When she saw West Point for the first time, artist Jillian Herrigel felt like she was coming home to Wales. She made this painting of West Point, looking down into the village. Jillian Herrigel

PHIPPSBURG — Like so many others, Jillian Herrigel felt she was coming home when she crossed the bridge from New Hampshire to Maine for the first time. Herrigel grew up in Wales, moved to the United States when she was 6 and spent most of her life in New Jersey.

Maine reminded her of the coast of Wales, and also a little of Scotland. That feeling became overwhelmingly profound when she arrived in West Point more than 30 years ago, with cottages on either side of a steep traffic circle that dips down off the main road and seemingly disappears into the water below before flattening out around the bend. There, she and her husband, Rodger, bought a cottage that transformed their lives. There, she found an authentic place to paint, a community full of color, beauty and activity on land and water.

Jillian Herrigel enjoys painting the action on the water. Jillian Herrigel

Since retiring in 2006, she has concentrated on painting, often using the perch of the wharf of the old West Point General Store as a platform to look across the water, to observe the boats and fishermen and to pay attention to the clouds and sky. The Herrigels purchased the wharf and former store in 2008, now the basecamp of the Maine Oyster Co., operated by their son, John. She also has a studio at their West Point cottage, looking out across Cat Cove and Wood and Little Wood islands.

A view of West Point from the water by painter Jillian Herrigel. Jillian Herrigel

Like a lot of other modernists, she walks the line between realism and abstract, painting what she sees but expressing how she feels. She is a loose painter, attracted to shapes and movement. Herrigel is part of a Phippsburg fine-art tradition that includes John Marin, Ernest Haskell, Will Barnet, Bev Hallam, and, more recently, Felicity Sidwell, Ann Mohnkern and many others.

She shows at Center Street Art Gallery in Bath and Thos. Mosher in Freeport. To learn more, visit jillianherrigel.com.

Jillian Herrigel in her studio, down the street from Maine Oyster Co.’s basecamp in Phippsburg. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

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