Born and raised in Stephenville, Yeates graduated from North Texas State University with a BFA in Drawing and Painting in 1974. After teaching at a private school in Dallas for about a year, Yeates moved to Austin and soon began working at the Armadillo World Headquarters. Posters promoting shows followed and led to promotional art for Lone Star Beer during the 80's.
Yeates freelanced for several years with clients, including Willie Nelson, Budweiser Brewing and Warner Bros. Records. In the late 80’s Yeates, began teaching painting, drawing, and mural execution at Austin Community College. He continues to paint, mostly with oils and acrylics, and exhibit his work that addresses his rural Texan upbringing, and the solitude of his native, wide-open landscapes.
Over the years, he has become a mainstay at a number of art galleries around the country. They are the Cohen Reese Gallery in San Francisco, Dos Lunas Gallery in Taos, New Mexico, and Davis Gallery in Austin. His art is part of the permanent collections of the Lone Star, Budweiser and Heileman Brewing Companies; North East Missouri State University; the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center at the University of Texas; Smithsonian Museum, Washington D.C.; Hills, Field and Bartlett, Austin, Texas; Corpus Christi Art Museum, Corpus Christi, Texas; and Sky Ranch, Santa Fe, New Mexico, as well as others.