EJ Miley, Jr.
Those of us in the creative world, those that are the authors and custodians of our shared culture(s) understand that ‘we create, because we must.’ Many of my contemporaries, and certainly those that came before us…and hopefully, those that will follow us, realize that the best way to be creative, to insure that what we do, what we give birth to, ‘must’ be to be true to ourselves, those etched, unspoken words: “Paint (write) what you know!” If we do not, if we simply ‘do,’ then it becomes nothing more than random, mindless, heartless motion, without any sense of a soul. With respect to my art, my craft, the beginnings of what I claim to know are found in Albany, Georgia, during one of my father’s assignments. In the land of red clay, I attended a kindergarten, in the truest sense of the word. My teacher exposed us to so much, truly a garden of knowledge and encouragement. One day she offered several of us, with our parents’ consent, a puppy from her dog’s litter. A few days following, I carried my choice, my little white terrier puppy, with a blue ribbon from my teacher around its neck, to my mother’s car and home we went. Canines have long since been in my blood. Today as an artist I have become their painter, whether I paint their direct portraits or include them in what I refer to as whimsical ‘Americana’ narratives, which I compose. Several years ago, a wise Boston terrier, named ‘Bubba’—my companion (my Toto) gave me a renewed heartbeat to paint—to paint DOGS! Several years ago I created ‘Ars Gratia Caninae’—art for the sake of dogs. I paint them, because ‘I must.’
About the Artist
EJ Miley, Jr. was born at Forbes AFB, in Topeka, Kansas, his father being career Air Force. As a child, EJ’s father told him, affectionately, that he was indeed ‘government issued.’ During his father’s assignments, overseas and here in the U.S., he found himself returning to the land of Dorothy and Toto quite often. It was during one of his father’s leaves that his grandfather took him to visit Kansas University at Lawrence, a piece of the Ivy League found in the middle of America. Years later, EJ studied at several universities and went on to become a teacher of art. His mother, Marilyn Joan Crowley Miley, is directly responsible for what he is today. Though not a practicing artist herself, Marilyn became his guide into the arts & culture that defines his life today, introducing him to the arts of Spain during one of his father’s military assignments. EJ considers his artistic portfolio today to be his legacy—his gift of ‘thanks’ to his parents. Tammy, his wife, fellow artist/writer, is the steward for his creative life, that special someone encouraging him, believing in his work. She is the reason he continues to nurture his art and to demand and expect more of himself as a creative person.