About the Artist
At the age of 59, Frank Champine, a recently retired secondary-school teacher found a mass in his breast that brought him to my practice. During our first encounter as doctor and patient, he was drawn to a spiritual painting behind my desk. He shared with me his interest and recent enrollment in a class on Chinese Brush Painting and Sitting Meditation. Just four weeks before we met, Frank had enrolled in the course with the Medical Mission Sisters in Fox Chase, PA. That day, I loaned a book to him that I had purchased from Dr. Pak Lee, the artist who created my painting. Subsequently, Frank was diagnosed with breast cancer. At a time in his life when he wanted to focus on his spiritual education and development, he was waylaid. He endured surgery, chemotherapy, and several complications from his treatment.
Through the adversity of breast cancer, his passion for spiritual painting has developed. Frank sees his work as an expression of prayer and also as his source of healing. I am honored to possess his first composition, which adorns the x-ray view box in my office.
All students of brush painting begin with seven strokes, as they have done for 5,000 years. This presentation is of orchid leaves. It is symbolic of spring. The orchid is the first of “Four Gentleman” or the “Four Persons,” as his instructor, Sr. Mary Gavin, calls them. Within the Confucian scheme of things, the seven strokes represent the order of society. Frank used this painting to quiet his inner being.
The painting symbolizes the relationship between myself, my partner, and our staff. Frank’s painting is so powerful, yet so simple in its message. I felt it was the appropriate painting to adorn the cover of this book. As his work evolved, he added the orchid. His first orchid composition was created for his wife and soul mate, Christine. The dragonflies he added for me. His other works are featured throughout the book. He is also an award-winning schoolteacher who was named Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year in 1984.
As a follower of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the environment, Frank embraced my belief that the disruption of the earth opens the door to the increase in cancer and disease. Frank is concerned that women are suffering because of the outrages that man has imposed on our Mother Earth. He paints from his heart, as is evidenced in his work. Frank now facilitates workshops through Authentic Education on various educational topics. He uses those opportunities to educate both men and women about breast cancer. Frank lives in Langhorne, PA, with his wife Christine.
In the Chinese style, each brushstroke represents a person:
1. Beth DuPree: Leader of the “family” office...forceful and confident. Points the way to heaven and God...the energy stroke
2. A close associate or friend-partner; one who supports the leader but does not overpower her
3. The friend who is closely linked but forces you to look at things from a different perspective. Keeps you grounded and honest.
4. Supporter of your plan of ideal (4-6, your staff)
5. Supporter rooted in your philosophy
6. Supporter helpful in carrying out your mission
7. The God line: the one who always refocuses the office back to the leader and the quest for God and Heaven
8. Frank’s signature: PAX