Los Angeles-based artist Regine Legler was born in Berlin, Germany. Her vibrant, colorful paintings are visualizations of deeply felt emotional states, dream imagery, and the enchanting world she has found in her new home, the American West.
In childhood, Regine’s first drawings were made on a communal canvas; her mother encouraged family members to draw at home on a kitchen door. Every surface was a place to draw, including her schoolbooks, which led Regine to her first artistic commission; a classmate asked her to help him fulfill a homework assignment by drawing a portrait of Napoleon.
Regine's formal education began when she enrolled at the prestigious Staedelschule in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, where she studied figure drawing, portraiture, landscape and still life under Walter Hergenhahn, a student of the renowned Max Beckmann. She completed her formal artistic training at the Freie Academy in Mannheim, Germany, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts after devoting three years to intensive study in color theory, oil painting, acrylic and watercolor.
Regine’s creative journey has led her to explore diverse subjects, but the connecting theme through all is the intimate investigation of emotional territory. Her vibrantly colored Faces series depicts intense emotional states. In the delicate emotional nuances depicted in her Bonds series her subject is maternal love, the intimate connection between mother and child. Regine’s move to the United States brought her to new thematic territories; she began to paint wildlife and explore emotional states via the culture of the Native American Indian.
From early on, Regine Legler’s artistic endeavors have been a form of contemplative emotional work, processing her feelings through her radiant drawings and paintings. Today, she continues this creative focus, using bold colors and active brush strokes to convey deeply felt emotional states, drawing from both her German Expressionist roots and the imaginative possibilities of Fantastic Realism. Her exuberant paintings have a distinctive and sophisticated personal style that reflects both the exterior world of nature, and her own luminous, interior world.
I paint what touches me most. Something in my life or in the world around me that moves me deeply. It may be joy, like the extraordinary bond between mother and child or it may be the sadness and pain of growing up in a time after the war like I did. Just painting what I feel brings me more in touch with who I am, my emotions, and helps me process what I might not otherwise understand or memories and thoughts I might not be able to let go of any other way. Whatever feelings come through as I sit down to paint, I let them flow from the brush to the canvas without judgment or fear.