Joy In Imperfection

Handmade book @ by Soma Acharya


Hi Everyone!  During the last few days,  I took some photos and happened to come across a few paintings that are far from perfect.  They are, however, perfect examples of how letting go of perfection often provides a playground for learning and honing skills without pressure.  I would love to share a few of these with you today, along with my approach.



Please click on the image thumbnails to see the photos –




I always keep a stack of small pieces of inexpensive watercolor paper on my desk.   I paint simple things on them whenever I need to warm up before working on something larger.  I also use them to try out new art supplies.  There is never any pressure with these practice pieces.   These were just floating about, so one day I decided to put them all in a book.




Scrap drawings @ by Soma Acharya




I keep cuttings from drawings that have not worked out.  I pulled a tiny piece of pen drawing from that stack.




Handmade book @ by Soma Acharya



For the cover, I used washi tape and boards that were leftover from books that I had previously bound.   I inset the little pen sketch in the middle and finished the book by making a grey frame from another piece of scrap paper.   Improvising while creating this book let me hone some of my skills further.  I need a place where I can play, and this book is the perfect playground.

I continued in the spirit of the experimental paintings that were already part of this book and painted these two next.



Cottage watercolor painting @ by Soma Acharya



I love the idea of a cottage overgrown with shrubbery set by the edge of the woods.  The green paint I was using for the forest dried much darker than I had anticipated.  I put it aside and went to bed.  I sometimes have trouble falling asleep, and that night happened to be one of those nights.  Finally, I gave up on sleep, and started fiddling with it at 3:00AM.

I put a coat of titanium white on the area to cover up the dark green mess.  As I  started to paint the green back again, the white kept on diluting the green.  So I changed my approach and daubed on the green in places instead of painting with brush strokes.  It worked.  I like the mix of light and dark in the green now.



Tree on a misty rainy day watercolor painting @ by Soma Acharya



I wanted to learn a little more about this particular green paint that I mostly use for shadows. So I set out to paint a tree on a misty, rainy day.

The green paint is in every part of this painting.  I added yellow and red to the green to create the other colors.  This particular green paint is very textured and opaque.  If I used even a smidge extra, the area looked very dirty and mucky.

I wet the paper first.   As I added paint, I let the water on the paper pull or push the pigment around.  That avoided the dirty look and kept the edges soft for a misty day look.



North Bay Area California Sky photography @ by Soma Acharya



Last Saturday it was raining off and on.  I love to be outside on days like this.  While My husband and I were driving to Japantown in San Francisco,  I took this photo from the car.   Not a clean photo, but few raindrops on the windshield only added to the drama.



Japantown @ by Soma Acharya



After browsing, getting a few books from my favorite book shop, and having dinner at the most wonderful udon noodle restaurant, we went to a Japanese convenience store to pick up our favourite snacks and drinks.  I always find something there for my journals and this time I got this A5 size case.  A wonderful fit for my sketchbooks, plus a couple of pencils and erasers for traveling.  Sometimes things just work out!



Bowers Museum Photography exhibit, Ted Crone Taxi New York @ by Soma Acharya



Back at Bowers Museum, I was completely smitten by Ted Croner’s Taxi, New York at night photo.  If you are interested, you can read more about him on  this Howard Greenberg Gallery page.



The Golden Gate Bridge in the rain inspired by Ted Crone Taxi New York photography @ by Soma Acharya

Inspired by Ted Croner’s Taxi, New York at night photo


On the way back, as we were driving on the Golden Gate Bridge, rain started to fall.  I asked my husband if he could hold off running the wipers, and quickly snapped this photo of the bridge through a rain-spattered windshield.  Not quite as brilliant as Ted Croner’s photo, but it will do for now.



The Girl and Her Cat drawing @ by Soma Acharya

Work in progress teaser:  The girl is watering while her little cat patiently…


I have been doing a lot of book binding lately, experimenting with new techniques and materials.  I had just started sketching a cover for an experimental book when I noticed two tiny 1.5”/2.0” scraps on the desk.



Little purple wildflowers drawing @ by Soma Acharya



I couldn’t resist painting these little flowers on them.  I painted them completely outside the lines quite intentionally.  Hubby already claimed one of them, so we will each have one for our journals.


I really hope this gives you some ideas and encourages you to play and make.  There is sweetness and joy in imperfection.

Until next time,


I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please consider paying a visit to some of them.


45 thoughts on “Joy In Imperfection

  • Jill @ Life Images by Jill April 23, 2024 at 19:38

    ah yes, a lady on a “free”printing on-line workshop the other day said about letting go of perfection, experimenting and playing. And I think she, and you are right. I have been doodling over my ecoprints lately. I love your little flower watercolour and the girl watering her garden with the cat. Doesn’t need to be complicated. Enjoy your week and thankyou for visiting my blog this week.

