Newell, a painter of cattle and pastoral landscapes, was born in Berrien County, Michigan in 1870. He became a student of Edgar Melville Ward (1849-1915) at the National Academy of Design, after graduating from Albion College in Michigan and Columbia University. Newell also studied under Will S. Robinson and F. E. Courter at the Teacher’s College of New York. Newell himself became a National Academician in 1937 and won several awards. He died in Sharon, Connecticut in 1947.