Harold Coats was born in Houston, Texas, in 1949. Growing up in a northern suburb adjacent to then farmland and being active in the Boy Scouts allowed him freedom to attain a profound love of nature and wildlife. Three years of High School ROTC, graduating with a Cadet Major rank, taught him discipline and respect.
In 1968 at age 19, he married Linda, his wife for over 45 years. He worked at the Houston Public Library part time and obtained an Associate of Arts Degree. A career decision was made by joining the Houston Fire Department where he worked hard, traveled up the ranks, and earned a Captain's badge. He was called upon numerous times to use his art and graphic talent to promote the fire department, as well as to illustrate procedures and equipment usage. With eleven years of witnessing life and death, tolerating politics in government-held positions, he also felt the ever developing speed of Houston's growth, as it encroached on his suburban lifestyle. So, armed with his appreciation of the outdoors and a lifelong desire to reside in the country, he took early retirement and moved with his wife and three children to historical Nacogdoches, Texas, in 1981.
Harold is a realist artist and has developed his own smooth brush technique with his favorite mediums: oil, watercolor, and pencil. By using a magnifying device, he ensures the capture of even the most minute detail. Social realism depicting country scenes, the War Between the States, and westerns are among Harold's more popular subjects. Collectors compare the stirring emotions of his characters to those of Norman Rockwell, and it has been noted that the quality of his rural scenes have a close similarity to those of Andrew Wyeth. Other works, including illustrations of wildlife, florals, portraits, still lifes, and much more are in constant demand. The diversification of subject matter sets him apart.
In 1988, Harold printed his first two oil paintings, each a scene from the War Between the States. He knew from the State Archives that his Great Grandfather, John Wesley Coats (1834-1914) had served in the Confederacy. Having produced many scenes from that era, collectors consistently wanted more. He credits much of his appreciation and love of art to his mother's side of the family. Her father, P. G. Lagoudis (1887-1958) came to America from Greece at age 17. He spoke six different languages fluently and was a designer of clothing and his siblings were prolific in language and music.
As of this writing, Harold has produced many originals and has published over 150 prints. The book, "One, Two, Hullabaloo!", written by the well-known author, Dr. Cindy King Boettcher of College Station, Texas has been released and was illustrated by Harold Coats. The book was completed using Harold's multi-media talents. The pages were illustrated using watercolor, pencil, and oil.
Harold and his wife, Linda, continue to live on their farm close to Nacogdoches where he consistently uses the unique talent that God has given him on a professional basis. Linda operates the gallery, frame shop and studio located at 112 E. Main on the brick streets of Nacogdoches. Harold's work is not only found in over 300 galleries in Texas alone, but also in many other states across the South.