Exploring India’s diversity, culture and history though its visual art made my first visit fascinating. As a guest artist of the Mithila Art Institute, I addressed students in western ideas of color theory. It proved to be a remarkable experience. Contemporary Indian art was at the forefront in the studios and galleries I visited in New Delhi. Exploring Delhi’s historical landmarks encouraged me to see India’s rich past and growing future. Next stop, the Mithila Art Institute in Madhubani, Bihar. The Mithila area is comprised of villages close to the Nepal border. This remote region has been the unlikely home for intellectual and artistic activity for centuries. There, women artists have painted in a captivating linear style expressing themes from the Ramayana. Now, within this tradition artists are inspired by contemporary world events, through news broadcasts from BBC Radio.Continuing on my journey, Indian’s mughal dynasty came to life in the stunning architecture and intricate design elements seen in Agra. The melodic serenity of the Islamic call to prayer washed over me while I was dazzled by the Islamic calligraphic designs intermingled with Hindu elements. A sense of India’s tremendous diversity informs and enlivens my work. Buddhist roots in Bihar, enriched the existing spiritual sensibility. The experience of India continues to unfold as the paintings grow in size, vigor and vibrancy of color. In 2013 Hellstrom was nominated for L'Oreal Women of Worth award by the Ethnic Arts Foundation & Mithila Art Institute.