Macbeth's Outhouse

Macbeth's Outhouse, Fall 2010, Watercolour on Paper
Click to enlarge.
There’s an interesting story attached to this painting.

In the small New Brunswick village where I live, the nicest area for walking is to the left of my house, towards the countryside. At one point you are quite high up and you get a great view of the valley, unobstructed by the forest.

When I'm out in that direction, my preference goes to some of the more intimate places, and of all those, my favourite is a lane with an intriguing sign at the road. It’s just a wooden board on which the word “Macbeth” is painted in white.

When I first saw it, I thought, oh my, we have an intellectual living around here! Because of course I assumed it referred to the Shakespeare play.

It was only a few years later that I found out  that Macbeth is a relatively common family name around here!

That lane is especially beautiful in the fall, as it is bordered on each side with a row of trees, and that’s when the long driveway itself is covered by a thick carpet of multicolored leaves.

At the end of the lane, there is a small camp – hunting is a big hobby around here – and a few feet away sits the outhouse.  When I saw that outhouse I knew I had to paint it, so one day I lugged my art supplies up there and conquered my fear of bears and alligators, and I produced this painting. That was in 2010. The date is right on the painting.

I put the painting away and forgot about it until last week. My friend Carol and I were driving around, and I mentioned to her that we were about to pass my favourite spot in the whole village, the Macbeth place. Then I told her about painting the outhouse. She immediately asked if I still have it and I said I was sure it was somewhere and she said the Macbeths would be delighted to have it (not only does Carol know everyone in the village, it so happens that Beth Macbeth is her hairdresser). I said I’d look for it.

Which I did. I scanned it and sent it to her, to get her approval I guess, and she liked it and assured me that they would like it for sure. I said I’d frame it for them, and I was very lucky to find this perfect frame, complete with charcoal mat, on my next trip to the city.

Of course I couldn't resist titling it "Macbeth's Outhouse".

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