Plein Air on the Island of Sylt in North Germany: »Tjen di Biiki ön«


»Tjen di Biiki ön« is an northfrisian dialekt which was originally widely spoken along the coast and the islands of north Germany. It’s a calling to throw the torches onto a big pile of wood and hay and light the fire (Biike) on the 21first of February.

This is a very old tradition and goes back to the Germanic mythology and was meant to be an oblation to the God Wotan. Even though through the centuries after Christianization the people held on to those fires.

In the 17th and 18th century the people on the northfrisian island were very poor and the new trade of whaling lured a lot of man from the islands. So every February they gathered around this big fire bevore they took of of the the ships and went to the Artic Sea at Spitzbergen.

Today it strengthens the northfrisian companionship.

A couple of years ago I already did some Biike paintings in pastel. After last years nocturne exhibition I wanted to return to this motive, but this time I planned to paint Plein air in oil.

The weather was really a challenge. Heavy rain and winds didn’t make it an easy undertaking. Even though I still had my umbrella my oil colors turned into a muddy business.


Foto Marc Volquardsen



Tinnumer Biike, 18×24, Oil, linen mounted on canvas,
2016 Astrid Volquardsen

But I got a lot of impressions and motives. We’ll see what will come out of it.

2 Responses

  1. Claudia
    | Reply

    Wow, dein Gespür für Farben ist unglaublich!
    Bei diesen Bedingungen so einen warmen Feuerschein auf die Leinwand zu bekommen, alle Achtung!
    Das man da draußen malen kann und dabei noch so ein Stimmung auf dem Bild rüberbringt erfordert Können und wie du schon sagst »Nordfriesiches Gemüt halt«!

    Liebe Grüße

    • Astrid
      | Reply

      Ich danke dir für deine Worte sehr!

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