Welcome and glad you found the forums as a help resource - you surely will find answers here!!!
About being more of an art than a science, I thing the former comes with experience, the first and most important thing (I believe) id to learn that bees are instinctually motivated and CLASSIC EXAMPLES of anal retentive creatures - the fact that they respond the same way to similar situations REALLY becomes your best friend - well, after your smoker that is.
The ART part comes once you have learned enough of their beaviour to recognise the finer points of beekeeping.
Books are great - people with experience are greater. You may have a million questions, but I'm sure you'll find about 20 million answers here.
Good luck and keep posting. Remember - feed them while they build-up comb and you quickly increase the bee count in the hive plus the food stores for larva to feast on. Again, nice to mmeet you!!!!