Workshop begins September 27th, 2015 and runs through October 2nd, 2015!

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 ArtLife workshops.

Comfortably nestled along the breathtaking coastline of Big Sur, 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, attended September 2014 Esalen ArtLife Workshop

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 breath taking coastal trails, or going 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 sun set.

“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!”

– September 2014 Esalen ArtLife 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.

The fee for this workshop ranges from $650 to $3,550 (depending on which accommodation type you choose) plus an $100 materials fee. To register for this workshop, please do so here. Also be certain to refer to Esalen’s pricing and tuition page prior to registration, available here. This course also offers Continuing Education credits for MFTs and LCSWs. For more information regarding this workshop, please contact Ferris at for any questions you may have.


See the complete list of Art2Life Workshops, available here.