SOUNDING like it was lifted from a Rudyard Kipling novel, "expedition artist" may be one of the world's most intriguing job titles. And Tujunga painter Danielle Eubank will be doing just that aboard the Phoenicia, documenting Philip Beale's attempt to circumnavigate Africa in a replica of a 600 B.C. Phoenician cargo ship.
"I try to document everything as we go along, but I don't know ahead of time everything I'm going to paint. I might have some portraits, pictures of the boat, pictures of water. The main thing for me is to express the essence of what we're doing," Eubank says.
Inspired by a reference to such a journey in Herodotus, Beale hopes to disprove the belief that Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias was the first to sail around Africa in 1488.
Fortunately, the modern world has its advantages. Beginning and ending in Awad, Syria, the trip will take about 10 months instead of three years, Beale won't stop to plant and harvest crops, and the rate of death from food-borne infections should be lower. But the risk of pirates, especially off Somalia, remains high.