Interview: Artist Danielle Eubank

The work of expedition artist Danielle Eubank is a testament to her love of the world’s oceans. She has been on four expeditions, and completed a 20-year quest on open waters to capture the state of the oceans. Eubank continues to inspire and educate the inhabitants of this planet with her call to action to save and protect our oceans! I was inspired to meet her and do this interview. Arctic X, 42 x 60, oil on linen

Q: How did you first begin doing these expeditions?
A: After I had been painting water for a few years, I received a call from an art collector friend who asked the ominous question, “What are you doing for the next 6 months?” He introduced me an explorer who was putting together his first international sailing expedition. Philip Beale didn’t know he needed an “expedition artist” until my friend convinced him he needed a specific artist who paints water. He said, “It isn’t an expedition unless you have an expedition artist. Look at Captain Cook. He had William Hodges.” My friend convinced him to visit my studio and when he saw my walls filled with paintings of different kinds of water he instantly got it. He invited me to be the Expedition Artist for The Borobudur Ship Expedition.

The Borobudur Ship in Jakarta; photo by Danielle Eubank, Aug2003

Q: Do you have a favorite to date?
A: My favorite expedition was my first one, The Borobudur Ship Expedition. It was my first expedition and I was with the expedition for the entire time, around 7 months. For these types of expeditions, all of us crew members are split into watches. It may be 4 hours on duty, 4 hours off, which run over a 24-hour period. Our duty activities include cooking, cleaning, keeping watch, minding the helm. While not on duty I will typically will sketch or take photos.

Q: Did you travel much as a child with your family?
A: My parents were teachers and loved to travel. Even though we lived in the country, in the Redwoods, it wasn’t rural enough for my parents. We would spend all summer camping in the Sierra Nevadas. It was terrific.

Danielle Eubank with her brother Lane in 1979; Photo by Allan Eubank

Q: Is that when you were first inspired to create art?
A: When I was in elementary school we traveled through Europe for 6 months. It was a seminal trip for me. Seeing all the art in Europe made me want to become an artist.

Q: What motivated you to paint prior to your love of water?
A: Before painting water, my paintings were more figurative. I painted animals, portraits, trees, architecture.

Arctic Floating Ice

Q: What was your initial attraction to water? Did it start as a child?
A: I grew up in Northern California and I have a specific memory of sitting on the beach with my mom and dad staring at the Pacific Ocean and thinking to myself “Look at all the shapes in the water. How gorgeous! I’ll never be able to draw that.” The shapes were incomprehensible and the water was moving too fast. I couldn’t figure out what the water was doing. I was scared of the power of the ocean and also felt as though it was a kind of big brother because it’s always been a part of my life.

Q: Do you have a favorite destination in the world other than the expedition destinations?
A: I love traveling, especially to foreign countries. I love it everywhere I go and one of my favorite destinations is Spain. It’s one of the more wild countries in Europe. That is, there are still a lot of natural spaces. Also, the people are super nice, there is a ton of history and the food is amazing.

Visit the artists website for more info –

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