Tansy8 x 10 oil painting on gessoed art board.  Click here to bid.  Go here to see other eBay auctions.

I brought this tansy with me when I moved to Eureka from Santa Cruz seven years ago. In Santa Cruz, it was a reasonably well-behaved plant.  It grew to some sensible height (a few feet? I don’t remember) and then bloomed, and it allegedly wards off aphids and whitefly.  What’s not to like?

But in Eureka, it grows to at least six feet tall before producing these tiny yellow flowers.  The stalks get so tall that they fall over, blocking the paths in my garden and forcing the blossoms to twist and curve to face upward again.  Attempts to stake it have been futile.  It’s a silly plant that doesn’t know how to behave properly, but I like the dramatic red stems and the flowers are interesting.  Finally I realized that it would be fun to paint.

I did this one from life, which is always tricky when you’re painting flowers, because they tend to move around and shed petals and change in the vase.  But this tansy stayed put for weeks.  Finally, it learns how to behave!