The lizard portrayed in this
mural is the Dipsosaurus dorsalis dorsalis.
Here are some more
photos of this extraordinary reptile. The
lizard in the mural is thirteen feet tall and
appears to be looking for his next meal. The
owners of the Smoketree Building, Susan Zelouf
and Michael Bell, commissioned local artist
Caplinger to paint two desert dwellers in
2007. This mural of Dipsosaurus dorsalis is
on the building's east-facing wall. On the west
wall, Caplinger painted a giant roadrunner,
Grococcyx californianus, which appears
to be eating a lizard.
Chuck Caplinger was the Art
Director for the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA), George C. Marshall Space
Flight Center in Alabama, and designer and illustrator
of movie posters for Lone Star Pictures. Now
based on the edge of the Mojave Desert next
to Joshua Tree National Park, he concentrates
on oil portraits, paintings and murals of the
of the artist's recent murals
One of my favorite examples of his work can
be found on this page maintained by the Gallery
More information about the Twentynine
Palms Artists Guild can be found here.
Visitors can swing by Caplinger's
studio - it is located in one of those geodesic
dome houses near the entrance to the Joshua
Tree National Park. Directions: 74655 Wellock
Road, Twentynine Palms. From Highway 62, turn
south on Utah Trail. Go about four miles to
Wellock Road. Turn east and drive to the dome
house on the south side.
The Smoketree Building, on CA Hwy. 62, just
west of downtown Twentynine Palms, CA.
72252 29 Palms Hwy
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
(Thanks to Vickie Waite for
providing us with the location information for