Fran Bell Simms

Fran Bell Simms has been a painter since childhood and continues to study and to seek improvement as she enters her eighth decade. When in grade 3, her painting of children in the home preparing for bedtime was selected as representative of her elementary school and was sent to Russia. That is the last time the painting was ever seen. During high school and college, she used her art work for cartooning and making posters. She integrated the arts into curriculum and is one of the midwives of the daVinci Project, still alive and well in Arlington Public School’s Barcroft. As an empty nester, she began to study watercolor in earnest and has taken classes with Gwen Bragg, Jane Coonce, Judi Betts, Lian Quag When, Brenda Swenson and has traveled abroad with other watercolorists to paint en plein air and to continue working with this complex and pliant medium. She qualifies as a “colorist” and often takes the challenge of working color using a simple triad. She has taught watercolor for Arlington Adult Education, is a member of the Art League of Alexandra, Arlington Artists Alliance and Falls Church Artists.


Elise Ritter


  • She is a juried member of the Potomac Valley Watercolorists, an organization of top watercolor artists in the Washington DC region.
  • She is represented by Gallery Underground, in Crystal City, Arlington, the award-winning gallery of the Arlington Artists Alliance, and she is an active member of the Alliance.
  • She is also a featured artist at Masterpieces Gallery, in Kerikeri, New Zealand, and her paintings are being shown in Auckland NZ this summer, 2017.
  • Her paintings are represented in many private collections throughout the United States, New China, Germany, England, Portugal, Canada, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico.
  • Elise is a member of the Virginia Watercolor Society, and her paintings have been selected for several annual statewide exhibitions. She has also had a one-person show at the State Capitol during the General Assembly, and 2 solo shoes at private galleries in Richmond.
  • “Luminous Grace,” was the title of her 30-piece solo show from January – April 2016, at the National Methodist Church in Washington, DC.
  • Elise’s artwork was juried into the 2016 Best Virginia Artists Juried Exhibition.
  • Her duo art exhibition, with Linda Maldonado, “Illuminations” (2014), at Gallery Underground, was chosen as a “hot hit & hidden jewel” by CultureCapital Weekend, and reviewed on NPR.
  • PUBLICATIONS include: “Pastoral Liturgy: Doing Good Work, May/June 2016”“Potomac Valley Watercolorists: Celebrating 40 Years 1974-2014”Arlington Magazine: “Best of Edition,” Jan./Feb. 2015; and “Elan” magazine, 2014.


Larry Padberg


After dabbling with oils and watercolor painting for many years, Larry began to pursue watercolor seriously in 2001 with instruction through the Alexandria Art League. His work is representational and includes a variety of subjects including landscapes, still life, florals, and nautical scenes. He works in both watercolor and acrylics. An Arlington resident, Larry joined the Arlington Artists Alliance in 2014; his work may be seen in various venues and shows under the curatorship of the Alliance.

Larry retired in 2014 from a professional career in higher education administration and fund raising for a nonprofit homeless services agency. He continues to provide volunteer service with Arlington County homeless services agencies, and is a fund raising/grant writing consultant for nonprofit organizations.


Tony Neville

Tony is an award-winning artist and teacher.  He exhibits in watercolor, acrylic, and charcoal. He has been juried into over 30 exhibitions locally and regionally.  He teaches art classes and provides watercolor demonstrations for local groups.

Trained as an architect and landscape architect, Tony uses subjects that often focus on the enjoyment of landscapes, cityscapes and seascapes.  These subjects form a connection between people and their environment.  Tony’s earlier professional career is closely linked to the beginning of the environmental movement and emphasized how to manage the stewardship of nature.  His art explores how the natural and built environment can co-exist to further our well-being.  Creating images of nature and light heightens our awareness and prompts exploration of our surroundings.


Lauren Marcott

Lauren Marcott has sketched since first grade, but only in the last few years has she worked in color.  In school she studied crafts and played around with pencil portraits. During summers she taught among the unique perspectives and color of the Southwestern desert, before traveling and working in East Asia and Europe, always sketching.   She retired from the U.S. State Department in 2007, after serving in London, Turkey, Russia, and Ukraine, as well as various places in Washington.

In the last few years she’s traveled with her husband to Jordan, Japan, Turkey, and Central Europe, and has driven several times across the US.  She visits her daughter and granddaughter in Paris and Jerusalem, as well as New England in summer and Florida in winter — hence the bistros, seashells, sailboats, canyons, and lighthouses that populate many of her paintings.

Since she retired, she’s taken on watercolor, at least in part because of its ability to capture the light in objects – and because it has a mind of its own.   She studied watercolor at the Smithsonian, at the Arlington Arts Alliance, with Arlington Adult Education and most recently the Art League.  She is a member of the Potomac Valley Watercolorists, the Arlington Artists Alliance and the Gallery Underground.   She can be reached at