Carolann Small, SaddleBrooke Gift Shop Artist of the Month

Carolann Small, photo by Tom Costner

Carolann Small, photo by Tom Costner

Tom Costner

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “unique” as: particularly remarkable, special or unusual. This easily, but not totally accurately, describes the creativity in fabric produced by Carolann Small. When you see her creations you will understand her work extends beyond unique.

Carolann describes herself as a Fiber Artist. Her ability to not only create art with commercial fabrics, but also those to which watercolor has been added and combined with “thread painting” or “free motion stitching.”

Born in Maui, HI she yearned for adventure and left the beautiful Islands for San Francisco. Her career as a graphic artist for architectural and engineering firms offered some challenges, but as Carolann says, “You were confined to either a box, a specific angle or measurement or even a circle, but wanted to get out of the ‘box’ and create more free flowing creations.”

In San Francisco she met and married her husband Dwight 28 years ago. Now retired as an airline captain, he flew for the Flying Tigers Airline and FedEx. They keep a Legend Super Cub in Marana. She loves to fly as low as possible (within regulations) to enable her to see the varied patterns of the landscape. Those aerial images are recaptured and transferred to her fabric artistry.

Her background in oils and acrylics allows her to create color into various fabrics with watercolor paints. Then the further combination of free motion stitchery and multiple fabric layers add a three-dimensional realism to her end result. To understand “free motion stitchery” you must see the result. For example, the stitches may add the veins to leaves, the separate petals of flowers or the layers of clouds reflecting the golden rays of the setting sun. Each creation is a masterpiece and no two are alike. Many are wall hangings, table decorations or even bowls made of rolled fabrics. Her postcards of layered fabrics may be mailed (approved by USPS) but most prefer to use the supplied envelope as they may become a gift to the recipient.

Relatively new to SaddleBrooke, Carolann and Dwight first moved to Prescott, AZ only to learn it may snow on occasion, and being from the Islands this did not meet her dream retirement location. Oro Valley was the next stop 10 years ago and last year joined the real retirement world of SaddleBrooke. Did they have encouragement? Oh yes, Carolann’s brother and sister-in-law are SaddleBrooke residents. We are so glad to have them here.

For someone driven with passion for “unique” creativity, Carolann has precious little time. She has created donations for several of the ladies golf groups’ raffle prizes, participated in the Oracle Artist Studio Tour and holiday events, and now offers her creations to SaddleBrooke residents and guests in the SaddleBrooke Gift Shop.

Stop by the SaddleBrooke Gift Shop today, located between the tennis courts and the SaddleBrooke One Clubhouse. Staffed by volunteers who showcase and sell their creations in the Gift Shop, you’ll find an endless variety of the creations of talented SaddleBrooke residents.