Melanie Chalk

A photograph is the pause button on life.

Lateral

Sandgate Art Group meets weekly on a Wednesday morning at the Chichester Hall. It is an informal group where we just sit and 'Do our Art" and chat, and offer praise and advice on each others work. It creates a discipline, once a week, to work creatively, to find time to immerse oneself in the media you enjoy.  For some they only paint or draw once a week at the group, whereas others are more productive and work at home through the week producing their Art. Having been invited to take part in the Hythe Art Trail as part of the Hythe Festival, three of us decided to combine to display a good body of work.

The Artists 

Kathleen Stapleton 

Born and educated in London, teachers recognised my talent as an artist in my early years.  My teacher  introduced me to ' the Studio' which was housed in the Upper Gallery of Whitechapel Art Gallery.  I was accepted as a pupil and attended on Saturday mornings.  I was studying Fine Arts at A'Level and was able to explore different forms and styles of drawing, sculpture and pottery at the 'Studio'    I eventually achieved Grade A,  A Level Art and in my working life utilised my artistic talent as I trained and worked as a Draughtsperson and Photographic Technician. In 2012 I moved to Folkestone and in 2015 then settled in Sandgate, where I joined the Art Group and picked up a paintbrush for the first time in 45years! Long may it last!  

Francoise Lloyd 

Encouraged to paint by my school colleagues and my Papa, having found I could no longer sing. I started to explore and enjoy the sheer vitality of colours, volumes and textures. This was 1998! And I keep going, again thanks to my friends and best critics.  

Melanie Chalk 

 I am an avid photographer specialising in atmospheric seaside shots and delightful macros of flowers.. Through my career as a florist I had a great affinity with flowers, and photographing them in their natural habitat as well as in "close-up" is something I just can't resist. In retirement, I have been able to rekindle my ‘Arty” leanings, enjoying immersing myself in multimedia, printing, collages and working at incorporating photography into my art. I am enjoying playing! 

The Wall 2

Curating the Show

We all enjoyed gathering our 'art' together and deciding how to display our work on the walls.  Although our styles and mediums used are all very different the whole show of images worked very well together, complimenting the neighbouring image either in colour or subject.

Just needed a few more visitors to view and appreciate our efforts.

See the Gallery of Images HERE

My latest Audio Visuals 

My latest sequence, Coloured Gesture, was awarded the trophy for best Transitions in the KCPA Audio Visual Comp 2017 The images used are all soft focus images taken recently some using a Lensbaby lens.

This is another sequence I made about Abney, an old Victorian Cemetery in Stoke Newington, this was awarded 2nd Place in the East Anglian AV Comp 2017 & 3rd place in the KCPA AV Comp 2017

Here are some more Multi Media projects I have completed.

Here is a link to BECKET

and MIST AND FOG

Michael's Special Birthday

BRIAN was forcast to wreak havoc on the South East as we set off for the long arranged Birthday weekend! The large property had been hired to fit the family but was situated close to the sea at Lee Over Sands Essex. Nothing between us and the sea! Would we sleep, would we be buffeted by the strong winds forcast, would it be cold and draughty, but nothing could be changed, we'd paid the money we must make the best of it! The property an upside down house had a 360degree view of the flat landscape and was unprotected by other habitation, but was secure and silent even in the strong wind.  we could see how windy it was but we felt none of this from the warm interior.  We enjoyed a get together, a bit of time to walk and talk but as ever the hours flew. A lovely lunch was enjoyed at The Creek a restaurant in nearby Great Bentley, where we were joined by Marian, Kate, Buzz and Chloe. Michael's sweet was burnt by the sparklers we asked to be lit to accompany the Birthday singing, luckily they brought him another one. All was good as we waved the Pensons a safe journey home, back to the house to prepare for our Murder Mystery evening, the Great British Bump Off, unfortunately it turned out the Birthday Boy turned out to be the Murderer.  It was great fun and elicited much laughter, Loz managing to keep his country yokel accent going throughout, was hilarious. 

