John Francis Murphy studied with George Inness. He's far lesser known but I think his paintings are just fantastic. I know that the museum in New Britain has one or two that I think are on permanent display, but it has been a nearly a year since I've been there. (It's so close to, I might just go today....anyway.) What I enjoy about the pieces of his that I have seen up close is the quality of paint, and his surfaces.
I saw one fairly small panel of Muphy's, shame on me for not remembering the title, that was dated over a three year time period. I'm assuming this was something that was lying around in his studio that he would work on, then abandon, and return to from time to time. There was no dramatic sunset, there was no "ooohhh aahhh" hook to catch your eye. I didn't even really care to much for the image. What I went "gaga" over was the layers upon layers of paint, the scratching, the removal and addition, the push and pull. The surface contained so much tension I was absolutely captivated.
I think my point here is that paintings speak on different levels. I'm well aware I'm guilty of making a pretty painting or two but I believe as artists we need to strive toward a certain sincerity in our work. I'm not there yet, but I'm trying.