Instructors

Robert Garden

A NATIVE OF WEST VIRGINIA, Robert H. Garden graduated from the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida, with an MBA in Art. His distinguished 30 plus year career in commercial and fine art has afforded Mr. Garden commissions ranging from museum dioramas to convention center murals. A PREMIER GALLERY ARTIST, author, lecturer and teacher, Garden is accomplished in both oils and watercolor. Because of limited availability of competent art instruction, either in or out of college, the “Robert Garden Method” of painting was developed and perfected. Robert has been highly successful during the more than 30 years of teaching beginning students and accomplished artists to paint with confidence and to complete a painting in only three hours or less. He has won the Silver Cup Art Award (the highest award given), two consecutive years from the Corpus Christi Art Association. He is a lifetime member of the Rockport, Texas Art Association. One of a small and select group of artists entrusted in the restoration and repair of paintings, Robert was commissioned by a Florida gallery to restore a painting, which was valued at Three Million Dollars, demonstrating his competence and credibility.

THE AUTHOR of two books, a video series and CO-host of an instructional painting pilot filmed for public television, Mr. Garden has been featured on national television and prestigious newspapers through the U.S. As a farm boy in West Virginia, Robert began painting at the age of seven. He used his mother’s cosmetics and colorful berry juices for paint. His canvases were window shades and scrap materials. His first brushes were made from the hair of his cat and dog’s tails. His first painting was sold at a sidewalk art show in Wheeling, West Virginia, for $80.00 when he was eight years old. Robert Garden has since continued to conduct painting workshops, touring throughout the United States and many foreign countries.

Susan Garden

Susan Garden is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. She is also a Certified Master Instructor for the Robert Garden School of Art which she co-founded in 1976 with her teacher/mentor and spouse of over 30 years, Robert Garden. She has been named “Teacher of the Year” by Mesquite ISD and has 35-years experience teaching children and adults to paint in her unique “You Can Paint” workshops.

Susan is an award-winning artist, muralist and member of the Irving Art Association and the National Speakers Association. Susan has been the featured guest on live television and with Robert Garden has produced and developed a unique line of art education materials including books, videos and art supplies as well as co-hosted an educational television series entitled “You Can Paint”. Susan loves painting on location and offers painting cruises for her students, ages 5 to 105, and to the Padre Island gulf coast every October. While oil is Susan’s favorite medium she also specializes in teaching oil, watercolor, oil pastels and charcoal. Last summer the Garden’s and their certified instructors taught over 1,000 children in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to paint in “Adventures in Art Camps”.

Christen Garden

I was born and raised in Irving, TX. I am the daughter of master artist Robert & Susan Garden. I became interested in art at a very young age, tagging along with art demonstrations and helping my father at the art studio in any way I could. As a child I watched my parents travel and paint on location while their love of art flourished. From a young age, I could see what art did for the soul and I wanted to share that gift with others too. Consequently, I took art as an elective every year in high school and continued my education at North Lake College. I enjoy the fundamentals of color theory and my favorite medium to work with is watercolor. I have been a teaching instructor at Robert Garden School of Art since 2007. I have worked with children all across the Dallas Ft. Worth metropolis teaching Art camps in continuing education centers and city own recreation centers. I also teach private lessons using a variety of mediums to a range of ages.

Recently, my love of the Dental craft has led me to receive my Registered Dental Assistants Degree from Tarrant County College. I revel in dentistry, but I will never stray from what I love most, helping individuals create beautiful paintings to hang and feel proud of. I also find that painting keeps me balanced and relaxed. When I’m not studying or teaching art classes I enjoy traveling with my family to the beaches of the world and going on road trips to the Colorado Rocky’s. I also love going to galleries and fishing with my dad.

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 sandy@youcanpaint.us

Please visit Sandy’s site at www.youcanpaint.us

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.