After waving goodbye to the Senior Junior Chalks we went for a blow along the estuary, quickly returning to the house leaving Loz and Freya to a longer walk.Having tided the house and left it as we found it, we drove to Mersea where we hoped to eat.  We wanted to try the Fish Shed here is what a food critic wrote, 'No wine, no waiters, no finery... just a weatherbeaten BYO beside the briny. But with seafood this good there's no better place to be stranded at high tide, as Jay Rayner discovered'

it was amazing, took our own bread and really enjoyed the seafood platter, just getting our tyres wet as we drove back across the causeway and back to Colchester.

A wonderful way to end a memorable weekend to celebrate Michael's 70th Birthday, he says it was great!

My Printing Experience

I have been exploring printing over the past year, creating Eco Prints with leaves and mono printing using my Geli Plates. Recently I have attended some workshops on Collagraphs and have fully immersed myself in this process. Here are some of the resulting prints.

Leaves

Results of an experiment in Eco Printing, made a sandwich of paper and leaves and a few rusty nails, tied up securely and steamed it over the barbecue. Three hours later it was exciting to cut the package apart and reveal the resulting leaf prints. Dried overnight I was thrilled with my experiment.

Brain

If you imagine pictures you have seen of brain, what comes to mind? What does the brain look like? Well people might say that the brain looks like wrinkles and has many folds. Or they may say that the brain looks like it is covered in hills and valleys. Looks like a Walnut or a Cauliflower. The brain is sometimes called grey matter, but is it really grey? What does your brain look like? Is it soft and squidgy or hard and rubbery? Actually … your brain has the consistency of warm butter! I asked people to hold out their hands and imagine placing, in them, an object that suggests a brain, or resembles its shape. What would you choose? These were some of those objects or ideas suggested: Scrambled Eggs, Sharp as a Tack, Memory and Memories, Foods, Wool and Wires, Chia Seeds and Simply Clenched Fists!

Photographer: Melanie Chalk 

 Production: Tom Lloyd    

 

Operation Stack Lorry Park

Here is an Audio Visual I made in PROTEST about the obscene waste of money for a monster Lorry Park that won't solve Operation Stack!

Is it my age? Is it because I have time on my hands now I'm retired? Is it because I care more?

Whatever the reason, on a daily basis, I continue to be enraged about the plan to build a Lorry Park to solve Operation Stack. To build it near to sites of SSI and ANB, to ruin our beautiful views, to affect so many properties and the lives of those who will live so close to the site, for what? A barren concrete or tarmac wilderness ready and waiting for another occurrence of Operation Stack, this monster site will not solve it, just create more chaos, and we haven't needed OS for 15 months and counting!

There have to better, less destructive measures that can be properly explored before a spade is lifted!

In my sixty plus years I have never written to the Prime Minister, Secretary of State, Chancellor of the Exchequer or marched at a Demonstration, or Consulted with a Government department. Well I have now!  I have written to local Councillors but they don't reply, and didn't even bother with my MP but I am eagerly awaiting Mrs May's letter in reply!  I am becoming a boring old women but my demonstration for the cause will NOT see me joining in the Naked Cycle Ride, there are limits to my support!

But I do make Audio Visuals, and having purchased the fund raising CD, Big Yellow Taxi, featuring Emilee Boyce and produced by Martin Hayles, who has kindly given me permission to use the track in my sequence, I was inspired to make it. See below to watch and listen on Vimeo.

Some of the images were taken very recently, and as luck would have it a Balloon ride, we made with Kent Ballooning last year, bailed close to Op Stack and close to where the Lorry Park may be, so I was pleased to see we had captured images of Stanford from above that I could use.  Others are screenshots from publications and FB and websites. The "March" images were taken by my friend Simon Newlyn. I am probably breaking all sorts of rules by recording sound from broadcasts found on the internet, but what the hell.  The crime of covering our part of Kent in concrete is more heinous than mine, and its on the internet for all to listen to.

So that's the end of my rant and it gave me great personal satisfaction to create this to the words from the song!

