This workshop has been postponed until Fall 2021. Please click here to sign up for the waitlist.

One part educational center, one part spiritual retreat, the renowned Esalen institute has been redefining our modern concepts of self, society, and culture since its inception. Now, Nicholas Wilton invites you to take part in this prestigious legacy with one of his Art2Life Workshops.

Comfortably nestled along the breathtaking coastline of Big Sur, California, the environment of Esalen is incredibly relaxing and especially suited to art making. This workshop is a playful exploration of the creative image-making process, and we will draw upon imagery inspired from by our own personal stories.

I want to express my deep gratitude for last week’s workshop. The experience as a whole was awesome. I had a wonderful time and learned a great deal! You are a fantastic artist and a generous, giving teacher. You made it easy for me to jump right into painting, and appreciate all your advice and insight. I’m SOOO glad I attended, it was well worth the effort and time invested…!

– Priscilla Bianchi, Esalen Art2Life Workshop Attendee

We will also focus upon our own life experiences and the natural beauty of Esalen for artistic motivation. With these sources in mind, we will engage in a hands-on journey of exploration of fundamental painting principles – such as color and composition – and how to use them to create meaningful and unique work. Throughout this workshop we will also investigate, discuss and learn how to sustain our own creative momentum, and how inspire others to do so as well in the face of our ever busy daily lives. Expect numerous in-class demonstrations on new techniques and tools, as well as considerable one-on-one instruction. And, as this workshop will taught in the Art Barn, workshop participants will have the option to continue working into the night.

Also be certain to take advantage of all the fine amenities offered at Esalen. Workshop participants have the option of taking in the natural beauty of Big Sur by walking along breathtaking coastal trails, or hiking in the hills among ancient coastal Redwood Trees. You can stroll along pristine beaches, or take in a sweeping view of the endless Pacific ocean. Esalen also provides some of the finest, locally sourced organic meals, which are as healthy as they are stunningly delicious. There is also the option to simply hang out at Esalen and enjoy a yoga class – and of course be certain not to miss taking a dip in their world-famous hot springs and watch the sunset.

“I am so jazzed about what I learned this week. You have no idea the freedom I feel with the permission you have given me to create to please myself as opposed to doing it to seek approval from others. Or should I say, showing me the tools I need to allow me to follow this journey of artistic expression. I can’t say how much I appreciate the generosity of sharing your vast knowledge. Thank you again for a life changing experience!”

Esalen Art2Life Workshop Attendee

This workshop is designed to accommodate people from a wide variety of disciplines, and all skill levels are welcome. Whether you already have an established artistic practice, or are just starting out on your creative journey, or perhaps somewhere in between, this workshop is for you. No prior artistic experience is necessary, only a willingness to play. So come join us as we celebrate a process of inspiration, reclamation, and the journey of self-discovery through painting.

This workshop has been postponed until Fall 2021. Please click here to sign up for the waitlist.

Course Fee We offer four different accommodation types for this workshop: standard private, premium, standard shared, and bunk bed (to learn more about these accommodations, click here). We have a limited number of each of these types of rooms, and as such they are available on a first come, first served basis. The cost breakdown for these accommodations options are as follows:

Standard private (1 person per room) : $3800 per person
Premium (2 people per room): $3300 per person
Standard shared (2 to 3 people per room): $2900 per person
Bunk bed (2 people per bunk bed): $2200 per person

The above fees cover all room, food, and art material expenses. The accommodations for this workshop are first come, first served. To reserve your space, a 1/3rd deposit (based on desired accommodation type) is required. Please read about our payment and refund policies here

If you have further questions that are not covered in Esalen’s extensive workshop FAQ (available by clicking here), don’t hesitate to reach out to us at