  • Debbie April 23, 2024 at 08:57

    soma…you are so very talented. i know that things don’t always need to be perfect to be perfectly lovely. your watercolors are so pretty…anything done with love is perfectly gorgeous!!

  • Amy Johnson April 20, 2024 at 09:56

    Your artwork always amazes me! It all looks perfect to me!

  • Alison Hall April 10, 2024 at 23:09

    beautiful paintings and photos Soma! I love your little cottage in the woods.

  • Sallie (FullTime-Life) April 9, 2024 at 05:51

    I look forward to seeing more of the girl and her cat, thanks for the teaser!! It is so interesting to read your words showing how your creative mind works. I’d be so happy (and so surprised) if I could create a final painting anywhere near as lovely as what you call practice pieces! I am only here to admire!! And I really do. Thanks for sharing all.

  • Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs April 7, 2024 at 12:52

    I love your little book of art. The little cottage by the woods is beautiful.
    Your work always amazes me! Have a lovely week Soma. xx

  • RachelSwirl April 6, 2024 at 13:42

    Your work is stunning, you are so so talented. Thanks for linking up and for sharing your snaps with #MySundaySnapshot.

  • Julie April 4, 2024 at 06:10

    I like the NY Taxi photo — it looks like this photo was taken through a dirty or maybe rainy windshield.

  • Lisa R. Howeler April 3, 2024 at 11:13

    I love the idea of putting the painting pieces where you were just playing together.
    They are beautiful!

    At first I thought that photo of the highway and clouds was also a painting. Then I read further. Either way it is beautiful.

  • Comedy Plus April 3, 2024 at 07:06

    Such beautiful artwork and who cares if they aren’t perfect. They are beautiful and that’s the point.

    Thank you for joining the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Wordless Wednesday and rest of the week. ♥

  • D April 2, 2024 at 22:25

    Perfect or not, these little exercises are joyful, no? I love the idea of little bits to do your warm ups before a big piece. :) And I love seeing your artwork. I thought the green in the foliage behind the cottage is perfect! (Like how it would look after a rain, maybe? :)

    That’s a neat organizer you found. It IS perfect for your sketch book and pens/pencils (and eraser, too?). :)

    And that photograph — is it from the Central Valley? It’s lovely! <3

  • Paula Short April 2, 2024 at 14:29

    Your designs are just stunning. The cottage by the woods is delightful. You do such lovely work.
    Visiting today from #MMBC (your neighbor #2)

  • Jeanne April 2, 2024 at 13:02

    Hello! Great journal, and a way to handle practice pieces, etc. I have done something similiar, but your solution is very polished. LOL, BTW, John’s Island is experimenting with AI, right?

  • // Heidrun April 2, 2024 at 09:14

    Thank you for sharing, Soma, it’s very interesting to read for me. I like bookbinding too, made a seminar.

    Greetings by Heidrun

  • Carol April 2, 2024 at 04:42

    Your creativity always amazes me. I thoroughly enjoyed your new little book of collected small drawings. You’re very gifted.

  • image-in-ing weekly photo linky April 1, 2024 at 09:07

    Great post! I’d love to see the completed teaser!
    Thanks for sharing at

  • Bill April 1, 2024 at 06:26

    You know I get as much joy seeing your art as I do seeing my wife and sons art. Happy Easter

  • Kim Carberry April 1, 2024 at 04:56

    Even with the imperfections your art work is just beautiful!

  • Lydia C. Lee March 31, 2024 at 20:55

    Really beautiful work – not really seeing the imperfections. Lovely art in all the forms. #AnythingGoes

  • veronica lee March 31, 2024 at 18:22

    I love your art—it’s beautiful, imperfections and all.
    The pumpkin is my favourite.

    Wishing you a joyful Easter filled with love, hope, and blessings, Soma!

  • Kirstin March 31, 2024 at 12:37

    I love these. Thank you so much for sharing the photos and your techniques and even things that weren’t working. I have followed a few people who do some simple water color diy’s (can’t think of the word I want), that look fun to try. I’ve been thinking of getting some inexpensive paper just to play with. I always want to be willing to learn or try new things. I don’t even care if I’m good at it…haha. I just want to always keep learning. Plus my grandson loves to draw and it might encourage him too.

  • Inspiring Max March 30, 2024 at 23:13

    I bought some waterpaper to try a few weeks ago. I hope mine turn out okay as I’ve never done it before. Yours look amazing.

  • Louise (Fundy Blue) March 30, 2024 at 19:26

    Such a lovely post, Soma! I enjoy seeing how you play and let go of perfection. Happy Easter and happy new week!

  • jeanie March 30, 2024 at 08:25

    I love everything about this post, Soma. I, too, grapple with perfection (or, more often, the lack thereof). And like you, I’ve gone back to paintings gone wrong (or, maybe not wrong, just not right) more than once. The white is a wonderful idea I haven’t tried.. And I like your idea about keeping scraps of watercolor paper by your workspace to just experiment on. I may have to adapt that one. (I might also add, we are the ones most likely to see what we perceive as imperfections. Others might not see them at all!

