Miska was born Emily Salemann, a child of immigrants with German, Russian, and Serbian heritage. She is a self-taught painter, studying the works of the great masters and contemporary artists daily. Miska’s journey as a painter began in St. Thomas, USVI as a basic need to provide artwork for an vacation home on the island. Hence, the birth of her business model: combining her love for art, décor, and real-estate to create extraordinary artistic retreats.
Miska has thus far been incredibly successful. In August 2000, Miska was chosen by US Art magazine as one of 25 prominent artists to be featured and calls her an emerging success. Her paintings are colorful and expressive. Her ﬁgures are very endearing. The blend of a Roman Catholic and Russian Greek Orthodox religious upbringing has manifested itself in her highly successful series of Madonna icons. When told that her paintings are very "Picasso like", she replies that her paintings are "happier" and her ﬁgures more recognizable.
She often incorporates iridescent colors in her works that gives them an amazing reﬂective quality. Her work is also rich in symbolism. Umbrellas, which are very common in her work, are symbols of the “shelter” that the love of friends and family provide in life. The round circles found on the faces and chests of her ﬁgures are symbols of the blush of romance and happiness. Her paintings often reﬂect a Northwest palette and love for coﬀee and ﬁne wine.
Miska lives on a small equestrian estate in Fall City, WA with her four barn cats, two horses, two dogs, and two hens. Since moving to the farm, her rooster paintings have become best-sellers. Miska is currently creating an artistic Airbnb as part of her studio gallery.