Distillation is defined as a method of separating a substance that is in solution from its solvent or of separating a liquid from a mixture of liquids having different boiling points. This chemical process has many applications but there appears to be some debate as to whether the first distillations were employed to extract the "spirit" in fermented honey for the production of alcoholic drinks, or for extracting essential oils for use in perfume and cosmetics.Making these images is proving to be a fascinating and challenging experience. As I work, I find that I am guided by what I know of the story, but conversely, the story's nuances and poetic connections "reveal" themselves to me through the work process. Wearing my Genealogist's hat, I know that I must stick to what is known as interpretations can send a researcher up some very dark and murky alleys that lead, almost inevitably, to dead ends. The problem is that when I'm researching this story, my view of the events and each protagonist's part in them takes another turn with each newly uncovered fact and, of course, this is all the working of my overactive imagination. The complete facts will never be known and my inventions make me feel guilty and irresponsible. Sharing the story through imagery has freed me from such guilt. With each new image, the story takes on a life of its own. A myriad of meaning and secret messages can be hidden in an image and the shared story is far more mutable than it ever could be in a written history. However, as an artist, I'm torn between my instinct to create painterly, semi-abstract images the need, in this instance, to "illustrate" and provide clues. Furthermore, I want to keep the touch light and not overburden each piece with too much hidden meaning or anecdote. There are usually several versions of many of the images that I create (not just the ones in this sequence): an initial "clean" one and then several more in a gradual sequence of abstraction. I usually post one that represents a mid point in the process. Even so,there is a lot of detail in these ATC images (actually made at twice ATC size) which doesn't get seen at screen size and resolution. Perhaps the solution is to post two versions of each image alongside one or two close-ups...but then again, I personally enjoy the ambiguity of an image and the interpretations that each new set of eyes brings. This story is, after all, an only partially known mystery and so I leave to you, dear readers, to let me know if you become frustrated and confused rather than intrigued and engaged.