BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Bedford resident Laurel Stern Boeck has been painting she was 10-years-old. She became a professional painter who has been asked to paint the portraits of CEOs, heads of colleges, and congressmen.
“I love starting the paintings. It usually goes very well. Then there’s a point when the portrait takes the turn for the worse,” said Boeck, who generally takes a year to complete portrait. “There’s a struggle, and in that struggle you have to persevere. But you know that when you do, the painting’s going to come out as a much better portrait because of it.”
Her struggle, Boeck says, has very much to do with making the product as life-like and emotionally on-point as possible, down to the very last detail.
“The struggle is to get the little extra that makes it personal," she said. "I’m capturing an essence about the man or woman. Sometimes you’ll spend a month on just an eye.”
While her attention to detail keeps her focused during the majority of the day, once she hears the pitter patter of elementary and middle school feet downstairs, she knows it’s time to change hats. Daughters Heather and Veronica attend Bedford Village Elementary and Fox Lane Middle School, respectively, and Boeck's multitasking role and attention to detail are tested in a different way.
“I’m home for them at 3 p.m. I put down the brushes and become Mom,” Boeck says. “It’s one of the biggest challenges, but it’s truly special to be here when the kids get home. It’s stressful, but special. It’s my second shift.”
Along with her three shifts at home -she claims her husband, John, is her third - Boeck has a different one on Fridays, when she teaches at the Katonah Art Center on Bedford Road.