Author Archives: piferm

About piferm

I am an associate professor at Husson University.

2017 Top Scholars Address

Note: I delivered these comments at Husson University 2017 Top Scholars Dinner. Dear Students, In closing his 1837 address to the Phi Beta Kappa society, a group not entirely unlike the one to which you belong, Emerson claims that “the … Continue reading

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Adventure #18, Her Divorces

A friend, who recently finalized her divorce, asked me to make her a painting. One that might help her imagine her new life. To discover an image I might create, I wrote a short reflection on those issues she mentioned during our conversation.¹ Similar to … Continue reading

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Dinner III, Geography

  I ate dinner in a clearing off a trail that overlooked Phillips Pond in the hills outside Bangor, Maine. I prepared a meal that included salmon braised in olive oil and garlic and left a few minutes to firm-up … Continue reading

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Adventure #17, A Tree on the Edge

Climbing Trees “Rarely does anyone remind you, and you always forget, that loss has an anniversary,” a friend once told me over a slowly warming beer. Moments of loss dot and darken the calendar, turn and tighten your stomach, and end leaning … Continue reading

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Adventure #16, “Blessing the Boats”

Years ago, after viewing a few of my paintings, a brilliant young lady asked me to paint her a picture she had found in a National Geographic. The photograph she handed me was composed of a dock jutting out into the placid, slightly … Continue reading

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Adventure # 15, or First Date

Poem written on the back of the painting Released from a breath held deep, glass is said to weep sloughing slightly, impossibly, since the fall of light across the curve and cull of her cheek; pulled around the rim, brushing another, … Continue reading

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Lunch III, Five Little Soldiers

I am eating a bowl of minestrone soup for lunch, sitting at my kitchen island, and looking out the kitchen window at the craggy tree in my backyard–a clacky assemblage of spindly branches this late in the winter. I know that representations of … Continue reading

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Adventure #14: Near Carrabassett Valley

Still wet and requiring months to finish, my first oil painting recalls the farms in a valley in Quebec near Carrabasset, Maine. The challenge, beyond simply applying unruly paint to canvas, was how to represent the evening falling across the forests and … Continue reading

Image | Posted on | Leave a comment

Adventure #13, Crucified Thieves

This painting emerged as an intertextual response to Warren Zevon’s song “Desperadoes Under the Eaves.” The song recounts the struggles of a heroin addict who has found himself strung out in a hot room in the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel, one of … Continue reading

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Adventure #12, Montreal Subway

This painting offers an impression of Montreal’s subway, suggesting the logic inherent in travel. Most obviously, subways allow us to traverse large expanses of the city relatively quickly. In making such movement possible, it also changes our sense of the urban space, … Continue reading

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment