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Art in Nature

From Walt Disney to Monet, artist near and far have looked to nature to inspire them. Art can be a watercolor painting or a simple arrangement of rocks and sticks, or a photo. It's easy to find inspiration when the world is in bloom in Texas during the spring when the land is painted with greens, blues, reds and yellows.

Creativity is an important part of a child's development that supports critical thinking and fine motor skills. Being creative can mean everything from telling stories, making music, building sand castles or forts, taking photos, drawing, sculpting or where ever a child's imagination takes them.

Here are some of the best places for kids and adults to get inspired:

Austin: The best place to find art and nature blended together is at the Contemporary Art Museum of Austin / Laguna Gloria. For decades the museum offers trails that meander through live oak groves with art installations positioned randomly along the walk. They even offer "Action Pack" for kids to explore with, art classes and second Saturday FREE hands-on art-making workshops.

Caprock Region: Inspiration abounds in the remote, peaceful rolling short grass high plains of the Muleshoe Wildlife National Refuge. The lack of distractions and the vastness of the area offer vistas worth capturing on canvas or by photo. The most impressive colors and best times to see and photograph wildlife are early in the morning and late in the evening.

Coastal Bend: The long white sand beaches along the coast line of Port Aransas, TX are the perfect spot to build a sand castle or make a necklace from a shell. In April the town celebrates Sand Fest with expert sand castle builders who come from around the world to display their creativity.

Dallas/ Fort Worth: The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens celebrates art in nature in a big way during the spring. The vibrant colors of the flower gardens are something that can inspire painting, poetry, music and more.

Houston: Finding inspiration in nature is easy at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center with their "nature inspired art classes". The unique gardens offer spaces for wildlife observation, studies in color, quite reflection or spontaneous play.

San Antonio: If you haven't ever been to the DoSeum in San Antonio- get ready for a treat. This is the place for kids to explore the relationship between art and nature. The outside play areas are designed to be a playful extension of nature. They even have a giant tree to sit under for story time.

Other: Some places are so unique that it doesn't take much to see why they could spark the creative fire. Once such place is located in the heart of the hill country- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. For centuries Native Americans, pioneers and modern day visitors come up with stories about the rock. Other marvel at the night sky and let their minds wander through the mysteries of the constellations.