2018-06-28 / Life in Leelanau

Golden Touch

Veteran artist hopes to foster creativity in oil, acrylic painting classes
By Kelsey Pease
Enterprise intern


THE NORTHPORT Art Association will host an oil and acrylic painting class by Denice Goldschmidt starting Monday. Goldschmidt is pictured in white with students of her fall drawing class. THE NORTHPORT Art Association will host an oil and acrylic painting class by Denice Goldschmidt starting Monday. Goldschmidt is pictured in white with students of her fall drawing class. Denice Goldschmidt of Northport is more than an artist.

Goldschmidt, whose oil and acrylic painting classes begin Monday at the Village Arts Building, is a role model.

“She’s one of the coolest people I’ve ever met,” said Michelle White of Leland.

White met Goldschmidt last fall when she signed up for one of her classes, after walking in on her teaching at the Mercantile in Leland.

“I signed up the following day and fell in love with her,” White said. “We’ve been friends ever since.”

White said Goldschmidt’s work has a certain “glow” that sets it apart from any other, although she’s known for more than her artistic talents.


A PAINTING with Oil and Acrylic class will be taught by Denice Goldschmidt starting on Monday at the Northport Arts Association. A PAINTING with Oil and Acrylic class will be taught by Denice Goldschmidt starting on Monday at the Northport Arts Association. “She’s such a wonderful wealth of knowledge and inspiration,” White said. “It’s lovely to just be around her.”

Goldschmidt hopes to provide an environment that helps class participants discover their own style over the course of the six-week class, which will meet Mondays from 1 to 4 p.m.

“I don’t want to just tell them what to do; I want them to discover their style,” she said. “Those ‘wow’ moments are absolutely thrilling.”

After nearly 50 years of teaching, she’s experienced her fair share of those moments in her art studio at her Northport home.

“I have the pleasure of looking over Lake Michigan on one side and the dunes on the other,” she said. “It’s not just restful to see those two views; it’s inspiring.”


DENICE GOLDSCHMIDT of Northport has been a professional artist for nearly 50 years. DENICE GOLDSCHMIDT of Northport has been a professional artist for nearly 50 years. That said, don’t mistake Goldschmidt for a pleinair artist.

Her signature landscapes and figurative works come strictly from her own mind’s creativity.

“I always create my pieces out of my head, painting scenes that I sense in my mind through experiences such as reading the Bible,” she said.

Since her works have such intense personal connections, she hopes they will inspire viewers to see something new in themselves.

“I want it to speak to something inside of them,” she said, “and in order for them to let that happen, they have to linger long enough.”

Although today Goldschmidt is a professional studio artist, there was a time when she expected her future to be quite different.

She was accepted into the school of architecture at Cornell University but changed her mind at the last minute.

“I just sensed that I was supposed to do something with more art involved,” she said.

It wasn’t smooth sailing from there, though.

After beginning her secondary education at the Art School of Syracuse University in the 1950s, Goldschmidt became discouraged.

“But I always kept it going in the background,” she said. “When I graduated, I became a ‘someday painter,’ selling my work occasionally.”

In 1972, her work as a “someday painter” turned into more of an everyday painting gig, as she became a professional artist and began teaching at the Greater Lafayette Museum of Art in Indiana. Soon after, she opened her own painting studio in downtown Lafayette, where she taught drawing, painting, wood cutting, printmaking and etching.

It wasn’t until 2000, when her husband retired from teaching at Purdue University, that they moved to their dream home in Northport, overlooking Cathead Bay.

“When it came time for retirement,”

Goldschmidt recalled, “we kept Leelanau County in mind. Ever since our kids were born, we came up to this area each year for summer vacation.”

The Land of Delight was the perfect location for Goldschmidt, who has been teaching classes in the area ever since.

“All I can ask is for my students to be open, teachable and ready to have fun,” Goldschmidt said.

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