The Alchemist ©2013 - Funny how sometimes a composition will start as one thing and somewhere along the way evolve into something completely different. This piece started as just a still life. I picked up the bottles a couple of months ago at the estate sale of an artist among a lot of art materials in the basement. They seemed to have been used for mixing pigments or maybe a substance used in pottery making. The insides were still coated with beautifully textured remnants of the contents. I added some bits of dried flowers that I always save from my flower bouquets after their demise for use in various art projects. The keys were among some of the things left by former inhabitants of my house when I moved in 36 years ago. I was pleased with the composition but still felt something was missing. After pondering it a few days, I decided to add a photo of a window in the loft of my garage to the background, some of my backyard birds perched just outside, and a self portrait from 1992. That provided the storytelling quality I was looking for and completed "The Alchemist".