Painting with Pasta in the Keys

Art by Pasta Pantaleo

I am not an artist; the closest I come is through photography.  However, I recently found myself in Key Largo and was offered a painting class with Pasta.  Hmm. My thoughts ran to my grandkids and those colorful necklaces and bracelets they make with painted pasta shapes.

No noodles here. I entered a fabulous artist’s studio and gallery where I met Roberto Pantaleo, a.k.a. Pasta, my instructor.  Pasta is an artist who paints vibrant scenes of the Keys, mostly fish and marine life. I adored his lines and design in the above fish and was drawn to the peacefulness of this mangrove tree with criss-crossed  roots.

Pasta Pantaleo and the Mangrove Tree

I was to paint a Leatherback turtle–okay!  First, I sketched oval egg shapes on a piece of paper and Pasta showed me how to blend those into the turtle’s head, body and limbs.  Next, I drew a similar animal on canvas.  So far so good.

Painting the water

Now it was time to pick up the brush- a daunting task.  “Just mix blue and green together and drab them onto the canvas like Monet,” said Pasta.   Sure, I thought.

“Lovely colors,” he said. “Do the same thing with beige and browns to create the beach.”

Amazingly, my little turtle was coming to life better than I expected and the thing was — I was having a blast.  I forgot about time and felt like I was floating in the water with my tortoise.  I was literally living in the moment.

When I tried painting my turtle’s shell, my efforts didn’t achieve much depth. But, a few strokes from the master greatly helped the cause. I ended up with a painting I’m rather proud of. Sure, I know it’s a  primitive work but I had fun. Wish I could take another class.

Turtle by Debi

Pasta Pantaleo is the ideal teacher; he’s encouraging and helpful, never demeaning and an all-around happy person. Might be the island’s aura, but the Keys seem to bring out art in everyone.

Pasta Signature Gallery

Mile Marker 81.5

Islamorada, Florida 33036

305 849-3968

954 290-4262

One thought on “Painting with Pasta in the Keys

  1. I have had the opportunity, & Pleasure of meeting Pasta on many occasions! I remember the first time I meet him I was amazed, and intrigued at the Quality of his vision to see the details of marine life that most of us do not see, or appreciate! We take pictures with our camera’s, and print them on paper! Pasta has the same visions in his mind, and puts them on canvas! What Pasta can do with a paint brush, and canvas, Ernest Hemingway did with a pen in writing books! that’s how I compare the quality, & vision of Pasta’s work to Hemingway’s work! I have purchased some of Pasta’s Artwork, and have them hanging in my house in New Jersey. My favorite is the original oil painting of the sea turtle coming out of the water as the water is braking over his back. A lot of people do not know how generous, and unselfish Pasta is! Pasta does a lot of charity work for handicapped Children, and Children of all walks of life! My wife,& I can not go down to the Florida Keys without stopping by to say hello to Pasta, and seeing what new ideas he has put on canvas! People come, and go in your life, and very few touch your heart! Pasta is one of those people who leave a warm feeling of love, and friendship! I am Proud to say I know Roberto “Pasta” Pantaleo, and consider him to be a good friend! Sincerely, Mr. & Mrs. Fred Stearn

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