Hi! I'm SarahKate, welcome to my Blog!

My Speciality is honoring motherhood with Henna Tattoos, but I adorn women and their daughters for all kinds of reasons - birthday parties, rites of passage, even weddings. I love to adorn pregnant and breastfeeding women with henna then make beautiful photos for them. I live in Lafayette, CO and travel the front range from Colorado Springs, Denver and as far North as Fort Collins to find my living works or art. I am also the creative director of Artfull Mother magazine - a local magazine devoted to the interests of mothers and the art that empowers them!

  • A Documentary on Motherhood

    As I reflect on the past year, I realized that a highlight of 2018 was being filmed for a documentary on Motherhood! Barbra had heard about me through several friends and requested an interview with me for her documentary on Motherhood in addition to wanting me to celebrate her twin pregnancy with henna! 

    I was thrilled to be part of her special ceremony with her close friends who sang during her mother's blessing. We passed around a ball of yarn and wrapped in around our wrists, to keep on until she birthed her twin boys. 

    After this sweet gathering she shared photos of the event and remarked "@ArtfullMother [SarahKate Butterworth] is a legend in the Boulder area, for her beautiful henna work adorning pregnant bellies and making women feel special and beautiful. Her soft and sweet presence added such a beautiful element to the gathering, I wish for every woman to one day get adorned by her!"  

    The following month I adorned her again, her belly, breasts and hands, with a flowing design that just sprang out of my henna cone. Near the end of the design we were videoed for the documentary. 

    I am so excited to see this documentary when it comes out! Seeing as Barbra has 2 healthy infants who need her attention, this may be quite a while. But when it does happen you will hear about it! 

    Want to know more? Check out my 2019 Spring Art Update.   

    Posted by SarahKate

  • About SarahKate

      Hi! I have always loved art, though I didn't get serious about it until I was nearly 30 - when I found my medium of henna. 15 years later and I am so happy with the art I've created and all the projects I've been involved in!


      I am part of the team helping to create the local women's gathering: Red Earth Herbal Gathering. This year it will be on September 13th to 15th, at Peaceful Meadow Retreat here in Boulder. I am so excited to go - it will be my 3rd year in a row! Check out my blog posts (before & after) about last year's gathering. 

      I also had a chance to take my first henna class EVER at Henna Con this past year in California! I finally learned how to use a henna cone (I had been using an applicator for 15 years....) and I met so many amazing women. This was a huge highlight of 2018! I hope to make it there again this year. 


      To read a little more about my journey, check out this blog post where I share more about my life as an Artist.

    Want to know more? Check out my 2019 Spring Art Update.   

    Posted by SarahKate

  • Getting Back into Journaling

    I was born into a family that encouraged artistic expression and throughout my elementary years I spent a lot of time drawing. Even though I gave up on art as a practical career in middle school, I kept on filling the margins of my notebooks with lots of doodles. 

      The way I've drawn art over the years has had many shifts, and I finally let myself really get back into after I found my medium of henna in 2003 (read about my rite of passage into henna here!) . I would listen to podcasts and draw and draw. 

      Examples of drawn art from the past few years:
    http://www.sarahkatebutterworth.com/blog/sarahkate-butterworth-doodler-way-back
    http://www.sarahkatebutterworth.com/blog/doodling-through-winter
    http://www.sarahkatebutterworth.com/blog/winter-holiday-art-drawing-trees
    http://www.sarahkatebutterworth.com/blog/prolific-artist-many-mediums

      And murals:
    http://www.sarahkatebutterworth.com/blog/sharpie-mural-gold-hill
    http://www.sarahkatebutterworth.com/blog/goddess-mural-progress
    http://www.sarahkatebutterworth.com/blog/murals-sarahkate
    http://www.sarahkatebutterworth.com/blog/window-art-mural-louisville

      Recently I had a massive positive change in how much I draw for pleasure. I was listening to another podcast, an interview with Ryder Carroll, and was inspired to get back into journaling.   Check out his website - all it takes is a blank notebook and pen, and on his website he has videos with all his secrets on how he organizes his journal. It's absolutely brilliant. 


      After using his system, I found a deep sense of relief as I drew in the "margins" of my journal, filling it with the art that in the past would be on scraps of paper floating around. In fact, I had no idea how scattered I was with all my ideas all over and this method has helped me bring it all into one place where I can clearly see my priorities. 

      Also, I recently heard that a particular artist had more time to make art after he spent less time "online". So I looked into this, and read a fascinating book by Cal Newport called Digital Minimalism. (check out an interview with Cal here! ) It's true - going "off line" for a month gave me a tremendous amount of time to create art along with a lot of other stuff that's important to me. 

