In discussing noise reduction in Topaz Adjust, I suggested going overboard (sometimes!!) when reducing the noise - which softens an image to the point where it looks like a painting.
Now, I could tell you exactly how I created the top image, but I think you'll learn more, and have more fun, trying to create artful pictures yourself . . . and you'll probably come up with your own artful creations and variations of an image. My pal Trey Ratcliff agrees (on the do-it-yourself/learn-it-yourself method) - although he does share lots of his techniques in his books and seminars.
If you come up with cool images, post a link here. I'd love to see it!
FYI: I took the photograph at Bodie State Historical Park in California with my Canon 1Ds Mark III and 17-40mm lens at the 17mm setting.
Explore the light,
P.S. More info on Topaz and HDR at the Plug-in Experience. Discounts, too,