Sterling Everett has an artist’s eye. It was obvious to me from the second I walk up to his elegantly designed front yard that it didn’t apply just to his work on the canvas. He is inspired to put color to canvas of the florals present in his garden and the marbles in his personal collection. As I sat down with him for our Newsletter Interview, I had nothing but respect for his attention to detail and true love of the culture around him.
What about the South inspires your art?
Growing up, I was always amazed at architecture. I was raised out in the country on a little farm and would go into town and the houses were just fascinating to me. That grew into an interest and I started reading about architecture. I think in the back of my mind I wanted to be an architect.
What do you love about the architecture of Macon, in particular?
Well, it’s so varied. You’ve got antebellum. You’ve got Victorian. And you even have some post-modern. And some of the antebellum is just some of the finest in the south.
I remember when I was about 15 or 16, I got a copy of John Linley’s book called “Architecture of Middle Georgia” and it had all of these stories of the architecture. I really didn’t care so much for the social aspect- who had the money, who didn’t. I just wondered, “How this was built here and why?”
How did that love of Southern architecture inspire you to build your model of the Tara?
I was working with a client and they were describing a house in Greece and all they had was this fuzzy photograph. It was very hard to make much sense of it. There was a lot of guesswork. So I got the idea- why don’t I just make a little cardboard stand up thing to say, “Is this what you’re talking about?” It was just a helpful tool to get like-minds together.
So it was pre-work for your painting! That’s amazing how much effort you put into that.
Well, it was very, very rough and mainly about just trying to get the proportions right. I have found that a lot of people relate more easily to three dimensional than a drawing or a painting.
How did that lead to working on your model of Tara?
That was my first taste of doing a model. I thought, “You know that was kind of fun and interesting” and because the set of Gone With the Wind was so well documented - and parts of it are still in existence - they are in a bar in Jonesboro. I got a chance to go see those!
What inspires you most- favorite medium? favorite thing to paint?
In my painting, I prefer watercolor. Watercolor comes easy for me. Some artists find it to be very difficult. I like it because it is fast and to a point- forgivable. With watercolor, the white of the paper- if you think of it almost as a mirror- it’s reflecting the color back. Sometimes, you can get more luminosity.
What piece have you felt most connected to?
I particularly like the roads because I can let my imagination go a bit more. Think about what might be down the road or perhaps where the road is coming from. I think a lot of people relate to the roads because it is about possibility, dreams.
What is down your own road when you’re painting it?
I’m not sure! It’s kind of whimsical.