JERSEY SHORE – A local artist has taken on the personal challenge of creating 100 paintings in a project titled “100 Shore Things.”
Melissa Hood, an artist from Point Pleasant, launched the new project on April 1 with a goal to paint 100 Jersey Shore-themed paintings in 100 days. Hood began her project with the idea to challenge herself, then reached out to local photographers to paint their photos.
“I’ve been painting and drawing for a long time. I wanted to start a project and I knew I wanted it to be a ‘100-day challenge.’ I’ve heard of other people doing similar challenges. I thought ‘I wonder if I could do that, 100 paintings in 100 days.’” Hood said. “Once I had that idea, I was talking to my friend who is a photographer and asked if I could paint one of her pictures. Then she said yes, she thought it was such a good idea to paint from someone’s photo. So, I posted in a Point Pleasant Facebook group saying I’m an artist and wanted to paint local photos.”
After reaching out to the community, Hood did not expect the response she received. Hundreds of emails flooded in within just a couple of days.
“I thought my phone was going to explode. I got hundreds of photos sent to me a very short amount of time of people who wanted to participate in this project with me,” Hood said. “I’m going to make all of these paintings from not only just Jersey Shore scenes but photos from people that live on the Jersey Shore… and that’s how the project evolved.”
Hood paints anything Jersey Shore-related, from people surfing, beach landscapes and wildlife such as animals and insects.
“If you can think about it being there at the Jersey Shore, then I’m painting it,” Hood said. “A lot of it is very heavy in iconic Jersey Shore scenes and also wildlife like shore birds.”
Hood’s love for art began in high school. She later went to school to became a teacher and currently is an art teacher at Ocean County Vocational Technical School.
“After a couple of years of teaching art, my art students were like ‘Ms. Hood you’re really good you need to make art, not just for class.’ So, my students really inspired me and then I started up my business,” Hood said.
At this time, Hood is currently on painting number 38 out of 100. She posts each painting online on her Instagram and Facebook page. Once her “100 Shore Things” project is completed, the artwork is planned to be displayed at an Art Walk event on July 22 hosted by the Point Beach Arts Committee.