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                I am a 7th generation Vermonter, born in Rutland in 1958.  My family have lived in Rutland since 1905.  The paternal side of my family have lived in the Green Mountain state since 1880, and the maternal side since 1780.  My mother and I are descended from Elder William Brewster of the Mayflower.  One might say that I am a true "Yankee".      
      TThe fact that I am a painter may be because my great-grandmother, great- grandfather and  great-great grandfather were all artists.  According to one art book, my great-great grandfather Cyril Brunelle Sr,  "Wandered the Adirondacks , swapping paint-ings for food and drink....mostly drink."  On the right is a tintype of my father's mother's mother and one of her oil paintings, which she created at the tender age of 12.        

(L) My great grandmother, Catherine Hurley, circa 1885.       (R)  Her painting "Wild Rose", circa 1881.

                                 

 

                             The fact that I am a cartoonist may be because I inherited a droll sense of humor from these two, my paternal great-grand-parents, Cyril JR and Ida Brunelle.  Here they are hamming it up in a photo booth, circa 1900.  Cyril Jr. was remembered both for his dry wit and his magnificent handlebar moustache.  Ida could crack wise in both English and French.      
      Both my love of antiques and my obsessive- compulsive need to be neat and tidy manifested themselves early.  Here I am, seated at my carefully arranged desk, aged 15, showing off my collection of Civil War buttons, medicine bottles and daguerreotypes.   On the shelf above is a tea cup hand painted by my above- mentioned great-grandmother Hurley.  I still collect all forms of 19th century photography and ephemera.                                
                    My love of antique automobiles and souped-up hot rods also began early.  In the 1970's my father and I restored this 1929 Model A Ford Tudor Sedan. We belonged to the Green Mountain Chapter of the Model A Ford Club, and often drove it in parades.  Since I can not afford to collect cars, I collect vintage car advertisements instead.  I always attend every antique car and hot rod rally that I can.       
         I graduated from St. Michael's College in 1980 with two degrees, one in History, and the other in Fine Arts.  This, of course, rendered me unfit for employment.  During my senior year my painting professor mischievously swapped the portrait of the McCarthys in the lobby of St. Michael's McCarthy Arts center with my self portrait.  Thus, for a brief moment, it became the "Robert Waldo Brunelle JR Arts Center"...                                          
            In 1981 I became the art teacher at the Browns River Middle School in Underhill, VT.  I received an MA in Art Education from Castleton College in 1985.  In spite of budget cuts and parental indifference, I managed to hold on to my art teaching job for 31 years, retiring at last in 2012.   In an effort to hold the attention of my students, in 2003 I painted this huge mural of cartoon characters on the wall of my classroom.      
         In 1983 I had the good fortune of meeting my soul-mate, Grace Key, a descendant of Sir Francis Scott Key.  We met in September, were wed by December, and have been happily married ever since. .                                                
                                From 1995 to 2011 I had the honor of serving as the president of the Northern Vermont Artist Association.  The NVAA was founded in Burlington, VT in 1931, and has been an important aid to visual artists in the region ever since.  While president I put my love of history and art to good use by writing this book, which was published by Kasini House in 2009.  
       Today I am a painter, book illustrator, art educator, author, kinetic sculptor and political cartoonist.  When I am away from my studio, I spend my time annoying my neighbors by playing my violin.       
      C   ROBERT WALDO BRUNELLE JR 2014      

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