“Remember we are all born artists. What we do with that, shapes who we are”

By Angela Romeo

Art is not passive – whether one is the artist or the viewer. Art requires participation. Art is always a collaborative effort. For artists Andrea Raft and Aaron Sedway it is a deeper collaboration between parent and child.

Andrea studied painting at the Brentwood Art Center in Los Angeles, California. “My studies took me to Giglio, Italy. It was there I developed an interest in earthen hues, and textures. I have since been experimenting with paint, texture, torn paper, photographs and found objects.”


Aaron is recognized as a World Class Sports photographer, known for his action shots of extreme sports. Influenced by his love for nature and living in the Sierra Nevada region he began photographing trees, flora, fauna and landscapes. Not content to be a well-respected photographer Aaron began to explore mixed media by combining a love of photography with his skills, like his talented mother, for paint and texture.

The story of this collaborating began on an organic trajectory.  “While documenting photographs of my work, Aaron began to super-impose his own images upon my Asian infused mixed-media pieces. The juxtaposition of our two very disparate sensibilities led me to experiment with using his photos in my work,” explained Andrea.  “As I worked I began to see a process taking place. Just as the individual human psyche has many layers, so too parts of our family history had masked other parts. Once removed a new layer was created, one of mutual inspiration and synergy.”

It is the uniqueness of the parent-child relation that lends a sans soins feel to the collaborative work. The artists see a Yin/Yang dichotomy, yet the work radiates a feel of comfortable peace; the focus of pure joy of the moment rather than the process.

“For me the joy was to becoming more respectful of our differences, and how those differences create a balance. Having completed the work, we came to appreciate how we have influenced each other’s love of color and texture,” said Andrea.

How does Aaron view the collaboration? “For me it was just taking an interest in my mother’s paintings as I myself was always documenting and photographing her paintings,” said Aaron.  “We both started our interest in art around the same time. I took an interest in photography in high school and my mother started painting around the same time. It is funny to think where we are now, with the paintings and photography, who could have imagined the combination 30 years ago.”

What is the most important thing to come from the collaboration? To Andrea “It is what we have discovered. Aaron and I have found a deeper layer of our love and spiritual connection.”

Aaron continued, “I never would of thought of myself even trying to paint or using my photographs in paintings.  But here we are – just two creative souls joining in an unexpected way.”

Is there any better way to define art and collaboration?