I find joy in showing everyone that art is not some special talent, bestowed on lucky indivduals, but simply learning how to use good quality art materials and training the eye and brain to see. Like everything else art is lots of practice, practice, and more practice.
As to the purpose of making art. I feel that art and nature have been intertwined since man first covered the walls of caves with magnificent paintings. Of course, art goes even furthur back if one counts the many artistic creations of our fellow non-human bretheren.
With this in mind, I prefer to create art which brings the viewer and "viewed" into intimate contact. Instead of depicting a whole garden, I zoom in one one particular flower being visited by a butterfly. In this way, I hope to drag people's attention away from their little electronic screens to the wonders arounf them. I also feel that art should inform and open up new ways of thinking and interacting with the natural world. I also can't resist a good pun when it comes to naming my work!
I work primarily with colored pencils as they afford me the ability to obtain finely detailed paintings. I find the rhythm of laying down layer after layer of color soothing, and the control I have over the medium appeals to my training as a natural science illustrator.