Friday, December 12, 2014


On Wednesday, we not only brought home good memories of hanging out in Arnaudville, Louisiana, with Darrell and Karen Bourque, we acquired another glass art piece by Karen, whose work hangs in our Sewanee, Tennessee and New Iberia, Louisiana homes. The latest acquisition is a rendition of the Pickerel Weed, an aquatic plant with brilliant blue flowers, densely clustered on a long spike with heart-shaped leaves, that attracts bees and butterflies.

Karen was inspired to create the stained glass piece using blue dog-toothed amethyst after reading Why Water Plants Don't Drown by Victoria Sullivan and discovering the lovely illustration for the Pickerel Weed rendered by Susan Elliott, artist and co-editor of Pinyon Publishing.

In the text accompanying the glass work, Karen explains that no blue stone felt right for the flowers, so she chose the dog-toothed amethyst to represent them. She attributes qualities of spirituality and contentment to the amethyst and relates that it has calming, protective powers of healing, divine love, and inspiration and that it enhances psychic and creative abilities. We have hung this art that represents "the peace of the perfect peace which was present prior to birth" in the sunroom and can look out and see it each morning at breakfast time.

I always enjoy the texts that accompany Karen's work as they are small inspirational pieces she chooses to use in her interpretations of objects in nature and the personalities who commission the work, as well as to foster creativity in those who acquire the glass work. She is married to the poet Darrell Bourque, and they're well suited to each other because she matches his gift for writing poetry with her visual poems in glass.

Karen has done glass pieces for many homes throughout Acadiana, for the Louisiana Book Festival, for the Ernest Gaines Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and other art centers. Much of her work focuses on the natural world and spirituality—on those images that give meaning and harmony to human experience.

We now have five of Karen's glass pieces, three of which are at Sewanee. One of the more recent pieces is a rendition of a porch that was photographed and appeared on the cover of Porch Posts, a collection of essays and stories that I co-authored with Janet Faulk this year. I will be autographing this book at A&E Gallery in New Iberia Saturday, Dec. 13, 1 - 3 p.m., along with Vickie Sullivan who is debuting her sequel to the speculative novel Adoption entitled Rogue Genes.

Porch Posts' cover is Karen's interpretation of a painting done by the late Elmore Morgan, Jr. which shows the bare outlines of a porch open to the air that might have been a place to sit and watch the sunset and fireflies winking on a summer night.

Karen handles commissions for glass work created in her studio in Church Point, Louisiana, and if you're interested in her work, she can be reached at 337-684-3542 or 337-351-2219.

Photograph of the Pickerel Weed by Victoria I. Sullivan, author of Why Water Plants Don't Drown, Adoption, and Rogue Genes.

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