Start with an idea, generated by the bald eagle pair who live nearby and reinforced by an excellent reference photo (of a different eagle):
Add a generous portion of Symbolic Inspiration:
from A Dictionary of Symbols by J.E. Cirlot 1958
While stirring the iconographic pot, refer to previously developed recipes using symbolism and personal motifs and decide which ingredients might complement the inspiration best. Try and remember that you're using oil paint now, not acrylic, and adjust cooking times.
Prepare the workspace and choose a more organic, less-structured approach to the alchemy. Try not to tear out hair and insult the sous-chef when it doesn't go well and you decide to rub off a portion. You chose this approach after all.
Proceed for a couple of days, labouriously adding the spice of the patterned background after the main ingredients have been adjusted to taste.
Once assembled, taste at intervals. When you finally realize that the combination of ingredients is too incompatible to sit lightly on the tongue, take a rag and rub off large sections. Keep annoying individuals out of reach of fists.
When the smeared paint produces some "wow ~ that's kind of cool" moments: STOP!
Add the final ingredient (large blue area) and finishing touches. Compliment the sous-chef on her patience and protective gear. Breathe out.
Into the Void
18" x 24" oil on canvas