Theres nothing wrong with maya's modeling, its your level of understanding the tools and how to use them and work with them.
Dont get upset if it dosent look too good, start over looking at wireframes and how others have made a hand, even look for a tutorial on it as theres a few free ones available on the web and follow one of these. We all start somewhere.
As for the art question, I think it helps, but not a requisite, just look ar reference pictures, for a hand you've got 2 in front of you so just look at them at different angles etc.
"No pressure, no diamonds" Thomas Carlyle