Dale Stephanos
September 2009
Ismael Roldan, RIP
Fellow caricaturist Ismael Roldan has passed away. I always enjoyed his work with it's intricate colored pencil cross hatching. He made no secret of his love of David Levine's drawings and I think he advanced the ball a bit by using color with a similar technique. I didn't know Ismael, but as a contemporary of his I felt I knew him through his work. Originally from Columbia, Ismael lived here in the States for the last 20 years and had what looked to be a very successful career as an illustrator. Heartfelt condolences to his wife and family.

We all have very particular memories and feelings that present themselves like a stranger barging into the room when it comes to 9/11. The smallest thing can trigger an unwanted trip down memory lane. For me it’s a collage of colors and sounds. The bright yellow of the scrambled eggs I was making my kids for breakfast when my mother called from New York to tell me to turn on the TV. The earth tones our living room while we watched what was unfolding on TV. The sound of a broadcast suddenly being interrupted. The phone constantly ringing with calls from my wife’s station and the rushed conversation about whether they’d send her to New York or Washington to cover the story. Laughing children. The sight of almost everyone in lower Manhattan looking up and covering their mouths, as though that act would keep whatever evil had descended at bay.

Most of all, I remember looking at the incredibly vivid blue sky that day. Later on, alone with my young kids at the playground I kept glancing up at the sky, empty of clouds and airplanes, and felt myself trying to summon up the overcast that would fit the mood of the day. The fact that there was so much darkness on such a bright beautiful day made it all the more obscene.

I hope time has brought some comfort to all who were affected that day.

Summer Studio
This is the summer studio. Katama Bay, South Beach dunes beyond that, and then the Atlantic. I installed a nice breeze and the sound of waves crashing and laughing children. As Dudley Moore once said, “It doesn’t suck”.
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Stephanos is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!