On the longest day of the year


“Contentment”  oil on linen  12×16  2018

by cheri sabraw

…we ventured into the olive orchard to inspect the trees, their tiny olives, and the gorgeous view.

We remembered the erudite and classy Charles Krauthammer, who so many in public life, might try to emulate. His wit, intelligence, measured comment and humor will be missed, at least in this household.

Dying at 68 years old is far too young for one who has  endured more than his fair share of physical challenges. As we say in Jewish mourning, ” May his memory be a blessing.”


We drove over to the orchard in a 4-wheel drive vehicle and hopped out.

The orchard looks magnificent except…

about 1/3 of the trees do not have any olives growing on them this season. We do not know why. Pollination? Water? Global warming (LOL)? Still, this lovely view of the last peachy rays of the sun on the longest day of the year overrides any disappointment about the upcoming fall harvest.

And then, approaching this day…

for the first time ever, I found a robust and cocky coyote on my driveway the other morning. Our property is fully-fenced to keep deer and mountain lions out! To say I was started is an understatement.

I ran out into the driveway, kimono and all, ordering the coyote to leave. Now! He was casual and in the aloof way of the species, trotted into our meadow, stopped, dared to look back at me (probably admiring my early-morning face and kimono) and probably scooted under a fence.


Because of the days of long light, I’ve ventured into the plein air painting space with my friend Mary this week, trying to mix colors and catch light before it changes.

In the orchard, I thought, this location will make a perfect painting. Fruit and celery-colored olive trees standing cheerily and tall while the two old oaks, cloaked in shadow and stately advance, hold court over their fruity minions.

On the longest day of the year, I sunk into my memory foam mattress last night, and listened to the hawks still talking to each other in preparation for the birth of their chicks. On the park district property across the road,  the cattle lowed.

Very peaceful.


About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in Growing Olives, Life, My painting, My photography, Nature photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to On the longest day of the year

  1. Annie Van Es says:

    Wonderful paintings wich show the wonderful surrounding. Amazing how beautiful it there is.

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you Annie! Yes, Nature offers us numerous opportunities to focus on beauty instead of strife. I find the olive trees especially comforting. How are you? Do you live in Nature or the city?

  2. Lue Perrine says:

    Beautiful painting Cheri! I loved how you captured such a tender moment.
    The way you painted the light on the
    hillside and grass is absolutey magical!

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you, Lue. I appreciate the encouragement. Artists are their own worst enemies. The moment one says, “This painting is done,” and sets it on an easel, the errors jump out into the room!

  3. ShimonZ says:

    Sorry to hear about your olive trees. It could be either a scarcity of water or a lack of pollination.

  4. shoreacres says:

    I’m reminded of the difficulties Monet had when it came to satisfying himself with his captured light. I think so often of him moving from canvas to canvas, perspective to perspective. His canvases remind me of a writer’s drafts — at least, in the days when wadded up paper surrounding a chair was a sign of impatience, frustration, or progress.

    One of the most interesting things I read about him (and the other impressionists, I suppose) is that he used color to create shadows, rather than black. I went back and looked at some paintings, and can see that now. I think I see it in your painting up above, too.

  5. Cheri says:

    Astute observation, Linda and you are correct: black, for the most part, should be avoided. I mix ultramarine blue and cadmium orange to get a deep dark color. In a painting with green, such as the one above, I mix ultramarine blue, sap green, and dioxide purple.

  6. Lue Perrine says:

    Ha ha 😆 SoO funny ‘bout
    Edna Mode! 🤓
    Once someone said that I reminded
    them of Lucille Ball! 🤪
    (Totally cute pic of you wearing the 👒!)

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