C. S. Price Foundation Years - History of Northwest Art - WPA
Clate had what must be considered an exceptional gift to be found among any and all artists, for capturing features, expressions and physical attributes of people, as well as the ability to render almost perfectly any animal in action, (from wolf to rattlesnake), so that his drawings and paintings could be considered an almost perfect photographical match to the subject matter. However, Clate most often painted a scene or subject from memory, probably seldom looking at a model as he worked.
Montana artist, Charles Russell, came to greatly admire Clate's talent. Clate met Charlie through Russell's niece when both she and Clate studied art together in St. Louis, and there is a photograph of the two men standing together after their meeting.
Upon examining Clate's paintings, Charlie Russell told Clate, “My horses are good, but yours are perfect.”
Uncle Clate had this extraordinary gift for capturing his family, friends, and their livestock on paper - could stop the 'now' of his world to arrest that moment in time and preserve it for all time.
An Art Student's Observations
“I’m a sort of mystic myself, Bob. When I was a young feller I read a lot about Buddha and there was a lot I liked.”
“You know with the teachings of Jesus Christ, so many faiths have formed around that focus that it is pretty hard to get the big idea of the thing.”
“The Northwest is developing some real artists. New York is too near Paris, the Southwest is under the Mexican influence and the Middlewest is pretty regional but out here there is a feeling for the Orient that has brought out the best in us.”
Discussing William Blake brought up about Job not living in himself.
“I’ve lived alone all these years, but I’ve decided that you have to meet life every day. You've got to meet and live with society.”
“Never think when you’re painting, Bob, think in between times. When you’re painting it comes from here (heart). Intellectualize all you want to afterwards.”
Talking of space and time he said he agreed with the Chinese that time is like the wheel and all time is now. There is no past and future. All is eternity and all is now.
From Priscilla Colt, Portland Art Museum Curator, as they were printed in the museum catalog for the memorial exhibit in 1951.
“One wonders what specific beliefs lay behind these (Price’s) restrained but deeply religious conceptions. Apparently Price’s religious philosophy never took the form of a neatly conceived or verbalized theory. It seems to have evolved from an innate and inviolable goodness and a life often hard, but never embittering. Insistent on the universality of religion, he was tolerant to all its forms. He was well versed in the literature of Christian Science, the Bible, the life and writings of William Blake, and Chinese philosophy. He believed profoundly in the value, for himself at least, of the contemplative renunciatory existence, and felt it was his role as an artist to observe life and to reflect upon it.