IN ADDISONS OWN WORDS
Today is December 14th, 1967, I’m working on my eighth painting. I have been engaged in this endeavor for 1 year now and during that time I have been striving forever greater biological perfection through faithful reproduction of my creatures. This essential (I consider essential) realism is compatible with my personal feelings for the creatures involved. The statement that they all have distinct and separate personalities may be laughable and certainly challenges some who have not spent the hundreds of hours I have among them in their silent world. The fact that I have named all of my paintings after specific individuals who modeled for me attests to this truth. (We do not know what names Curly originally gave to his paintings).
Several of my subjects are placed in an attitude or position that reflects its personality. Merely getting an outline form on the board sometimes took many hours. In the cases of the 750 pound 14 foot sawfish and the 7 foot blue shark; because of their being one and two of a kind I respectively was forced to wait for them to approach my easel, align themselves correctly (This occurred perhaps once in a dozen times) and enable me to lay another stroke on the board or cross check the outline for accuracy. They made rather indifferent models.In the case of the Bat Ray and Leopard Shark for example, I could use any number of them as models; one was always swimming by.
I have chased thieving Sheep head across the bottom of the tank to retrieve my paint tubes, nearly lost a finished painting to a huge lumbering 300 pound green Sea Turtle and sat for as long as 2 hours on the bottom trying to make the eye of a shark live on my board as it did in the wild creature swimming around me.
One exception among the bigger fish is a Gulf Grouper who I have named Gerome. I say him but I’m not at all sure whether “him” is male or female. For the last 5 months Gerome has been by my side while I’m painting. He leaves for varying periods of time and is quite often chased away by a larger Grouper who is unmistakably jealous. He always returns to his “station” sometimes resting his chin on my knee. I pet him, tickle his chin and brush his teeth with my largest paint brush. Gerome was my model of perfection. He sat for his portrait and scarcely moved. In fact, he gets so close to me that I was forced to keep moving him back to see him in the proper perspec tive. Gerome is dapple grey and has a very large mouth. He weighs about 175 pounds and is 4 feet long. He looks like a bass and is a member of the Sea Bass family.
In spite of the fact that I have improved my techniques and gained speed in my operations underwater through almost daily sittings, I am now spending more time on my paintings than I originally did. This is because I am putting more time into more detail, greater accuracy and more exotic background effects. My plans for the future are many, varied and exciting. I hope the public will accept them. My plans for the future includes showings at the major art museums here in Los Angeles and then extending into a nationwide tour of my paintings and underwater art.