No. 1 The Bumble-bee

Growing up the youngest of seven with considerable age gaps between them and I, I was privy to many aspects of life that others my age weren’t. Having two late teens brothers in the 70’s meant that one of those wonderful aspects was rock and roll. 

Without digressing into a bio on my wild childhood I will state a few things…..Van Halen was a regular on the turntables of the house. If our parents weren’t home, the neighborhood also “enjoyed” Van Halen. My brothers had milk crates lined up full of albums, music was of the utmost importance to everyone in my family (parents included) and one of my favorite pastimes was studying these albums. 

In 1979 at the ripe age of 4 the album Van Halen II was released. Along with David Lee Roth, doing one of his famed flying splits being pictured on the back, Eddie was also there holding “the bumble-bee” in all it’s yellow and black glory. 

Why this captured my attention, is beyond me. Maybe it was the bold graphics, maybe I liked yellow, maybe I thought Eddie was the cute one. Who the hell knows. Fact is I was taken with not only his mesmerizing solos but this yellow and black shred machine. 


the guitar was not finished in time to be played on the album, it’s just in the photo on the back of the cover, however it did go on the tour

the original is buried with Dimebag Darrell (RIP) as he was just as taken with it 

Roth broke his heel in that jump on the back of the album (ouch)

Eddie holding the bumble-bee and Dimebag with Eddie (awesomo shot) 

Wanna read about Eddie’s Frakenstrats?

Here’s a wiki link.

Being absorbed into this realm of music at such a young age, I rigged up a wall socket timer to my stereo and would set a record up to start in the morning….for many moons my song of choice was Eruption of the 78 album self entitled Van Halen. 

Wanna bask in the glory of Eruption? Here’s the YouTube link. (Get a drink first, it’s a full 10 minutes of GUITAR GOD MIND BLOW. 

I also took great joy in singing Ice Cream Man whenever the truck bells were blocks away. (Can we revel in that shit for a moment, a truck rode through the streets to bring ice cream to our doors.  I am so sorry for children that did not have this luxury, because I for one took it for granted. Also legit still get excited when I hear one.) 

Babe you need something to keep you cool…. screw it let’s listen to that too….  linky winky

Guaranteed to satisfy ( I better stop before I get slapped with copyright suits )

Back to the art…not sure how the bumble-bee became my inspiration for kick off. Maybe I wished to start with something that was not a song title or a lyric? I do know I became hellbent on that being number one. 

Is Eddie my favorite guitarist? He is def up there, Dimebag (RIP) being my favorite and I will not rate the rest but I can assure many of them are going to get featured in the Horn Up Project. 

First I worked out the yellow mix in a sketchbook then I went off on 4×6 300 pound watercolor paper. The first few were very straight lined, bold lines, yet too similar to the graphic paint job on the car and I wanted to push past that. The progress in pictured in order above. 

When I hit the last two, the black block areas began to tie into my current style AND they reminded me of a guitar fretboard. I wanted to take it to canvas, this is the first one, I have no intent of bringing all these to canvas, but the first needed to be special. 

The canvas. 12×12. The number 6 is repetitive in the piece (six string) and was an important aspect for me to incorporate.  It also shows up in the scratch marks and the drips. The white splash was accidental….but as soon as it crossed the yellow I thought (cool a note bend). Happy accidents are delicious. 

While the guitar is two color yellow and black, I toned out the yellow to punch up the depth. 


One last shot of the peewees framed. 

The list of inspirations I have for the project is at over 100 right now. I just keep coming across new ideas and I’m already cracking on number two and it is already on canvas. It’ll be out SUNDAY and that’s a hint to where I’m paying honors next. 

Thanks for swinging in. 

XX – Eva