For miles around, Mike Everidge is known as a true professional artist.
What got Everidge on the map was the art of caricatures.
He has been an artist since four years of age.
“At a very young age, my grandmother, Jesse Jones, bought a drawing board for me,” he said. “This was the beginning of my art.”
Everidge grew up in Morristown, a graduate of Morristown-Hamblen High School East. He attended Walters State for art classes.
He’s been doing caricatures ever since.
“I do portraits and everything else,” he said. “To be able to take an individual and just twist and manipulate them around to where they still look like themselves, but they’re not, to make a conversation piece.”
Everidge was doing at least one caricature a day for three years, and estimated he has done around 1,500 to 2,000 people. He has drawn everyone from The Beatles to The Three Stooges and many common people in between.
He has even done Morristown native and blues legend Wallace Coleman.
“I love to do portraits,” Everidge said. “To be able to give someone a portrait, especially if they have a deceased family member, if you do a portrait of them, it’s a keepsake for them.”
Everidge presented a portrait of Hamblen County Founder Col. Billy Greene to the county to hang in the courthouse in 2021.
The portrait had hung in the office of former State Rep. Tillman Goins. When the county was approved to become a county from parts of Grainger, Hawkins and Jefferson counties, State Senator Greene chose to name the county in honor of his maternal grandfather Hezekiah Hamblen, a Hawkins County native.
Everidge also painted a portrait of Kingswood Home for Children ambassador Reuben Couch, who passed away earlier this year. Couch grew up at the home, then known as Kingswood School, and spent the rest of his life telling others about Kingswood and its impact on him to get help for the organization.
“The portrait is hanging there at the school,” Everidge said. “He was a good friend of mine.”
Everidge enjoys what he does.
“I just want to paint and have fun. What else is there?” he said. “When it no longer is fun, it’s probably time to go on to something else.”
Commissioned oil portraits start at $400, up to $800 depending on size and content. Acrylic, which is a little faster and requires less curing, starts at $300. A simple black and white sketch portraits start at $20 and goes to $80 depending on content and sizes. Estimates can be given on request.