Painting racing cars is a way of life for John Ketchell, an artist famed for his stunning originals. It is typical of the man that the Maserati 250F of Juan-Manual Fangio in the 1957 German Grand Prix is one of his favourite subjects.
“The 250F is a fantastic car. It has to be one of the best single-seaters of all, both in appearance and sound. It is a stunningly beautiful car,” he says. Superbly captured on canvas by Ketchell, Fangio’s remarkable performance has been the subject of several of his original paintings.
“The ’57 German Grand Prix is well known as probably the best race that’s ever been. It certainly has a special place in my memory,” says Ketchell. Currently, two paintings from that race are available for sale as well as a portrait of Fangio.
However, when pressed on his favourite period of the sport’s heritage, it is the late 1960s and early 1970s that come to the fore. In particular, the Ford GT40s and Porsche 917s that dominated at Le Mans. “They were dramatic looking vehicles that went like rocketships.”
Such choices will come as little surprise for those with a passion for the sport. And it is that passion for motor racing that inspires the artist. For the last 10 years of his long career as a professional artist, John has exclusively painted motorsport subjects. “I’m just an enthusiast for cars,” he admits.
“Cars are moving objects, and they have to look like they are moving. I try to convey an image of speed, noise and action,” he explains. For a man who can take up to a month to complete a painting, the car’s engine note is an important factor. His style brings to life the pure spectacle and drama of a racing car. If the subject does not excite him, John won’t paint it! “It has to be right for me,” he says.
Of the modern generation of racing cars, it is the Le Mans Bentley that has captured John’s imagination, and he has already completed several works on the Exp 8. “That car triggers my imagination,” he says.
Having sold around 100 originals in the last five years, John has recently started offering limited edition prints of some of his pieces. He also regularly undertakes commissions from many different sources. But right now, he is researching his latest venture, the 1939 Auto Union D Type. Like all his work, it is a subject that inspires passion and captures the noise, drama, and action of the sport.
For more details on the man and his work, visit www.johnketchell.com or call 01772 743654 or e-mail [email protected]