KATE Winskill and her two sons, Rory and Raph Thomas, have embarked on an unusual family business: making and selling their art in a series of pop-up galleries, the latest in Victoria Place in Woking town centre.

Each of them is a working artist with their own distinct style, but they frequently collaborate on series of artworks and they are currently all showing and selling work together. The family also run pop-up galleries in south-west London and Surrey.

The family’s artistic journey began 15 years ago when Kate, after being diagnosed with cancer, decided to take a break from her PR business and return to university to study art.

“I celebrated my 50th birthday in the student union bar at Kingston University, surrounded by a fantastic group of 18 year old fine art students,” Kate recalls. “It was an incredibly rejuvenating experience.” 

By the time Kate had completed her degree, elder son Rory was teaching history of art at Kingston College and pursuing his passion as the lead singer-songwriter in an indie band.

Meanwhile, her younger son Raph had started studying art foundation at Kingston College too. “At one point all three of us were either studying or teaching art,” said Kate.

Kate then established 1of1design, a group with gallery space in Teddington that showcased handmade fashion, jewellery and art.

Raph assisted Kate in managing the gallery, and in his early-20s had the opportunity to display one of his new parrot paintings, which sold immediately. 

He was on the road to becoming a full-time artist, and over the past five years has specialised in bright, multi-coloured animal paintings.

Many of Raph’s paintings feature highly textured abstract backgrounds. He then meticulously paints the animal forms before adding rainbow or colourful patterns.

Raph’s reputation and client base have grown steadily and he recently sold six original paintings to a keen collector.

Rory incorporates the highly pictorial lyrics from his songs into his artwork, which often inspires Kate to search for portrait images to complement the pieces.

Both collect old newspapers and magazines and share a fascination with Cold War themes and the gritty urban atmosphere.

Rory’s latest digital collages create a stylish mid-century vibe and use images from 1960s French magazines combined with his song lyrics and coded messages.

Kate’s memories of her teenage years in a grey and desolate London during the 1970s frequently find their way into her artwork and have also influenced Rory.

This summer they launched a new series of mixed-media paintings and prints titled Grunge Summer, inspired by their shared interests.

Kate finds influences from the 1960s to 1980s are paramount in her work.

“I love the bold, slightly rough graphic styles of mid-century print and design,” she says. “Much of my work incorporates photographs I took in the 1970s, together with collections of ephemera gathered in flea markets over the years.

“My interest in found images have definitely influenced Rory, and he has inspired me to add text to my artworks.

“And seeing how Raph creates his abstract backgrounds has led me to use more texture in my figure paintings.

“We really enjoy working as a family of artists – it’s a bit away from the norm but it definitely suits us.”

Rory added: “We all work in the gallery and have different skills. My brother Raph oversees the hanging of the shows, mum does the PR and I interact more with the customers.” 

The family are hoping ArtHouse Gallery, in the old Paperchase shop in Woking, will be in place beyond Christmas. 

It is open on weekdays from 11am to 5pm and on Saturdays from 10am to 6pm.