Hello and welcome! I'm Laure Ferlita. Thanks so much for stopping by!

As an artist, teacher, traveler, animal and nature lover, and pursuer of the path less traveled, I find plenty to fill the pages of my sketchbook and to share with you on the blog. Life is hurtling by so, so quickly! Art journaling helps me to slow down the frenzied pace and capture many of the moments that swiftly disappear from memory due to the constant onslaught of daily living.

I fell in love with watercolor a long time ago when I attended a craft show with my mother and watched a woman painting a watercolor of a macaw parrot with big green leaves. I was completely captivated and it has been my passion ever since. At the time I was only fifteen,  maybe sixteen, and I only went along to the show so I could drive. Who knew it would take another 10 years before I began to take my art seriously?

In my mid-twenties, I decided to go to art school to learn graphic design, also known as commercial art. I'd been told a number of times you cannot make a living at fine art, so I decided to hedge my bets by doing the commercial art thing. I figured I'd do my "fine art thing" on the side. It was a good plan as plans went, but life doesn't pay much attention to our plans and it certainly did not in my case!

Graphic design takes a huge amount of creativity when done well and it was difficult to muster up the muse when I had time at home. Being tired and still caught up in the corporate work environment in my head was not conducive to creating. As the years went by I did a small smattering of work. Then came the day my job was outsourced and I found myself going a little bit crazy as I tried to find a new one. Unfortunately, the economy had just began to tank and jobs were scarce.

Art became a way to maintain my sanity and about the same time, my muse lead me to begin this blog, Painted Thoughts. At the time, I was painting full sized works, but I had recently discovered the work of a number of artists—all in sketchbooks! Getting excited about this new outlet of creativity, my muse lead me to creating in a sketchbook rather than paintings, and well, what can I say? I'm still at it today! 

Working in a sketchbook is so much more immediate and intimate than a full sized painting. It gives me a chance to slow down and really see, to capture those moments that resonate with me. Whether I'm going about my daily round or off having a grand adventure in an unknown (to me) land, my sketchbook is always with me.

When I travel, there is no better way for me to truly see what is around me than with a sketchbook in my hand along with a pen or brush. By sketching, I connect more, feel more, hear more, and best of all, I remember more long after I've moved on or returned home. 

I believe that all creative endeavours begin with a thought and paintings and sketches, are simply those thoughts made visible! I hope to share some of the daily learning, growth, experimenting and sometimes, struggling, I have with this wonderful life of mine—being a full time artist and instructor. 

Teaching artists how to develop the skills they need to  sketch on location has been an unexpected pleasure! I am often amazed by those that have traveled with me, whether in real life or virtually. I daresay I learn as much from these travelers as they do from me!

Please check out ImaginaryTrips.com for more information on interactive, online classes. If a lack of time is something that keeps you from joining in classes or you want to take your time to savor the learning process, check out The Imaginary Realm—this is where I hold the same classes as the interactive classes, but they have been retooled for those folks who don't have the time to attend a class on a schedule or want more time with the materials (you get them for a year!)

I also do a number of live workshops and classes. I would love to have you join me! If you're not coming my way (Florida), let me know if you have an art group you play with—maybe I can come to you! If you're interested in paintings and prints I have for sale, please click shop for more information.

I invite you to check out the book, Artist Journal Workshopwritten by the lovely Cathy Johnson. My work along with the work of more than two dozen artists is featured in this book about keeping a journal. We cannot live long enough to experience everything and this book is a wonderful repository of ideas! There is a group on Facebook by the same name (you'll have to search for it) and there is also a blog by the same artists you can check out! Just click on Artists' Journal Workshop to take a look!

As the days fly by, I find that art helps me to live the breadth, the width, and the depth of my life, not just the length. 

I do hope you'll join me on the journey!

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