For Jean Hirtzel, travel notebooks represent a way to record his daily experiences. A certain number of these notebooks have been conserved, in particular those made in the former Yugoslavia, in Greece (1976, 1977) and in French Guinea (1987, 1989 and 1991). These notebooks also contain important written notes.
During his last stay in Guinea, he accompanies his son on an ethnographic mission, and a number of drawings are dedicated to the culture of the Wayana community (pottery, ornaments, etc.). In others the painter lets his imagination run free and improvises with his own research (shamanism, mythological stories and spaces of nature).