If you live in the Dallas area, let me recommend to you a current exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art -- J.M.W. Turner, an English painter from the early 19th century. The son of a barber/wigmaker, he had incredible artistic talent. He believed that the landscape was just as artistically valid a subject for painting as any other and consequently painted a lot of them. The exhibit gathers a ton of Turner paintings from the U.S. and England, and it is really a treat to see so much of his work and to see how his style changed throughout his life.
His paintings are often beautiful, usually powerful, and interesting in how they predate Impressionism by a few decades but sometimes seem impressionistic. He was an amazing painter of light (Thomas Kinkaide cannot compare!) He painted to express and evoke emotion and was often criticized for it and his wanton use of color. It is interesting to see his painting develop and how, towards the end of his career, he went even further in the emotional/impressionistic direction, as if he didn't care what other people thought. The exhibit does a nice job of explaining the historical setting of his paintings, too.