Born in Gifford, Florida, in 1934, Harold Newton moved with his family to Tifton, Georgia, as a young boy. He moved back to Florida while still a teenager and worked as a laborer and fruit picker. Always interested in art, he drew and painted since childhood. While he was living in Georgia, he drove around the state from church to church selling paintings of religious scenes.
His friendship with A. E. Backus in Fort Pierce brought him to painting landscapes in the early 1950s, and he became a masterful landscape artist in his own right. Newton died in 1994 following a stroke.