“Being an artist and painting the human figure is what compels me. It wakes me up at night, it’s what I love and I drive myself to do it very well. Art is my life-long obsession, pleasure and torment”.
Born in 1965 in a small town in Utah, Bryce believes his first desire to be an artist was formed at a very young age when he would go out with his mother while she painted the Utah landscape. Later in school, drawing was a comfort zone for Liston. “It was a subject that excited me- I always had energy and interest for it.” It was here that Liston found his love of the human form. “I don’t quite know why I was drawn to the human form; I suspect the seed was planted while studying the art of the great American Illustrators like N.C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle.”
It was then that he knew it was the human form that he wanted to portray in his art. He attended the University of Utah for a short time but dropped out before finishing his degree. “I wanted to learn about the craft of art. I wanted to learn to actually produce art, not just discuss it.” With limited resources Bryce found himself working in the studio and foundry of master sculptor, Edward J. Fraughton.
The time Liston spent with Fraughton provided him with a knowledge of anatomy that few painters possess and that understanding brings depth and life to the figures he paints. “In Ed’s studio I learned a lot about art. It’s funny, I learned about painting from a sculptor- I don’t think that’s something that happens everyday.”
Bryce’s education has been self-directed and continues to be that way. Not having a formal art education can be a long and hard way to go about it but it does have its advantages. It allows you to find your own voice rather than emulating that of your teachers, a principle lesson that Liston imparts to all of his students. “Take in all the information that is presented to you, then afterwards disassemble it and make it fit into your personal vision and style.”
He currently resides in Holladay, Utah with his wife and three daughters. “I can’t even imagine myself not painting or sculpting. My mother was a very talented artist and I can already see some of the same abilities emerging in my young daughters.”
“The artist has within himself the power to convey the idea of what it means to be human.”