When the drawing actually begins, one is in for a big adventure. It never turns out like what I imagine. Problems emerge. I remind myself that even God was disappointed with his first draft in creating the world, and wanted to destroy all of mankind. But along with the disappointments and problems, possibilities open up as well. For example, God made a plan: to save a remnant, namely Noah & his family.
I needed some plans, too. How would I place the angels? "Wings....hmmmm...How might the wings work in my own composition? The thought came to me that the wings might form a Jewish Star. Does the Book of Kells draw the feathers sideways? Or up? Or down?
The fact that each angel has a mission led me to wondering how I might symbolize their tasks in the painting. Gabriel was easy, as he has a flaming sword. Michael holds one's hand. And Raphael, how might I symbolize his healing from behind? I saw him with his hands raised in blessing, and then I thought of the priestly blessing---he could hold his hands like the Aharonites. Uriel, God's guiding light. What is a symbol of light in Jewish tradition?..... of course, the menorah in the ancient temple! As I began to draw Uriel's lamp, referring back to the Bibilcal passage with instructions for its manufacture, it occurred to me that it could look somewhat like the Kabbalistic Sephirot. That became a little secret in the painting, for those whose eyes might catch it.