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Alliston-area artist Sue Florian moving on from sets, props and into painting; displaying her work at Barrie Art Club

By Susan Doolan, Special to Postmedia Network

Alliston-area resident Sue Florian marks her first show at the Barrie Art Club this weekend. An opening reception will be held Sunday at the Barrie Art Club on Dunlop Street West. SUBMITTED

Alliston-area resident Sue Florian marks her first show at the Barrie Art Club this weekend. An opening reception will be held Sunday at the Barrie Art Club on Dunlop Street West. SUBMITTED

Sue Florian marks her first show at the Barrie Art Club this weekend.

The Alliston-area resident is the feature artist for the month of September.

The show marks a change in direction for her art and her life.

“It was time to move on and do new things,” Florian said of her former career doing sets and props for film and advertising and commercials. “I’ve always been an artist — working with it, done a lot for painting in the background of photo shoots — but not doing it (for) myself.

“I’ve learned an amazing lot of things,” she added. “Now, I just want to dive into my own work. I’m really more interested in exploring my own talent and where it leads me.”

Florian was born in Toronto, lived and worked in the city most of life.

A year after she married her husband of 24 years, the couple moved to Alliston and liked the lifestyle. Both of their working lives; her husband was in the film industry. They were very busy and life in a smaller centre was a good counterbalance.

She also got involved in the arts in Alliston. She co-founded the Artists at the Gibson painting group and continues to be a member. It now has close to 100 members. The group offers workshops and members have the opportunity to show and sell their work at the Gibson Centre for Arts & Culture.

She joined the Barrie Art Clubmore than two years ago and has participated in their member shows and other activities and is considering entering Kempenfest next year.

“I really enjoyed meeting the artists and different approaches to art and clubs or workshops,” said Florian, who thought it was a good idea to broaden her horizons.

She converted her home props space into a studio.

She’s had some success with trying new things such as entering a show in Florida where she sold a piece of art.

Florian’s talent was evident when she was growing up. In her youth, she was into drawing. She was selected to participate in a program for young artists at the Art Gallery of Ontario School.

At York University, she moved into painting and photography and her studies with the latter sparked her interest in film processing and printing and changed the way she looked at imagery.

Her work with leading commercial photographers began in 1980, and included a stint at a large studio where she worked on the production side to become successful prop stylist, studio assistant, wardrobe stylist and occasional location scout.

The majority of her own art work to date has been realistic, whether it has been drawing portraits and animals or painting landscapes.

She is now moving toward adding an element of abstraction into her work.

“I want to focus on weather, storms and the way the light changes when the weather changes, the effect of wind and light (when) a couple of leaves fall off the branch. I want to contrast stillness and movement,” Florian said. “I’m really excited about the process and the direction I’m going. I hope to hit on a way that speaks of me (that) people will recognize — that’s Sue Florian.”

She expects to have 17 or 18 paintings in the Barrie Art Club show in the main gallery. She is calling it Natural Explorations and expects it will include some of her realistic work as well as give a sample of where she’s going.

An opening reception will be held on Sunday from 1-3 p.m. at the Barrie Art Club, located at 304 Dunlop St. W., Unit 17.

The theme for this month’s members’ show is Harvest Time.

Angela Aitken will have artwork in the back section of the gallery.

All shows will be on display for the month of October.