Alex Funk's painting of the smoky skies above Devereux Beach | Credit: Alex Funk

After years of skateboarding, Alex Funk is now in pursuit of capturing the essence of Santa Barbara sunsets. When an injury-incited hiatus led him to a fortuitous set of watercolor paints, the UCSB senior and computer science major headed to Devereux Beach on the west edge of Isla Vista, where he began “sitting down an hour before sunset and just [painting] until sundown.” Though Funk now has a full-time job in Santa Barbara, he still devotes his afternoons to painting the region’s beaches, selling the pieces for just $12.50 each. 

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Now, with wildfires raging everywhere, Funk is donating a quarter of his proceeds of paintings that he sells to the California Wildfire Relief Fund. “I stepped outside and saw the red sun and inhaled the smoky air,” explained Funk, who quickly “realized that the damage and suffering” he felt was “incomparable to those whose homes have burned down.” 

“Devereux, Isla Vista”

Funk sees his art as a way to make an impact in the community he commemorates, since all of his paintings are “focused on natural beauty” and he intends to keep funding organizations that work on natural preservation. These “paintings with a purpose” include watercolors of Devereux as well as Isla Vista, Sands Beach, Campus Point, and Stearns Wharf.

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