Sponge Capital

I am trying to sketch daily while on vacation. Yesterday we went to Tarpon Springs, well-known as the Sponge Capital due to its history with Greeks coming over and establishing the industry of diving for natural sponges. Sponge stores and Greek restaurants were everywhere! We had a wonderful meal at Hellas Restaurant– lamb gyro, Greek salad, and baklava for dessert. Afterwards we wandered the streets, taking in the shops, boats on the river, and of course, sponges.


A sponge boat waits on the river. A man sat cutting and shaping a sponge with a knife, which he gave to a little girl.


There are a wide variety of sponges, which the shop owner described to me. These natural sponges have different porous surfaces and have different uses. Some can be used to clean your car, your bathroom, your dishes, others can be used to remove makeup or cleanse the face.

I sketched in a shopping area that had small courtyards, fountains, and plenty of benches to rest. I saw a German Shepherd with its owner and it sat on the concrete long enough for me to sketch both it and the sleeping man across from it on a bench. He held a bag of purchases and must have been a tourist. I love sleeping subjects, they don’t move much!

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Having traveling companions for lunch made it difficult to sketch more, even though there was a lot of people and tons of activity going on around me. I didn’t get a chance to sketch lunch, which would have been fun too. Maybe another time.

After the hour-long drive to return to our condo on the beach, I baked out in the sun. Some ladies sat down the row from me, also baking. I decided to sketch them quickly, as it was cloudy and getting a little cooler. What a fun day to sketch!


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