Jonathan Edwards Helsley was born in Riverton, Wyoming on January 21, 1958. Showing an interest in art from before the age of 5, Jon could most often be found coloring and painting, or studying the art section of the families’ Childcraft Encyclopedia. Many of his young creations would be pedaled to family and friends for 10 cents or a quarter!
In his Jr. High and High School years, Jon was the recipient of several awards in art, music, and poetry, but as he moved into adulthood, economics and circumstances in his life would take him in other directions.
Heading west to Seattle in his early twenties, Jon would marry and work in construction and truck driving to provide for his young family. From framing and remodeling houses, landscaping, delivering fruit and produce to restaurants, to cleaning office buildings and hauling crude oil, he experienced life in a way that would eventually shape his art and guide him toward his first love of becoming an artist full time.
Moving back to Montana in 1990, with his wife and three children was an important decision and stepping stone for Jon, yet he wouldn’t pick up a paintbrush again, for a serious attempt at art until 12 years later, at the age of 44. Still working long days and nights, he would return home to continue studying the works of the artists he greatly admired, squeezing in however much time he could to paint and perfect his own style.
In 2015, Jon was finally able to start painting full time. His love for Montana and the mountains has kept him in Billings, where he lives with his wife, Kathy