I love realistic landscape paintings (whereas I don't really like photography -- there's a whole level of imagination to paintings that I don't get looking at most photography). Landscape paintings always inspire me to want to write a story. My favorite painters include Peter Ellenshaw, Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Moran. This past Friday I spent some time at the Huntington Library, where they currently have this original painting by Church on display.
The original is huge, like a window into a world you can step into. I always think prints are wonderful -- until I see an original. Then I remember how a print cannot capture the depth, vibrancy, or color of the original. I could spend ages staring at pictures like this, absorbing the detail, (and coming up with stories for the setting).