Islamic Paintings By Michael Schmidt

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When I visited Chicago in December, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Michael Schmidt, a Muslim artist who combined his passion in art with Islamic values. He has a collection of children stories that teach Islamic values, which I will review later on the website, as well as Islamic paintings that are very unique and beautiful. I was really impressed with his works and I asked him to make a small showcase of his paintings on my website and he was so kind to approve my request. Underneath you will find the artist’s statement and biography. If you are interested in buying any of these paintings, please contact the artist Michael Schmidt at mike(at) schmidt-gallery.com

Artist’s Statement

I have always been inspired to find meaning in the universe, and my art has served as a way for me to explore and express this notion. I hand-paint my work with acrylic, and add intricate designs on layers of translucent glue. The images themselves come from my imagination, things I’ve seen, and my interest in science and spiritual teachings. I do not try to explain the particular meanings of my paintings, I think the image can convey certain meanings which words cannot.

Biography

Michael Klaus Schmidt is an award winning artist and illustrator. Originally from Germany, but raised in the Chicago area, his work has appeared in shows around the country and internationally, including Chicago, San Francisco, London, Toronto, New Orleans and more. He is a member of the Elmhurst Artists’ Guild, and has taught art to children grades K-8. Currently, Michael is working as a freelance artist and illustrator.

5 x 2.75 inches
2008
Mixed Media on board

Moroccan Mint

40 x 30 inches
2012
Mixed Media on board
This was also one of five paintings produced for the play Unveiled by Rohina Malik.

Lost

20 x 16 inches
2006
Mixed Media on board

Observation

30 x 24 inches
2010
Mixed Media on board

The Living from the Dead


24 x 11.5 inches
2011
Mixed Media on board

Found

20 x 16 inches
2012
Mixed Media on board

Starry Mosque

5 x 2.75 inches
2012
Mixed Media on board

Sage

40 x 30 inches
2012
Mixed Media on board

How Much Do You Think You Know?

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How many times did I say “his skin has nothing to do with my decision to…”? the answer is countless times, I am wrong! even unconsciously it has all the thing to do with his skin color, religion, education and even political views.

In his book (Blink) Malcolm Gladwell argues that most of our decisions and, as scary as this might sound, actions and results of actions are partially and unconsciously the result of contextual elements and influences that are completely out of our awareness. “the question of free well is an illusion, our decisions and actions are susceptible to outside influences”

I will provide two examples from the countless ones he provided in his book to support the argument:

1- Storytelling Problem

In an experiment, a group of people were asked to identify 4 different ways to tie the ends of two ropes that are hung from a wall with a distance between them without leaving the other end, given a set of tools, everyone figured three out of four, and they got stuck at that point, however after a while the experimenter walked in and pushed one of the ropes in a spontaneous move to make it swing like a pendulum, and here was the AHA moment to some of them, the problem here is that when they were asked about how they figured out the last solution some said “I dont know, it is the only solution left” and the fairest of answers was ” I started imaging monkeys in the jungle”! None of them could identify the main reason they figured out the solution because it was taken care of by the unconscious.

2- In an attempt to examine if racial identification would affect the results of academic performance, an excerpt of the Harvard graduate school admission test was presented to 2 groups of black students, the first group was given the test without identifying the test taker, while the other group was asked to identify their (race). The result is astonishing! The academic performance of the group that was asked to identify their race was cut in half! The reason being the association of African American race with bad academic performance by the black test taker. This is very problematic because the test taker does not know that he/she is academically capable of passing, and when they are asked why they think they did badly the answered, “I just don’t think I am good enough to be here”

How many times did you ask someone for an answer why they did a certain thing and they could not answer? You got the point! I will finish with an excerpt I translated today from usescience.org that made me wonder how little we know about ourselves:

‘When people held hot beverages (hot coffee), they perceived strangers as friendlier and warmer than when they held cold beverages (iced coffee)’

The source: science 

Note: the examples are not quoted verbatim as it was an audio book and its hard to remember all the details

Nakba in Nutshell

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Nakba in Nutshell

Nakba (Noun): Is a catastrophe that causes a person to suffer the loss of his wealth or beloveds.

Nakaba (v): Going astray and deviating ‟But indeed, those who do not believe in the Hereafter are deviating from the path” (23-74) Quran

For those whose only memory of Palestine is a summer vacation

I wish you happy Nakba

If you woke up one day, got neatly dressed to look (qualified) and went to the immigration or to the foreign embassy to apply for citizenship or asylum

I wish you happy Nakba

If you had to explain to the barista, cashier, plumber, salesperson, and your new friends why do you call it Palestine and they know it to be as “Israel”

I wish you happy Nakba

If the immigration officer of an Arab country’s airport looked into your passport and looked down on you and said “How dare you speak? – Elak Ain Tehke”

I wish you happy Nakba

If you still hear and use expressions like residence permit, visa, peace process, anti-Semitism, two-state solution, PLO, sovereignty and struggle

I wish you happy Nakba

If you sleep with your eyes wide open thinking of who was wrongfully killed today and you are helpless

I wish you happy Nakba

 

In the morning and after I read an article about Deir Yasin, I wanted to mark April 9th with a note about Deir Yasin’s massacre, I realized I have a note there and it reads (Deir Yasin), I said to myself: Happy Nakba 

ملخص النكبة

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ملخص النكبة

النَّكْبَةُ: اسم مرَّة من نكَبَ / نكَبَ عن : مصيبة مؤلمة توجِع الإنسانَ بما يعزُّ عليه من مالٍ أو حميمٍ - قاموس المعاني

نكَب:عن الصّواب : عدل عنه وتنحَّى واعتزل {وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالآخِرَةِ عَنِ الصِّرَاطِ لَنَاكِبُونَ} - قاموس المعاني 

 

لأولئك الذين لم يعرفوا من فلسطين سوى الإجازات الصيفية

أتمنى لكم نكبة مجيدة

إذا استيقظت ورتبت هندامك لتبدو (مؤهلاً) وذهبت إلى دائرة الهجرة أو السفارة الأجنبية لتقدم طلب تجنيس أو لجوء

أتمنى لك نكبة مجيدة

إذا احتجت إلى أن تشرح لموظف المقهى والمحاسب والسباك والبائع ولأصدقائق الجدد عن سبب الاختلاف بين تسميتك للأرض بفلسطين ومعرفتهم لها على أنها (إسرائيل)؟

أتمنى لك نكبة مجيدة

إذا رمقك موظف الجوازات بنظرة استخفاف في مطار دولة عربية وقال لك (أولك عين تحكي)!؟

أتمنى لك نكبة مجيدة

إذا كنت تسمع وتستخدم مصطلحات مثل إقامة، تأشيرة، عملية السلام، حل الدولتين، معاداة السامية، السلطة الوطنية، السيادة، النضال

أتمكنى لك نكبة مجيدة

إذا كنت تنام جاحظ العينين وأنت تفكر في من قتل اليوم وليس لك إلى المساعدة من سبيل

أتمنى لك نكبة مجيدة

في الصباح، أمسكت بهاتفي بعد أن قرأت مقالة أحدهم عن مذبحة دير ياسين، أردت أن أضيف ملاحظة إلى تاريخ 9 أبريل\نيسان حتى لا أنسى، وجدت ملاحظة قديمة تقول (دير ياسين) فقلت في نفسي: نكبة مجيدة.

 

 

 

 

 

فكر مرة أخرى

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فكر مرة أخرى

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ذهبت قبل عدة أسابيع إلى أطلنطا في ولاية جورجيا، وبعد أن أنهيت بعض الأعمال صليت بجانب سيارتي واستلقيت على مقدمة السيارة. كنت أنظر إلى السماء حين جذبتا انتباهي هاتين الشجرتين اللتين تظهران في الصورة، وتساءلت لماذا الشجرة في يمين الصورة خضراء مزدهرة أما الأخرى فجافة ولا تحمل أية أوراق مع أن كلتاهما في الجو والتربة نفسها؟  وقد شبهت هذا المشهد بالبشر، في بعض الأحيان تجد عائلة ما وقد حظيت بأبٍ وأمٍ في غاية الروعة وجوٍ عائلي صحي وأفرادٍ في غاية الروعة، إلا أن أحد أفرادها متمرد وسيئ الخلق أو حاد الطباع، فتتساءل كيف يحدث ذلك مع أن كل أفراد العائلة تلقوا التربية ذاتها، في الظروف ذاتها ومن ذات الأب والأم!؟ ثم أتتني فكرة أخرى بينما أنا مستغرق، ماذا لو كان لهذه الشجرة فصل أو موسم وحيد تزدهر فيه وتذبل في باقي الفصول، أو أن الشجرة المتيبسة قد سقيت بماء غير صالح للري، ويمكنني أيضاً أن أقيس ذلك على أفراد العائلة، فإني أتذكر عندما كنت صغيراً حدة طبعي ولساني السليط دون أن أضع اعتباراً لعمر من يحدثني، وعندما أفكر في ما كنت أفعل أعتقد أن السبب في تطور هذه الطبع الحاد لدي هي الحدة التي جاباهني فيها من هم أكبر مني سناً بدلاً من توعيتي كانوا أشد قسوة، وكذلك الحال مع ذلك الفرد حاد الطبع فقد تكون حدة طبعه ناتجة عن العلاج الخطأ. بعض الأشجار تحتاج إلى الكثير من الماء وبعضها إلى القليل منه، بعضها يحتاج إلى حرارة مرتفعة وبعضها إلى حرارة منخفضة. كذلك هي هذه الشجرة العجفاء، قد لا تكون المشكلة في نوعها إنما هو الماء الذي سقيته، أو بكل بساطة هو ليس الفصل الذي تؤتي فيه أكلها. 

