He was raised in Tiffon, a small town in south Georgia. Nicknamed “Lem,” he began painting as a teenager in the late 1960s after moving to Fort Pierce where his bother Harold was making a good living as a landscape painter. He and Willie Daniels began by working with Alfred Hair, preparing Upson boards. The lure of making money as an artist was strong and Lem began painting.
His main influence was clearly Harold. He greatly admired his older brother, once commenting to Highwaymen biographer Gary Monroe, “Sam and I wouldn’t know nothing about painting if it weren’t for Harold. All the painters wouldn’t know nothing about painting if it weren’t for Harold, including Alfred Hair.” While the statement about Alfred isn’t exactly correct, it demonstrates the importance of Harold in Lemuel Newton’s life.
Lem Newton was recently released from prison for charges related to domestic violence. He currently lives in Georgia and is interested in reviving his painting career.