Earth Goddess Body Art series

Chelsea Rose Rippel's  work in progress “Earth Goddess” body art photography series expresses the sacred and powerful qualities contained within the female body, mind and spirit and works to expose the powerful relationship between women and Mother Earth.

Rippel's art series challenges pop culture’s destructive and disfiguring definitions of female beauty, strength, and spirituality. Modern society is quick to discredit the sacredness and power of the earth as well as the female sex and their ties to nature’s cycles. Rippel's series of stark, black and white photographs elevate women to their true goddess status through the use of intricate body paintings. In these photos, women of all age, body type, and ethnicity stare back at the viewer, clothed only in the spirally woad of body paint, enmeshed in the infinite wilds of deep forest, craggy sea shore, rock cliffs and more.

Rippel's Goddess photographs go beyond the traditional boundaries of fine art nude photography. Most black and white, nude photographs do not capture the inner essence of the model, but in Rippel's work that inner essence is visible through the painted designs she diligently applied over a series of hours. Rippel bases her body paintings on tribal designs, focusing on spirals and swoops that encase the body and expose the energy within each woman.

Rippel's body painting is a delicate balance between the mastery of paint and complete surrender to a spiritual vision. She starts her three to six hours process by painting a third eye in the middle of her model's forehead. With her loaded paint brush Rippel begins to track what she imagines to be the progression of energy emitting from the third eye, stemming all the way from head to toe. Rippel's body painting line work is also heavily influenced by the natural contours shapes and textures of the body.

As she paints she views her work as a collaboration with the natural and powerful artistry that is the female form.

Creating a photographic series that documents both the beauty of nature’s physical and spiritual manifestation is a feat that requires meticulous planning and dedicated execution. The first step in the creative process was scouting out possible locations by taking exploratory hikes in the wild scenic areas of the pacific northwest.


Once she selected a location she would cast for a model whom she felt would best harmonize with the wilderness location and the artistic intention. Rippel body painted and photographed a total of 12 women for the series. The photo shoots usually began by driving out to locations in the predawn hours, sometimes hiking several miles on foot into wilderness before reaching the previously scouted area where she would make camp and begin the body painting.
Working outside the studio can be a struggle to control photographic results. When working amidst nature Rippel had to learn to be adaptable and open to every whim that mother nature had in store including fluctuating light quality, cold, rain, wind, bugs and more.

Chelsea Rose counties to work on her Earth Goddess series.

It is a work in progress.

Stay tuned for updates on this series as the last handful of photoshoots are finished.

A few of the concepts for the last photo shoots include a desert location, rock climbing, clearcut forest, forest hit by fire, polluted/dump sites in the wild( to show the more resilient qualities of mother nature.)

Once the series is complete Chelsea plans to self publish a limited edition fine art book with 50 images from the collection.

The photos displayed here are a very small selection from the large body of work that encompasses the series.

 Chelsea is currently seeking a gallery to exhibit the final series upon completion.

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  1. Wow! Your EARTH GODDESS Body Art Series are beautiful, magical and so catching!

    I love it!

    Hope to meet you soon:))

    Sunshine Regards


  2. Your work is incredible, it's so much more powerful to me than some of the very cutesy maternity shoots and body painting series that I've seen. I would just love to model for you sometime. I've worked with lots of photographers but your work has such a great unique style.