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ALDOT’s Chris Blackwood channels creativity through art and engineering

ALDOT Employee Chris Blackwood shows his art at the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival
Apr 11

Art has a way of bringing people together, or bridging gaps and forging connections. This is why ALDOT employee Chris Blackwood, a pre-construction engineer who works with the Southwest Region’s consultant management team, spends a great deal of his free time painting and drawing.

From infrastructure to inspiration

Engineers are often adept at transforming abstract ideas into tangible realities, and this skill has led Blackwood to pursue his passion for art. Self-taught with a dash of general art classes taken over the years, he says he’s been drawing, painting, and creating since he was a child. Blackwood stated that he was heavily influenced by his father who also had a passion for painting and the arts.

“My main focus is a combination of acrylic under painting art using an overlay of oil paint, but I also do commissions in graphite, charcoal, watercolor, pen and ink,” said Blackwood.      

Before going back to engineering school, Blackwood worked in the graphic design industry for 14+ years, primarily in illustration and screen printing of glass, mirrors, T-shirts, and athletic wear.

Friends, coworkers, and family have commissioned Blackwood to paint or draw from a photograph. “I’ve painted renderings of people’s wedding photographs, their pets, loved ones, I’ve even painted conceptual renderings for ALDOT projects,” says Blackwood.

Some days you might find him, brush in hand, on the side of a country road, on a downtown sidewalk in Baldwin County overlooking the Gulf waters, or with his sights on Mobile Bay.       

For Chris Blackwood, it’s more about his love and passion for art as he remains grounded in his roots. Each year, he participates in the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival Outdoor Show and is an active member of the Eastern Shore Arts Center in Fairhope, where his artwork finds a home among fellow artisans and enthusiasts.

Bridge painting by ALDOT employee Chris Blackwood
Bridge art by ALDOT employee Chris Blackwood
ALDOT employee Chris Blackwood's art palette and easel set up by a creek
ALDOT employee Chris Blackwood’s easel