After returning from military duty, Bullas enrolled in the Brooks Institute of Fine Art in Santa Barbara, California, where he studied with renowned instructor Ray Strong. Bullas graduated with a degree in oil painting. With encouragement from his wife, Claudia, he then quit his printing press job--reproducing the work of other artists--and focused on his own art.
That was the beginning of a year-long journey across the Midwest and Southwest, to malls and parking lots where Bullas sold his work to collectors. The couple settled in Carmel, California, where the artist's exclusive relationship with galleries resulted in a decade of prosperity and a growing group of dedicated, enthusiastic collectors.
Bullas' work has not escaped the notice of critics and peers. He won the Strathmore Award at the 1981 Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition, the William G. Morrison Award for the Adirondacks Exhibition of American Watercolors, and the First Place Award for the 1990 Signature Membership Exhibition of the National Watercolor Society. Bullas also won the California Watercolor Association's 1997 Silver Medal and he is a proud member of both the American Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society.