Notice to Bond enthusiasts all over the world – Willard passed away on Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Yountville, California. He was close to his daughter, Gretchen de Limur, who cared for him during his last days. We mourn the loss of one of the world’s most talented artists and most lively personalities. We shall miss him.
Willard Bond was quite simply the number-one painter of sailing action in the world. His posters and prints – his originals in oil and watercolor, have won him a huge following among sailors and those who love the constant movement of the sea in all its moods.
He was born in the Pacific Northwest and grew up on Lake Cour d’Alene in Northern Idaho. In World War II he acquired experience on battleships, cruisers and destroyer escorts while serving in the South Pacific and was among the first miliary personnel in occupied Japan.
Bond spent 15 years of “making the SoHo scene” in lower Manhattan, both as a ceramic muralist and as an easel artist. His large ceramic murals from this period can still be seen around New York at Cannon Point North under the 59th Street Bridge and at the Eugene O’Neill Theater, to name a few. Bond was then bitten by the Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome bug and moved to a rain jungle by the sea in Jamaica, where he experimented with geodesic dome construction for five years.
The advent and design of today’s sleek racing boat and Bond’s artistic interpretation have proven a perfect match. Willard was fortunate enough to get involved with the Freedom Syndicate during the 1984 America’s Cup series. He was invited to straphang on Freedom in a warmup tacking duel with Liberty before the last Liberty–Courageous race. Since then he had been getting additional onboard experience in world class racing. Read More