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Coast Horned Lizard
20" x 30"
piece was designed to look as austere as the Mojave desert that
it depicts. The subject, a coast horned lizard (Phrynosoma
coronatum) is centered on the board with very simple arcking
lines, eating honey ants (Myrmecocystus sp.), ants being
the usual horned lizard fare. A total of fourteen species of
horned lizards populate most of western North America, from southern
British Columbia to Guatemala. They are a pretty uniform lot,
small lizards (the giant among them a Mexican brute of eight
inches), flattened and covered with spines. The species depicted
and one other have the ability to squirt a potential predator
with blood issued from the corner of their eye. This capacity
has been reported for over a century in popular lore and has
been doubted by many and only recently conclusively confirmed.
In this painting the subjects were drawn about twice life-size,
something I've rarely tried before.