In a world ravaged by plague and politics, Cindy Fletcher Holden’s art—its charm, warmth, and simplicity—breathes fresh air into Anne Arundel County. The Annapolis-based artist is known widely for her gorgeous murals that often center on our town and the Chesapeake Bay. Now she has found a new opportunity to bring beauty to our lives while helping Annapolis businesses that have been hurt hard by the pandemic.
Doodles for Charity
For Cindy, the stay-at-home-order and the slowdown in her commissioned work as a result of the pandemic gave her the time and motivation to use her materials and artistic ability to create Doodles for Downtown. She chose the Downtown Annapolis Partnership , a non-profit 501 c (3) charitable organization with a mission to sustain and strengthen the Annapolis business community, as the beneficiary of her work. She picked this organization in part because “the actual ‘brick and mortar’ shops, bars, restaurants etc., not only employ chefs, servers and retail people but also artists who paint murals, as well as musicians, and the workers who build and maintain the buildings.”
Cindy’s doodles are small, colorful art brush paintings that art lovers can buy for a minimum of ten dollars. However, most people pay more in light of the intrinsic value of the work and the fact that Cindy donates all the money to the Downtown Annapolis Partnership. Her favorite subjects are Bay scenes and cats, as she has sailed the Bay all her life and owns and loves cats; she has also accepted special requests.
Art Between the Creeks
The doodles aren’t Cindy’s first effort to use her talent and skills to help others. In 2013 she started Art Between the Creeks, to help other local artists gain recognition. Normally, Art Between the Creeks organizes two shows per year with exhibits from 15-20 artists, but Cindy had to cancel this year’s spring show and is worried about having a fall show.
She noted how important the doodles were to her personally when the pandemic hit. She lost motivation to work on the large painting she had started, and her large mural work was put on hold during the stay-at-home order. In pouring herself into the doodles, she said she discovered a new medium that she likes and wants to continue in order to see where it goes artistically. Equally important, she recognized how people loved her doodles, reinforcing her view that Annapolitans value art for its lasting beauty and uplifting effects and don’t always expect it to convey political messages.
Cindy put her doodle work on pause in late June to fulfill her obligations to paying clients, but plans to resume her doodles this month. So far, she has raised several hundred dollars for local businesses. At some point she would like to exhibit them, either for a charity or at a local gallery. In the meantime, keep an eye out for more Doodles for Downtown—as Cindy says, “It feels really, really good to give!”