Samuel Newton was born in Tifton, GA in 1948. He moved to Florida in 1962 to attend high school, where he began painting with his brother Harold Newton. Harold taught Sam and the Highwaymen to be more than fast painters and fast-talking salesmen, he taught them the skills necessary to be artists. Sam respected his brother's artistic skills and teachings so much that he calls himself a "Highwaymen Not" to disavow belonging to the group, despite having been inducted with the others into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004.
Sam still resides in Florida, where he continues to paint and teach students in the gallery he owns. He is the father of five children and two stepchildren; his son Tracy and his daughter Samurai paint to continue the family art legacy.
Sam Newton took great pride in producing quality works; he was known to paint more slowly than the other Highwaymen artists to maintain his quality. Sam Newton paintings are known for incredible details and a keen eye for colour. Unlike other Highwaymen, Sam Newton learned early on to use traditional artist's tools and quickly became skilled at mixing colours.
Sam also refused to subscribe to the "sizing guidelines" that Hair's followers used to make the paintings transportable, he often produced paintings much larger than usual for the Highwaymen 18 x 24 to accommodate the incredibly sharp details he is known for. Although early Sam Newton paintings were often created on less expensive materials such as upson board and Masonite, sold from his car and framed in traditional Highwaymen style, they are anything but "cookie cutter" paintings thrown together hastily for quick sales.
Sam Newton paintings each have an individual feel and seem to express a real moment in time. The images are more concrete than other Highwaymen paintings; they replace the "dreamlike" quality often seen in Highwaymen art with a sense that the artist has captured a snapshot in time. You can see some of the Sam Newton paintings listed below.