Nestled in a stand of rhododendron on the road to Cashiers is a cottage filled with art. The Brier Patch in Highlands has been in business since 1948 and is the exclusive North Carolina representative of impressionist artist JoAnn Williams Walker.
Owner Catherine Appleton Peay has known the artist since childhood. Catherine’s mother, Virginia Appleton (former owner of The Brier Patch), and Walker have been friends for years, and Virginia began displaying JoAnn’s work at The Brier Patch in
JoAnn has been visiting her friends in Highlands for years and while here, she paints. She’ll be back for the month of July, and invites you to join her. Once you wander onto the back porch of The Brier Patch you’ll see why it’s the favorite place for her easel. The lush greenery of the rolling lawn and the unmatched view of Shortoff Mountain make for a plein air nirvana.
All works of art in The Brier Patch are Walker’s own oils where you’ll see landscapes from around the world. Of particular note are the harborscapes she paints while studying in Italy. They’re thoughtfully displayed alongside the traditional home accessories for which The Brier Patch has become known.
Jo Ann has been involved in art since the 70s – working with Winsor & Newton, London, England; Binney and Smith, New Jersey; and Fredrix Canvas, Lawrenceville, Georgia. She assisted in the design of artists’ brushes for Robert Simmons of New York City and FM Brushes of Secaucus, New Jersey.
Over the years, her brushwork has become more confident and self-assured, which has resulted in freer and stronger compositions. Her still life compositions are haphazardly yet perfectly arranged and transform ordinary images into exuberant reflections of color and light. The vibrant color of her work reflects her passion for life and her world travels.
JoAnn Williams Walker will be painting at The Brier Patch the month of July. Make sure you take time out of your busy summer to enjoy the tranquility you’ll find at 4186 Cashiers Road in Highlands. For more information, please contact Catherine Peay at (828) 526-4110.
by Jenny King