This is the set-up as I left it. I found I was reluctant to try a different one. Partly it was because I didn’t want to damage the bird’s nest. Every time I picked it up, it fell apart a little more. Also, I was afraid that I’d never get everything back in the correct position with the correct lighting. Underlying these reasons though, was the reluctance to start from scratch. Creating something new is always daunting. It’s tempting to stick with my first idea because that’s easier. To come up with something different (and maybe better!) takes a lot of work. I decided that none of these reasons was good enough not to try another set-up.

I moved everything over to a different table. I used a darker board as the tabletop, but decided to keep the rice paper on the wall. I missed seeing the shadow cast by the loose weave of the basket in the first set-up, so I put the basket on the right side to leave more room for its shadow. All of the other objects now fit to the left of the basket, instead of on the right, as before. Otherwise, their arrangement is similar. The green glass box is now in shadow. I think that I prefer this. The nest stands out a bit more against the darker tabletop.

Above, I experimented with casting a dark shadow from the right side to add more drama. The top edge of this shadow is a little strange, but I could always fix its shape in the painting. Adding this shadow has eliminated the bits of the light background showing through the interstices of the weave, but overall, I think it’s better. If I adjust the light a bit, some spots should show on the left side of the basket where some parts of the wall are lit.

Above, I decided to rotate the basket. I was intrigued by the new shadow cast onto the wall. I might decide that it’s too distracting, though. I don’t want the shadow to draw too much attention. Also, in this position, the V-shape of the handle where it meets the body of the basket can’t be seen. I’ll live with both options for a day or two.