Have a Second Thought

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Have a Second Thought 

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A couple of weeks ago I was in Atlanta, GA, and after I finished some business I prayed beside my car and laid my body on the car hood, I was just looking to the sky and in kind of amazement noticed these trees in the picture. The thought that came to my mind was why the tree in the right is green and flourishing while the other is leafless and dry although both of them are in the same conditions of weather and soil!? So I applied the same analogy to humans, sometimes you have this family with an amazing parents and circumstance, and all the members are wonderful except for that young man or woman who is a trouble maker and ill-mannered and one wonders why!? It’s the same circumstances for everybody! While I was deeply thinking about this I was also struck by another thought! Wait a minute, what if this tree flourishes only in one or two seasons and it remains dry in the rest! You can also apply the same analogy on family members, I remember I was always hard to deal with, I was nervous and had a sharp tongue that hurts with no considerations for age, and I think that it was the heavy handed way with which older people responded back to my traits that made such a manner persists in my personality, instead of helping me overcome the trait they responded back stiffly. And family member with short-temper or any other traits might be the result of wrong treatment. Some trees need more water and some need less, some need more heat and some other need less. The same with that tree it might not have become a deadwood because of the plant itself, it might be the water with which it was irrigated or it might simply not be the right season. 

לחשוב פעמיים

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     לפני כשבועיים הייתי באטלנטה ג׳ורג׳יה במטרת עסקים עסקים. אחרי שגמרתי עם העסקים שלי עצרתי והתפללתי ליד האוטו שלי. סיימתי ושכבתי על המכסה של המנוע.

     התבוננתי בשמיים עבור כמה זמן, ואז התפלאתי שישנם שלושה עצים בטווח הראייה שלי שלא שמתי לב להם קודם. המחשבה הראשונה שצצה לי הייתה למה העץ הימני הוא ירוק ופורח בזמן ששני העצים האחרים הם חסרי עלים ויבשים למרות ששלושתם נמצאים באותם תנאים ואותה אדמה ? 

     ככה עשיתי אותה אנלוגיה כלפי בני אדם. לפעמים יש משפחות עם הורים מדהימים וכל בני המשפחה נהדרים חוץ מאחד שהוא חסר נימוס ועושה צרות. ואנשים תוהים למה ואיך? ואם כולם גדלו באותם תנאים! 

     חשבתי עמוק על תופעה זו, ואז עלתה לי בראש עוד מחשבה. חכה שנייה (אמרתי לעצמי)! אולי העץ פורח רק למשך עונה אחת או שתיים בשנה והוא נהיה יבש בשאר העונות ! 

גם אותה אנלוגיה אפשר לממש על בני אותה משפחה. אני זוכר שהייתי ילד עם לשון חדה והיה ממש קשה להתמודד איתי. אני גם חושב שהשיטה בה אנשים הגיבו להתנהגות שלי גרמה לאופי הזה בלהתמיד באישיות שלי. אנשים רגזניים ובעלי תכונות שליליות הם לרוב תוצאה ליחס לא ראוי מבני המשפחה. 

     הצורך של המים משתנה מעץ לעץ. אותו דבר לגבי החום. 

זה גם נכון לגבי העץ, יכול להיות שהוא לא יבש בגלל הצמח עצמו אלא בגלל מי ההשקיה או פשוט בגלל שזה לא העונה הנכונה.