I learned a lot on this one. The portrait was mostly painted first and then seemed to need the bird. I crowd sourced the bird (for approval) on instagram. Everybody liked a different bird. but it was helpful to see all the variations...I am a new user, so still stumbling along there. I painted 8 or 10 birds on her shoulder in various degrees of color intensity and personality intensity. Then I removed the bird altogether and it seemed empty, so back it went. And now I have a sort of narrative painting and I don't want a narrative, however -- it seems like maybe this one could be such mysterious narrative that is could be ok. Maybe a FELT narrative. That might be like an alternative fact, though.
Also I learned that that when painting goes wrong, or anything else for that matter, it is a good idea to go directly to youtube and watch episodes of Tapeman, you feel much better immediately and it frees you up to make changes and not be too serious.