Armed with a full load of heavy paper, pastels, pencils, graphite and, of course, a trusted camera, Deda Jacobsen traveled to a villa in Cagne Sur Mer on the French Rivera in 1997-98. Jacobsen's personal "Jubilant June," the scenes of nature and man, the contrast between old and new, historical verses "just old," and the understanding of past artists and their place in history opened her heart's window to create six unique mixed media works, snapshots of familiar scenes where artists of the past simply lived, took in the sun and sipped tea.
Jacobsen's theme of simplicity, coupled with a sense of natural "happenstance" with her subject matter carries through this lighter series of work. Clearly romantic, Deda visualizes the guest house of her villa, "La Petite Maison d'Amour" as a place made for lovers, and includes Manet's "Fife Player" in the doorway, beckoning them. "Manet in the Parlor" was a work she envisioned as she glanced back at a small window on the north wing of the villa. Deda also created a new "Luncheon on the Grass," painted later as a reminiscent piece to recall the feelings, sounds and pleasures of her trip with her four artist colleagues.
A personal "ode to" to Degas, Picasso, Manet, Matisse and Van Gogh, the villa's flowering grounds and spring freshness brought forth these distinctly modern works set in centuries old but highly familiar and accessible settings. Jacobsen offers a friendly nod to Madame and Monsieur Matisse, sitting in their parlor looking through the villa's dining room window. Jacobsen encounters a young Degas-esque ballerina musing, while a ghostlike figure of Van Gogh looks upon her from across the way from his window. It is as if these artists were all enjoying this particular "Jubilant June" in this particular quaint and quiet sapphire blue Mediterranean town−all on holiday, all seeking solace from life's complexities.