Robert McCauley was born and raised in Mt. Vernon, Washington. He graduated from Western Washington University in 1969 and received his Master of Fine Arts Degree from Washington State University in 1972. Throughout his career, McCauley has earned many prestigious awards including a Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1982 and the Illinois Arts Council in 1999. McCauley also enjoyed a long and distinguished career as professor and Chairman of the Art Department at Rockford College in Illinois. Robert McCauley has created a mode of realism that is haunting and full of ambiguity. His distinctive animals manage to seem literal and symbolic at the same time, the viewer is suspended between these realms.