Affiliate Instructors

Patricia Bowie

This is Patricia Bowie, daughter of Robert Garden and certified Robert Garden Instructor from Georgia. Patricia likes to paint country scenes and teaches in her home near Atlanta.

Susan Chermack

Susan Chermack is a free-lance artist, designer, calligrapher, and signwriter for over 40 years.

Susan was born and raised in Nebraska, but has spent all of her adult life in Colorado. Her art training began with the Minneapolis Art Institute, attended John F. Kennedy College, 5 years of commercial art classes at Pikes Peak Community College, and numerous workshops and seminars. She also is a certified oil painting instructor with the Dallas-based Robert Garden School of Art. She teaches oil classes regularly in her studio north of Salida.

In addition she is a calligraphy instructor and has done work for the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Her main area of work has been mural painting for the United States Air Force Academy. She started with one large 7 ft. by 40 ft. mural in the Press Box over 20 years ago, and has since produced over 60 projects and paintings for the Academy, with the largest being over 800 square feet. In addition to the USAFA, she has also painted for the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, the Whidbey Island Naval Base in Puget Sound, and the Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona.

Sandy Elkins

Most of my background is in the business world, as an Administrative Assistant. I started painting “later in life” (with no artistic talent) with Susan and Robert Garden at my local recreation center in 2005. I had never painted before, even in school! My first painting is still my favorite! I had never held a paintbrush, can’t draw a stick figure, but found out that, with guidance, I can paint! And you can too!

When I took early retirement from my job, I decided perhaps I could be a Robert Garden art instructor using the Robert Garden step-by-step “method.” To fulfill this goal, I became certified as a “Robert Garden Instructor” in May 2011. We use all professional grade materials. Since I’ve been teaching, I find I like to work with youth and senior citizens (I would not have thought this before). I am in the process of building my clients (would-be artists) and have various classes in Collin and Dallas Counties. It’s exciting to have this new career at this stage of my life – I’d never have guessed!

Education: Bachelor of Arts, 2004, the University of Texas at Dallas

Originally from New York and then California, I have lived in Plano, TX for 30 years. My granddaughter Hayley, 19, is my art “inspiration.” She is a wonderful and talented artist and attends Collin College. I am married and have two grown daughters, one who manages a Homeowner Association Management business, and one who is a Veterinary Technician, who has just started Nursing School. My husband is self-employed in the computer business.

You may contact Sandy at

Please visit Sandy’s site at

Becky Garrett

Becky Garrett wears many hats…wife, mother, former elementary teacher, lead singer in a band, vocal teacher & Girl Scout Troop Leader. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from University of Central Oklahoma in 1998.

After teaching elementary school for 6 years she decided to stay home to raise her young daughter. She realized that she needed a creative outlet and remembered how much she loved to watch her mother paint.

Becky and her best friend decided to attend a class with Robert Garden at the local community center. That class planted a seed in Becky that she will forever be grateful. She decided to attend the Robert Garden Instructors Course in January. Teaching art gives her the opportunity to do what she loves and still place her family as top priority. Becky now looks forward to being able to use her creative outlet and teach it to others.

Alyce Henderickson

In 2001, Alyce Hendrickson moved to Texas when her husband Rich transferred there for a job. She was introduced to the Robert Garden School of Art in October of 2001. Claiming not to be able to draw a straight line, her first art lesson was an oil painting of a Paris street scene. She continued with classes and took Instructors training in 2003.

Alyce also enjoys writing. Her latest published work, the Sammy series, teaches young children three valuable life lessons. Besides writing, her move to Texas afforded her the opportunity to fulfill her other passion which is horses. Her newest horse, Nugget (center), she rescued after he was left to starve. She brought him back to health and now they are best friends. Oreo (left) and Abby (right) have been with her since 2004. Two cats and two dogs also share 6 acres.