1458. She thought painting the background black would make the flower part stand out better, but it did just the opposite. She had painted the petals of the flowers with great attention to their subtle tints and hues, even managing to show the differences in the shadows, but the black background made all her little tints look like one drab pink color.
1459. She started all over again. She did the background first to be safe, and then did the flowers and the vase in exactly the same way as before but found that even though it looked precisely the same, it somehow lacked a certain vivacity that her first attempt possessed. Now she had spent three days and many hours on a project she thought would be very simple. She threw her second attempt away and started over.
1460. She threw her flowers in the trash, put her mother's vase back on its shelf, and in frustration painted the entire thing over again from her imagination as quickly as she could in a frenzy of intense concentration. When she finished she had a little watercolor painting that it would take her twenty years to surpass. It was her first true work of art, born of a combination of frustration and inspiration.
1461. Although she was completely happy with her painting, she was disappointed with the frame and the mat because it was old and dingy looking. She worried that the judges would take one look at the frame and reject her entry. The mat looked almost all right after she painted it white, but, even so, some watermarks showed through the white paint down in the corners.