paintings represent a pure form of nature mysticism. They arise from
her conviction that the world is a beneficent
place. Even when the earth seems neutral or indifferent, it nevertheless
contains a positive force for healing and growth. This viewpoint
harks back to the early nineteenth century Romantics and found
full flowering in America in the writings of Transcendentalists
such as Ralph Waldo Emerson. In his 1836 essay "Nature," Emerson
asserted that "Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual
fact." He understood that consciousness was so bound up
with its surroundings that one was only a reflection of the other.
shares this belief in a fundamental link between nature and mind.
Her paintings picture the paradox that thought can conceive of
nature, yet is itself a part of the natural world.
Each landscape's winding path offers surprise and revelation. To a receptive soul, nature still possesses the capacity to engage, to fascinate, and ultimately, to elicit an awe-struck wonder that is known as the sublime. The sublime first arose as an aesthetic category in the late eighteenth century to describe a reaction far more profound than that of simple beauty. She believes that nature offers wonders that can still foster true sublime feelings. Jacobson sees the earth as feminine. As her landscapes recede into space, we see nature recline, powerful yet passive, offering itself to those who enter her domain. Positive and negative spaces fuse and interact, united by a rhythmic spirit that permeates both matter and void. These spaces seem timeless-primal and untainted. Free from the scars mankind has inflicted on earth, they represent a point in time when this damage has been healed, transformed by nature's feminine powers of renewal. These landscapes have a visionary, almost hallucinatory quality, and may be considered dreamscapes. Each object functions as an archetype representing a universal idea, rather than a specific thing. For example, a rock or mountain represents the general state of solid firmament. A river stands for all mutable, changeable substance. Light, whether from sun, moon or fire, is energy. Air is open space, a place of becoming. In some paintings explicit archetypes such as a spiral (a symbol of creative energy) or shield (a symbol of protection) illuminate the life energy of a place.
Jacobson has focused on spiritual landscapes since 1978, when she spent time in Arles in Southern France and experienced the mistral, a powerful wind that blows through the region turning fields into seas of swirling motion. Since then she has continued to depict the earth as a dwelling place, as vital matter capable of embracing the soul. The ancient Chinese believed that a successful landscape invited the viewer to take an imaginary journey into the painting. In a similar way, Jacobson's landscapes offer access for the sympathetic soul willing to enter a realm of beauty and fulfillment.