I've always liked artist Edouard Manet (1832-1883) and so do many other people, of course -- and so did the French Impressionists, whom he had a great influence on and associated with during their mutual careers. Manet is well-known for painting Luncheon on the Grass, which really is quite a fascinating composition, along with the scandalous Olympia and many other works, but his simpler views of life are my favorites. Like his flowers or peaches or asparagus, and like the pictured fluff of a dog here (specifically Head of a Dog, 'Bob') -- Manet was so wonderfully talented with thick, sure brushstrokes and the smaller-focus pieces really show that genius off.
"There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another." (Edouard Manet)