  • Connie Griffin March 30, 2024 at 08:08

    Ah Yes imperfection, I think most of my creations are that way but even so they seem to bring a smile to the faces of those receiving so that is all I need to know is that happiness will come from them. Although I hardly seem imperfections in your work and lot of those paintings on the light weight paper would make some lovely cards :)
    Cool pics with your camera, so fun when you can find treasures when out and about :)
    Happy Easter!

  • Mary March 30, 2024 at 06:36

    Thanks for being so real about the imperfections. I think many struggle with results that are not what we had hoped. It’s nice to see someone who embraces them as challenges. That is where growth happens. I love seeing your pieces. I also love the image of the bridge!

  • Rain March 30, 2024 at 04:41

    Imperfection is wonderful. Your art is so lovely Soma! ♥

  • Heidrun March 30, 2024 at 02:42

    Happy Easter Everybunny! Thank you for sharing your wonderful artwork. I admire this.

    Greetings by Heidrun

  • Eileen March 30, 2024 at 02:11

    Hello Soma,
    I always enjoy seeing your art work. Beautiful capture of the sky. The girl watering is cute.
    One of my favorites is the flowers for the book cover.
    Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great weekend.
    PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

  • Sue from Women Living Well After 50 March 29, 2024 at 21:47

    Such beautiful artwork and I could not pick any imperfections! I do agree though that in life we do need to let go of trying to obtain perfection, otherwise life will pass us by. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us at #WeekendTrafficJamReboot and I wish you a lovely weekend. x

  • Natalie March 29, 2024 at 16:15

    Soma, You’ve created some beautiful artworks. Thank you for sharing your joy in imperfection with us at #weekendcoffeeshare.

  • Default Sim March 29, 2024 at 12:11

    Great post, I really love your art!

  • Dixie March 29, 2024 at 08:25

    Beautiful watercolours! I love the cottage and the mountains and boat.
    And wonderful photos too.
    Have a lovely weekend, Soma.

  • Erin @ Cracker Crumb Life March 29, 2024 at 05:42

    First, you are so talented! Second, I love this idea! My son loves to paint and I often do not know what to do with all of his work. Making books is such a cool idea!

  • The Joyful Quilter March 28, 2024 at 20:24

    What a wonderful post, Soma! Your landscape paintings are all delightful. I don’t see any imperfections whatsoever!

  • tomthebackroadstraveller March 28, 2024 at 18:26

    …years ago I went to continuing ed classes at our local high school to study watercolors. What I painted was AWFUL and I quickly became discouraged. I never returned, now I take pictures and I enjoy it.

  • Susan March 28, 2024 at 15:29

    I have had many advisors tell me perfection is overrated. Once you reach perfection, there’s no place else to go and there’s no longer anything to strive for. What I may conceive of as imperfection, somebody else will not. We are our own worst critics. I can let it go, but sometimes I have to process it first. I am not an artist (wish I were) but I don’t consider some of the things you considered imperfections as imperfections. I do enjoy learning about the changes you made though.

  • Peppylady (Dora) March 28, 2024 at 14:32

    The only prefect art I seen is A.I and to me it has no soul.

  • Gillena March 28, 2024 at 10:39

    happy Thursday. luv your watercolours.


  • Carola Bartz March 28, 2024 at 09:36

    This is a beautiful post, Soma. I have pieces of inexpensive watercolor paper for practicing and playing around as well. Oh Japantown – when my daughter was still living here we sometimes went there. She loved to browse the little shops and lunch at an Udon restaurant (maybe even the same) was always part of the day. What kind of watercolor brushes do you use? I’m thinking of buying a couple good ones, but haven’t decided yet which ones.

  • Karen March 28, 2024 at 08:48

    beautiful sketches and paintings – I love the simple pumpkin – it looks so real. I wish I could sketch and paint

  • A ShutterBug Explores March 28, 2024 at 07:54

    Oh this post is wonderful ~ encouraging for me as I tend to hesitate and not create ~ You have such discipline and talent ~ thank you for sharing this ~ hugs,

    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,

    carol l mckenna,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  • Christine March 28, 2024 at 07:53

    Lovely Art!

  • Linda at Texas Quilt Gal March 28, 2024 at 04:58

    Lovely post Soma – your posts take me away to a dreamy place! You are right about imperfections. Sometimes I fuss over seams that don’t match up or a block that isn’t quite the right measurement, and I think about how the imperfections on my Granny’s quilts are part of what I love about them!

  • Joanne March 28, 2024 at 03:43

    I love your watercolors! That cottage by the woods turned out great with the reworking and that foggy/rainy tree is very moody.

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