So yesterday marked the day of my graduation from The University of Southampton! What a lovely and special day it was spent with my friends all in one place for probably the last time in a while, and my amazing and supportive parents. After the ceremony, nibbles and drinks in the marquee and of course all the photographs, my parents and I made a trip to the New Forest Lavender Tearooms (for more info visit their Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Forest-Lavender-Tearooms/211458158915172) for afternoon tea and to celebrate in our own little way.
The lavender farm was absolutely stunning, rows and rows of lavender, sunflowers and a garden covered in a sea of wild flowers in all different colours which reminded me of the description of Miss Honey’s garden from one of my favourite Roald Dahl stories, Matilda. It was all these wonderful flowers that were attracting honey bees and keeping their environment and habitat alive. Which then reminded me of the Summer of Buzz exhibition I am displaying work at in Southampton’s Art House Cafe. Lavender is loved by all the women in my family and has sentimental value to us, so this painting has a little extra meaning to me, and personally I think it works much better than the original flower painting I had lined up. Also my lovely Auntie who has very bad eye sight, amazingly hand stitched together a little lavender bag containing lavender from my granny’s garden, for me to wear on the inside of my dress on graduation day so that it was close to my heart and I knew my granny would be with me on this special day.
Even though lavender has always been special to us in the family, it now has that personal meaning to me too after graduation day, and I wanted to celebrate this in a painting. Also the bees absolutely loved all the rows and rows of the beautiful purple flower so this was an ideal image to suit the theme of the summer exhibition, and hopefully it may even encourage people to grow more lavender and wild flowers to help the bees regain some of their precious habitat.