Elise Ritter



Eternally Yours
, watercolor and acrylics, 2016


Blue Heavens Trio
, alcohol inks and acrylics, 2018


Communion of Saints
, acrylics, 2012


Stained Glass Saints
, watercolors and acrylics, 2013


Messengers of Light
, alcohol inks and acrylics, 2018


Golden Angels
, collage and acrylics, 2014


A Star Is Born
, watercolor inks and acrylics, 2015


Moon Dance
, alcohol inks, 2016


Celtic Gem
, alcohol inks, 2017

Artist Statement

My art reflects my love of luminous, jewel-toned color and the magical properties of light.

“Spiritual Landscapes” or “Landscapes of Memory” are what I call my paintings. I try to capture a special moment, and elicit an emotional and interactive reaction from the viewer.

The various influences on my work include stained glass windows in cathedrals, gold-accented Symbolist art from Vienna, and religious icons.

Typically, I paint with acrylic paints — for their bold, rich colors — in hues of blue, yellow, coral, purple, and gold. I also paint with watercolors and alcohol inks on a special type of paper that showcases the colors’ brilliance, creating what appears to be like transparent stained glass.

I love visual problem-solving. When I first started painting, I planned very carefully each realistic painting, and included many details. Now, I experiment freely, and discover news ways of experiential painting and subject matter.

Overall, I believe in the healing properties of beauty and creation, resulting in transcendence.

As Irish mystic John O’Donohue wrote, “When we experience the Beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming. We feel most alive in the presence of the Beautiful for it meets the needs of our soul.”

About the Artist

Elise Ritter is an award-winning artist who lives in Arlington, Virginia. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, into a military family, she has lived, studied, and traveled throughout the United States and Europe.

Elise Ritter began her exploration as a painter in 2003, following a 20-year career in publishing, primarily at Time-Life Books, and a second, 10-year career in clinical social work. (She holds degrees in journalism and clinical social work.)

Since immersing herself in art, Elise Ritter has been juried into many commercial and nonprofit art galleries, including Crystal City’s Gallery Underground and Gallery Clarendon, both in Arlington, Virginia. Her spiritual paintings, of which the most popular are Communion of Saints and Stained Glass Saints (see images above), have been published in many books and magazines in England, Portugal, Belgium, Canada, and the United States. Her work is in private collections in the United States and Puerto Rico, Canada, New Zealand, England, Portugal, China, and Germany.

A juried-in member of Potomac Valley Watercolorists, an organization of top regional watercolor artists, and an active Arlington Artists Alliance member, Elise Ritter’s paintings have been selected for several annual Virginia Watercolor Society shows, an annual “Best Virginia Artists” exhibition, and a solo show at the Virginia General Assembly in the State Capitol. Her 30-piece “Luminous Grace” solo exhibition took place in 2016 at the National Methodist Church in Washington, D.C.; and “Illuminations,” which CultureCapital Weekend called a “hot hit and hidden jewel,” was reviewed by NPR. Curator Margaret Hancock of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts writes that “Elise Ritter captures landscapes with fluidity, paying special attention to light, atmosphere, and reflection . . . Just as it did for Claude Monet, the artist’s experience with paint and light form a starting point for more abstract works.”

The recipient of more than 15 awards, including Feature Artist in the July-August 2016 issue of Pastoral Liturgy, distributed worldwide, Elise Ritter has had three solo shows and participated in five duo or group exhibitions. In October 2018, she organized the Gallery Underground group exhibition “Vienna Gold: Inspired by Klimt,” which can be seen at National United Methodist Church, in Washington, D.C., beginning January 27, 2019. The show, in NUMC’s Great Hall, concludes March 3, 2019.

Elise Ritter is represented by Masterpieces Art Gallery in Kerikeri, New Zealand.

Elise Ritter Website

Elise Ritter on Pixels (Fine Art America Art Marketplace)

Masterpieces Art Gallery

Arlington Artists Alliance

Gallery Clarendon

Gallery Underground

Potomac Valley Watercolorists

Virginia Watercolor Society

National United Methodist Church