Clipped From The Paris News

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 - Daily 50$ Sunday $1.25 1869 . SERVING MORE THAN...
Daily 50$ Sunday $1.25 1869 . SERVING MORE THAN 30.0OO,READERS DAJLY IN NORTH^-r^c AND SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA Turn to stone Veteran artists painting to be reproduced on local gravestone vriierie D6II bearing infnrmatinn nn f.,™ ~c „„.„.._• r^, . •••^•^^^•••ni ^ CherieBell News Staff Writer In the misery of war, a weary soldier doesn't see that Christ is with him, The deeply poignant image, Christ on the battlefield, was the creation of Paris native Russell Vickers during the Korean conflict while he served in the U.S. Marines. The art work, created with military camouflage paints, was Vickers' division chaplain and was the subject of a nationwide publication dated April 5,1953. Vickers would go on to become a renown western . artist whose works were collected by John Wayne. Vickers died last year, and family members are using the image of Christ on the battlefield for a tombstone to be placed in a local cemetery. -The special monument accessory, was microscopically oil painted on fine porcelain in Italy for permanent mounting on a tombstone bearing information on Vickers. He was born Oct. 30, 1923, in Lamar County. Vickers was raised in a large family; his father was a horse and mule trader, said a descendant who wished to remain anonymous.'' ; "Russell liked to draw — horses, mules, western scenery," the relative said. As a young adult in World War II, Vickers sketched pinup girls as requested by fellow soldiers. The story goes that Vickers 1 chaplain suggested the gifted Marine use his art to convey something of a higher nature. Christ on the battlefield was born. Age 29 at the time, Vickers was quoted in an article recalling inspiration for the painting and the conversation with the chaplain, saying: "He said he would like to have a picture for the chapel, but he grinned and added it might have to be changed a little. ' "A few days later we got together and he dug up a pic- ture of a statue of Christ looking over the world. I used that as a model. My painting showed the head and shoulders of Christ distinctly, and then faded away. In the foreground it showed a tired Marine." The painting was displayed in a tent chapel near a battle line in Korea. By I960, after a lengthy military career, Vickers was a professional artist. His paintings were distributed nationwide through notecards. Images reflect a proud heritage of one who revered the land and respected hard work of cowboys. One of his scenic western paintings was used as a backdrop during the opening credits of the movie, "Chisum." Vickers died Aug. 23, 1997, after living many years in Arizona arid later Oregon. His tombstone notes Vickers was an artist of western scenery and a combat Marine in the South Pacific and Korea. Russell Vickers painrjng of Christ on the battlefield, painted in 1953 during the Korean war. Courtesy

Clipped from
  1. The Paris News,
  2. 07 Jul 1998, Tue,
  3. Page 1

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  • Clipped by wduffee – 01 Jun 2013

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