When staff came up with the concept of having artwork at children’s eye-level along a curving pathway, Bechtel volunteered to paint the panels when facilities staff started building the display for the Aug. 4 event.
A self-taught painter who leans toward impressionism, Bechtel had never before attempted pointillism, or dot art. But he’d been drawn to the style since seeing a show of Australian Aboriginal dot paintings in the late 1990s when he was working in Colorado.
More recently, he picked up a book on the technique. But it wasn’t until he sat down and started the motion of painting, that the style started taking shape, with individual dots clustering together to form images and shapes. In many ways, the project is influenced by natural desert surroundings, including a red-tailed hawk that lives on the campus, although storks are also prominently featured, given their legendary connection with delivering babies.
“At home, when I paint, I don’t necessarily have a muse, but having a project at TMC really helps serve as an inspiration,” Bechtel said. “TMC is a nonprofit and a great place to work, and the people are really wonderful, so I think that is the source of the joy that’s coming out in the painting.”
Richard Prevallet, the vice president of facilities, applauded the work being done by the carpentry and painting crew, but also was struck by the art itself.
“It’s just wonderful to see the hidden talents that employees can bring to projects here,” he said. “Who would have thought we would have Aboriginal-style dot painting by facilities staff?”
To see the whole thing put together, you’ll have to head to Baby Fair.