Peter Blanchard’s photography creates a sense of peace and wonder.Visit his website to see more of his work.
When was the last time that your mind was completely quiet? If you are like me, utter mental stillness, with no internal dialog, is truly rare.
One of the things that keeps me creating as a photographer is that the act itself is a kind of meditation for me. It crowds out the noise in my head, allowing me to be fully present in the moment, and bringing me a peace that I find elusive elsewhere in life.
The mental space contained in a moment of wonder can be truly transformative. When I am successful as an artist, the images I create begin to bridge the gap between the healing space I find as an individual while I am creating, and the experiences of those around me.
I give the viewer a doorway into their own moment of wonder, where they may experience the same sense of peace that I found when I was creating the image.
I knew early on that my work belonged in healing spaces, so when I started hearing about the use of nature imagery to improve medical outcomes, I was all ears. It turns out that there is a whole field of research about this, known as Evidence-Based Art . I knew intuitively that my art could be healing, but the research findings still blew me away.
Nature images with specific elements have been connected with everything from lower heart-rate and blood pressure, to reduced intake of pain medications, better health outcomes after surgery, and even shorter hospital stays. Art like mine truly can set the stage for more effective healthcare and better overall well-being.
Armed with this knowledge, I set about coming up with creative ways to bring my art directly to those who can benefit from it most.
My most recent endeavor is a program called the Healing Art Cart, which allows patients who are hospitalized long-term to choose the art on display in their own hospital rooms. I’m also working on modifications of the service to meet the needs of senior living centers and other types of care facilities.
Using my art in programs like this really completes the circle for me. The creative act feeds my soul, the resulting art improves the lives of others, and this in turn brings me a sense of peace and satisfaction, knowing that I am making a positive difference with my work. It’s very gratifying.
I’m always looking for new ways to have an impact with my art, and I hope that people reading this will feel free to reach out to me directly if there is an opportunity where my art can make a difference.