    Want to know more? Check out my 2019 Spring Art Update.   

     

    Posted by SarahKate

  •  The idea of postpartum henna has fascinated me for years! I first read about the idea in Catherine Cartwright Jones article over 12 years ago and decided to start creating this kind of work myself. The image below is from 10 years ago!

      The article begins:
      "Hennaing a woman after she gives birth is a traditional way to deter the malevolent spirits that cause disease, depression, and por bonding with her infant. The action of applying henna to a mother after childbirth, particularly her feet, keeps her from getting up to resume housework!" 

      Women have been doing this for each other, in some form or another, for thousands of years. It was wonderful to celebrate pregnancy with henna, and there was something really something special about celebrating with women once they were on the other side of this massive life transformation. 

      This photo (above) is from a recent postpartum celebration that happened this winter. I traveled to this new family's home and spent about 3 hours adorning the new Mother and Father, and also both grandmothers. They returned to the studio for more photos after a few days for more photos. This is the same couple that celebrated their pregnancy - see photos of that here

     

      I am one artist recreating the tradition to the best of my ability, but it's really inspiring to take a look at how other cultures do this. I saw this video and just watching it, knowing women are treated with this kind of respect after birth, really filled my heart with joy.  This is how women deserve to be treated after the massive transformation into Mother! (photos of video above & below)

      To see other postpartum celebrations I've done, check out these blog posts:

      Newborn henna celebration  and another mama  and one more mama.

      A few weeks old 

      One mama celebrates both pregnancies and both postpartum periods with henna!

      To see more of my postpartum henna art work, check out my books! I have 6 volumes that showcase the ART of honoring pregnancy and postpartum!  

      I also wrote a few Postpartum Articles for Artfull Mother Magazine:

    Fall 2015
    Spring 2016 issue 

      Postpartum henna is something that happens (traditionally) in the first few days or weeks after birth. However, some women give birth wearing their pregnancy henna, which is a different kind of special art!

    Want to know more? Check out my 2019 Spring Art Update. 

    Posted by SarahKate

  • Testimonial

    "You are so gifted SarahKate! And it's such a joy to be on the receiving end of your positivity, calm manner and stunning art."

     

    Posted by SarahKate

  •  In 2008 I began my pregnancy art project, inspired by henna traditions practiced by women during the 8th month as well as postpartum in the rural regions in India. I had read about these traditions in Catherine Cartwright Jones's book, The Functions of Childbirth and Postpartum Henna Traditions

    After celebrating their pregnancy with henna, I offered to come to women's homes in the first month after birth and create our own version of the postpartum ritual, often hennaing their hand(s) and arm(s) while their baby was asleep in their lap. I would return to photograph these new mothers in their home and after a couple years of doing this, I asked if I could also photograph them while they nursed their baby. The first mama to really get into this and have me come to her home several times was Kala (in 2010), her photos are above. 


    I continued photographing breastfeeding mamas after applying postpartum henna. Women loved it! It was only a matter of time before someone asked me to do a new kind of postpartum henna, what I would start calling breastfeeding henna. Verna (above on right) was one of my first models for this new kind of art. 


    Breastfeeding is such a beautiful, natural act to witness. It fills me with appreciation for motherhood, especially the mother I'm photographing. I love honoring this phase in life. Here are some images of this type of work done in 2018. 

    Below are a couple example of this art that I've done in 2019:

    I was so excited to share this kind of art with the world that our first issue of Artfull Mother magazine focused on Breastfeeding! See more back issues here, they are all free to read.

    Want to know more? Check out my 2019 Spring Art Update. 

    Posted by SarahKate

  • Common Question: Do you have to be pregnant or breastfeeding to get henna from  SarahKate?
    Answer: No! I adorn women in all stages of life. The photos below are of women with either no children or grown children. 

    My Sacred Feminine Art Project has been going on several years now and I have really enjoyed exploring how the medium of henna & photography empowers women. I do plan to create a book in the 2020s with all the best photos (many of which are nude and will not be posted online). This book will include pregnant and breastfeeding mamas as well as all other stages of life. 


    I adorn women wherever they wish, often as a chest piece but I have done many thighs as well. For some of these sessions women lie nude in my heated studio while I adorn chest and belly with jewel like henna. 


    This art project includes women of all ages, and I have celebrated with many grandmothers. What a pleasure to hear their stories as they sit in my special henna chair. There is a reason that stage of life is often called the Wise Woman years. 


    Contact me if you'd like to get on my list for receiving art updates! 

    SKB@SarahKateButterworth.com

    Want to know more? Check out my 2019 Spring Art Update.   

    Posted by SarahKate

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