Roberts Gallery Blog
Roberts Gallery Blog


To accompany NEW WORK opening Saturday, November 18, Alan Stein has provided us with one of his journal entries from his time as Artist in Residence with an Adventure Canada Greenland and Labrador excursion. It offers a window into Stein’s inspiration and process:

Adventure Canada, Greenland & Wild Labrador Expedition, Day 7

After flying to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, visiting the Evighhedsfjord glacier face by zodiac we have a night of extraordinary northern lights. Later, after visiting a small village and Greenland’s capital city, Nuuk, we head south down the Greenland coast. After crossing the Davis Strait with sustained winds of over 65 knots and 6-metre waves, we spend a day in Ungava Bay before our small ship, the Ocean Endeavor, arrives in the Torngats Mountains National Park in Northern Labrador. What a trip! Every day, on every shore landing, I have been sketching and documenting the trip.

The Inuit and their ancestors have occupied this land for well over 7000 years. The landscape is amazing. The Nachvak Fjord with its long inlets formed by glaciers reflecting the rugged mountains that rise to 1700 metres. We arrive on Day 7 at Ramah, the forecast is for 2C with a chance snow.

The zodiac drops us off on a black sand beach, we walk up to a large plateau where there are the remains of sod houses, and stones marking out the shapes of other structures including an early 18C Moravian church no longer on site.

There is a fresh water waterfall at one of the beaches and above the plateau the mountains rise up over a kilometer high, the ground below is covered in bits of chert, a flint/quartz like material used in stone tool making, found only in this place.

As I look for a spot to make my first sketch the sun comes out and instantly the vegetation on the lower hillsides is lit up in spectacular fall colours in an amazing array of lime green, deep reds, yellows, ochres and oranges, against the warm grey rock. As it warms up to almost +10C, I set up my stool, remove my jacket, my hat, my gloves, open my sketch box and begin.

The on-site pencil sketches and colour studies will be the focus of an exhibit at the Arts & Letters Club Toronto, March 2018 followed by an exhibit of larger works in pastel and oil on linen November 2019 at the Roberts Gallery.