O.k. let's get to the list already! (and I used the images from Amazon so sorry for the click to look inside stuff)...
1. Andrew Wyeth, A Secret Life by Richard Meryman.
Andrew Wyeth's great loves: his father, his wife Betsy and primarily his art interweave to show a deep vulnerability with his own self. You see a man who is capable of seeing real beauty in families that lived for generations on the land: their lives shaped by brutality and silences. You also see a man who puts himself above anybody who loved him, who giggled at practical jokes and had the sense of humor of an adolescent school boy.
2. The Art of Emily Carr by Doris Shadbolt
This book has many beautiful reproductions of her work. Taken as whole you see the power and sensitivity in her heart.
3. Radical by David Platt
4. A Natural History of Western Trees by Donaold Culross Peattie
5. Why, O God Edited by Larry Waters and Roy Zuck
6. At Home by Bill Bryson
7. Full Bloom by Hunter Drohojowski-Philp
Georgia O'Keeffe is without a doubt my favorite artist of all time. I read every biography that comes out on her life. This one is particularly good in that Drohjowski-Philp takes a careful study of her life with all it's faults, pains and heartaches along with the wonderful successes. She does not leave us with a myth or the "lone artist in the desert" but instead with a living, breathing woman who had her heart broken, who suffered with selfishness and pride and saw her life divided by Alfred Steiglitz. It's a hard book to read and not feel your own heart break a little through the pages. One thing I see in her that I truly admired was her relentless eye to beauty.
With all the artists I read about this year the one thing I saw so true to their lives was how hard they worked. It wasn't an hour here and there it was long hours. They also had a great ability to ask the right questions at crucial times in their lives or were around people that could ask them.