Robert Mullen graduated from the Univeristy of Vermon with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1978. As a biology student, Mullen illustrated his professors' periodcal articles, and was counseled to go professional. He declined twenty-six unsolicited invitations to law school in 1993, choosing instead to work as a free lance artist in Manhatten from 1978-1994.
In 1994, Mullen returned to Vermont. He won the Vermont Duck Stamp Competition on my his first attempt. Since then, he was won over thirty awards at more than seventy shows coast to coast.
In August and September of 2001, Mad River Canoe Company sponsered a 300-mile painting/canoe exhibition through the Boreal Forest wilderness to James Bay on the Missiniabi River. Since then,the project has grown and evolved to involve the Smithsonian Institution, and some of the best wildlife artists and paddlers in the world.