Mullen is an "APO Native Vermonter" (born to Vermont parents on active military duty out of state) a unique designation invented and bestowed upon him by Governor Dean Davis in 1968. Growing up in Vermont from the age of two, he did all of the usual Norman Rockwell stuff rural Vermont kids did, even including attending one day at the West Bolton one-room school house before his family moved to neighboring Jericho where his room only had grades 1 and 2. Able to draw preternaturally well from a very young age, he was often in trouble for drawing pictures in class instead of listening. His fifth grade art teacher, Mr. Kennedy, was the first person to tell him that he could become a professional.But science seemed to win out.


Inspiring exasperated eye-rolls from his staid, conservative maternal grandfather in Proctor, Vermont, Rob found the critters and habitats of the shoreline microcosms vastly more interesting than barbing some hapless worm on a hook and sitting around waiting for some equally hapless fish to bite it. That is the essence of what led him to a degree in biology. However, his lab drawings led to illustrating for his professors and ... upon graduation, Mullen headed for NYC in his Datsun B-210 with 250 U.S. dollars in his wallet with the goal of becoming the "Audubon of Bugs." After 16 years as a successful freelance advertising artist (the biological stuff didn't pay well), he returned to Vermont with a soon to be ex-wife and two brilliant young daughters and plunged headlong into wildlife art. The rest is an ongoing story.


Now, after traveling to Montreal to capture a beautiful Canadian wife (Bonnie) he happily lives back in West Bolton with the treasured beaver pond of his youth in the backyard and is slowly realizing, after two summers of Covid-induced Vermont expeditions, that he doesn't need to hazard the perils of the far north to find artistic inspiration (though he does rather miss it sometimes - it's the adventure).   

Art, Adventure and Conservation

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Vermont 1978

  • Freelance Advertising Artist; NYC 1978 - 1994

  • Wildlife and Wilderness artist since 1994: nearly 100 shows from coast to coast with dozens of awards*.

  • Founder/Executive Director of the Wilderness River Expedition Art Fellowship (WREAF)
    (as of 2013, a program of the Center for Circumpolar Studies) working with the Smithsonian's Arctic Studies Center on a boreal forest exhibition.

  • Wilderness exedition canoeist, 20 art expeditions since 2001 (ten more before that, though the early ones weren't art oriented) sponsored by Mad River Canoe Company 2001 - 2007 and by PakBoats since 2012

Wildlife and Wilderness Artist

  1. Bennington Collective Master Artist

  2. Society of Animal Artist Signature Member

  3. Represented by Robert Paul Galleries Stowe, Vermont   

* Including

  • Best of Show: Pac Rim Art Show - Seattle, WA

  • Best of Show: California Open Wildlife Art Show - San Diego, CA

  • Best Waterfowl Award: Arts for the Parks Top 100 Show and National Tour - Jackson Lake Lodge, Grand Teton NP, WY

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Award: Arts for the Parks Top 100 Show and National Tour - Jackson Lake Lodge, Grand Teton NP, WY

  • Birds in Art Exhibition

  • SAA annual Art and the Animal Exhibition

  • Easton Waterfowl Festival

  • Art in der Natur - Netherlands

  • Nature in Art - UK


  Art Expeditions


  • 2021     June 9 - October 3: six weeks on Lake Champlain; end-to-end and around aboard the Artful Otter.     

  • 2020     September 16 - October 17: Long Trail, 273 miles End-to-End. 20 paintings.

  • 2019     All Year: Built a 21' x 24' two-story, post and beam barn.

  • 2018      Aug 3 - Sept 12 Trans-Ungava and Tursujuq National Park. Third known party across via the Melezes River since 1896.

  • 2017      May 4 - May 18 Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument

  • 2016      July 29 - Aug 12: Ending the Beginning: Lower Missinaibi to James Bay

  • 2015      Aug 12 - Sept 2 (+/-): Northern Rim of the Boreal Forest Part III; Kobuk River to the Chukchi Sea.

  • 2014      Sept 13 - 20: 80-mile section hike on the Long Trail, MA - Wallingford VT

  • 2013      July 25 - August 25: Northern Rim of the Boreal Part II: Noatak River to the Kobuk River, crossing the Brooks Range via Angiaak Pass and on to Ambler, AK - adopted by two young black bears for two days and charged by a Grizzly. Account published in Alaska Magazine.

  • 2012      July 24 - Sept 2: Northern Rim of the Boreal Part One: Noatak River, Alaska; Lucky Six Creek to the Chukchi Sea.

  • 2011      Aug 1- Aug 30; "Heart of the Boreal"; Woodland Caribou Provincial Park

  • 2009      Sept 1 - Oct 3; "Trans-Labrador"; Lake Attikamagen Labrador - Nain, Labrador (300-mile canoe expedition; third party on the second half of route in 100 years)

  • 2008      Sept 29 - Oct 18; Lake Kamestastin, Labrador (base camp exploration of area)

  • 2008      Aug 31 - Sept 9; Slate Islands, Lake Superior (canoe expedition)

  • 2008      Jan 31 - Feb 15; St. Ignace Island/Nipigon Bay, Lake Superior (toboggan trip over the ice)

  • 2007      July 13 - Aug 4; Sleeping Giant to Rainbow Falls, Lake Superior NMCA promotion (canoe expedition)

  • 2006/07 Dec 18 - Jan 18; Lajitas, TX - Pecos River, Rio Grande (canoe expedition)

  • 2006      Aug 31 - Sept 20; Indian House Lake - Helen Falls; George River, Nunavik (canoe expedition)

  • 2005      Aug 23 - Sept 15; Indian House Lake - Kangiqsualuujuaq Ungava Bay, George River (canoe expedition)

  • 2004      Aug 30 - Sept 18; Chapleau River, Ontario (canoe expedition)

  • 2003      Sept 25 - Oct 9; Mattice, Ontario to Moose River Crossing, Missinaibi River and Moose Rivers (canoe expedition)

  • 2002      Oct 3 - Oct 12; Harricana River, QC (returned to start - dangerously high water and snow) (canoe expedition)

  • 2001      Aug 23 - Sept 14; Missinaibi Lake to Moose River Crossing, Missinaibi and Moose Rivers (canoe expedition)

river scene blurred edges.jpg

"Flowing North
Harricana River, Quebec

5x10 Acrylic plein air (finished in studio)