John Ketchell is internationally renowned as a motorsport artist. Ketchell has been commissioned to produce work by many leading companies and private individuals. His Impressionist style allows him to really portray the feeling of speed and movement in his spectacular paintings. “I’ll paint anything that moves” he explains “I’ve done speedboats, aircraft and horses in a polo-themed series, but cars are my first love.”
Whilst at art school in Preston studying graphics he'd regularly take inspiration from the car park outside. As an ad agency illustrator and later a stop-frame animator Ketchell became discouraged when the development of computers started to take over the industry and started to paint full time.
Having begun with photo-realism which Ketchell quickly found frustrating he moved towards his now recognisable impressionistic, semi-abstract style. “I was a fan of the French Impressionists, and thought it would be a good direction to capture speed.” Acrylics suited his new style and his bold captivating paintings were soon in demand: “Jim Clark was my hero and the 1960’s and 30’s are my favourite periods. The shape of the subjects is a key factor and the big sports-prototypes such as the 917, T70 and GT40 have always excited me. The balance of danger against speed of the silver arrows – particularly the Auto Unions – is also part of the appeal.”
Depicting a wet or night time race is a favourite of Ketchell's: “There’s something about racing in the rain or at night, or both together. I love the atmosphere with the spray and the reflections from the lights."
Historic Car Art regularly exhibits original paintings and prints by John Ketchell at major events throughout the year.