John Ketchell

John Ketchell exhibition at the RAC Club - Otway & Orford

Otway & Orford are proud to collaborate with internationally renowned ‘painter of speed’ John Ketchell on our stylish and unique motor racing, road race cycling and horse racing silk pocket squares, ‘Victory at Last’, ‘Break Away’ and ‘Neck and Neck’.

John studied graphics at Harris School of Art in Preston and followed that by working as an illustrator, at various ad agencies and as a stop-frame animator. Disillusioned by the impact of the introduction of computers into the creative space, John decided to paint full time. Initially starting with photo realism, he switched to a semi-abstract impressionist style using acrylics which allowed him greater freedom in interpretation.

John’s style captures speed and drama at the same time as delivering accuracy of reproduction. Together they create a ‘viewing experience’ where the subject seems to burst into life, motion and sound. Cars are John’s first love but his semi-abstract impressionist approach works for anything he is passionate about and is equally as thrilling when applied to cycle road racing and race horses as it is to machines with mechanical 'horse power'.

The original acrylic on canvas of ‘Victory at Last’ was inspired by the famous moment in motorsport history when Aston Martin won Le Mans outright in 1959. In the race, the DBR1 of Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby finally achieved victory for Aston Martin, which had entered every Le Mans since 1931. The pair’s win and the Aston Martin 1-2 outright finish was in part thanks to the blazing initial pace of a third DBR1, driven by Stirling Moss and fellow Brit Jack Fairman.

‘Break Away’ was inspired by the excitement of professional cycle road racing with its foundations of speed, endurance and tactical cycling. A Grand Tour break is dramatically captured in acrylic on canvas as the attacking riders attempt to escape the peleton.

When it comes to real horsepower, John’s original acrylic on canvas of ‘Neck and Neck’ was inspired by the dynamism of contemporary racing and the striking colours of jockeys’ silks.

To see more of John's work, please visit