Melanie

VIMEO PRESENTATION


Operation Stack Lorry Park from Melanie Chalk on Vimeo.

A Spark Page

22 July 2016

So a lazy Saturday in the sun beside the sea, some dips in the channel to cool off, and a chilled prosecco whilst listening to Snow Patrol. So i thought I would watch some Lightroom Tutorials by Julieanne Kost to brush up my skills. The first post spoke about a Spark Page from Adobe, easy to set up and a way to share a story with images and or video. So I watched the vid. downladed the free app and whilst sitting in the garden with the music and the prosecco and the sunshine created my first page.  I use collections in LR and these I can readily access via mobile LR on my Ipad, so I can easily go and find the images.  The story was recorded using the mic facility on my pad so really no effort involved.  I was really pleased with the professional looking page I created in about half an hour.

Check it out here.

Now I have got the hang of these the possibilities are endless. Another one compiled after visits to Summer Gardens.

Belmont and Salutation Gardens

Photoshoot with Helen

Photoshoot with Helen in amazing house location, The Hermitage, in Sandgate Kent.

The Brecon and Mon Canal

Just returned from our short interlude navigating the Brecon and Mon Canal. Life in the slow lane, 2 miles and hour, bird song, fields of buttercups, the bleat of sheep and the chugging engine of our narrowboat, Country Fair. The boat's name must have been an omen as we enjoyed a wonderful week of sunshine, still, muggy evenings and only a sprinkle of rain. Wonderfully relaxing.

Flowers along the Canal

Flowers were abundant along the banks of the canal, froths of cow parsley, multitudes of buttercups, abundant dandelions and a few insects, that stayed still long enough for me to take some shots.

The Baptism of Audrey Poppy Elodie Chalk

February 7th 2016 was the day that Audrey, Poppy, Elodie Chalk was baptised at the Holy Family Church in Reigate. Here is a very short Video of the actual Baptism, she reacted as many babies are renowned to do, and screamed throughout.   A glass of Prosecco was raised, to toast her, in the adjoining hall where the close family, godparents and friends enjoyed a delicious lunch and cake. Thank you Tim and Stacey and Evelyne and Audrey for a lovely and memorable day.

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Audrey's Baptism  |  68 images

Melanie Chalk DPAGB ARPS

Its now official a Distinction with the RPS, I have achieved ARPS in Multimedia. I set myself a goal in 2014 that I would go for my DPAGB and ARPS in 2015 and have achieved both at the first attempt. The judges at both panels included top experts in this discipline so to hear them comment on the photography and creativity in my application was affirming, confirming I had reached the high level to pass. When you consider the amount of images they contain, when presenting them for a distinction, the entrant is showcasing possibly 100’s of images as well as combining it with music and voice and effective transitions. If anyone is contemplating a distinction in Multimedia, either with the PAGB or RPS please contact me and I will be more that happy to pass on my experience. Audio Visuals often elicit groans when mentioned in Camera Clubs, have a bad press as being boring, but they don’t have to be! They can take hours and hours to create an entertaining 3 minutes! But they can be a very effective medium for displaying beautiful images as well as creative use of many PS skills.

Here are the links to Time, my latest that came second in the recent Annual KCPA AV Competition and then the three that gained me the ARPS in Multimedia.

Time 

Forgotten Heroes 

Mist and Fog

Dungeness

Another Piece of Chalk

We are pleased to announce the safe arrival of Audrey, Poppy, Elodie Chalk our new granddaughter, sister for Evelyne Grace. I did a photo shoot and there is are gallery of the images I captured of her and Evelyne. Another little personality to watch developing.

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Audrey and Evelyne Photoshoot  |  50 images

About Me

Melanie Chalk an avid photographer specialising in atmospheric seaside shots and delightful macros of flowers. Living a stones throw from the sea in Sandgate on the south east coast of England gives her great opportunities to capture both the power and tranquility of the sea and it's surroundings. Through her career as a florist she has a great affinity with flowers, and photographing them in their natural habitat as well as in "closeup" is something she just can't resist.