of the Albany Artist’s Group and was a guest lecturer at the event. He also appeared on PBS television, as part of a broadcast concerning painters and problems of operating a privately owned gallery in the Capital District.

Among his many and varied venues, King’s favorite was his 1980 show at the Atelier Moering in Wiesbaden, Germany, where his work was described “…as akin to El Greco without the representational imagery.”

King’s approach to his art started with a poetic refrain, (citing Paul Klee’s process). He stated in a 2005 interview with Karen Hummel in the magazine The Artful Mind, “When I have this, I visualize the image in my mind’s eye. I allow some form of automatism to take hold and begin the process.” “I like to think of myself as a novelist, not a short story writer,” referring to the size of his canvases, exceeding three feet on a side.

King’s work reflects the elemental in nature, the power and force of water, wind, heat, the beginning of life as expressed in the rhythmic forces of dark and light, using color and shape to lead the viewer, letting the viewer feel the closeness, the mustiness, the life and force surrounding them, the urgency or passivity. Art, as defined by King, is “the pursuit of the sensuously beautiful; the cult of beauty and good taste. A doctrine where by art and artists are held to be free of any obligation or responsibility other than that of striving for beauty.”

We hope you will feel the power of John King’s work as an elemental part of your life.



  1. Ed Brooks says:

    I fondly remember both Ursula & John King. They were upstairs neighbors when I was about 5 years old back in the 1950’s at 477 Livingston Village in Albany. As a matter of fact, Ursula was a friend of my mother Barbara Brooks and Ursula used to babysit me back then occasionally. I also remember John used to have me pose while he would do quick sketches of me while wearing his old army hat. That was so long ago, but John was just discharged from the Army and as I recall met Ursula in Germany while he was stationed there. They were both such nice people. I wish Ursula well these days and belatedly so sorry to hear of John’s passing. Please pass this message on to her. Thank you.
    Ed Brooks

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