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France Sketchbooks

France Sketchbooks

Author(s): Laurie Olin

Location(s): France

Genre(s): Nonfiction, Travelogue

Era(s): 1970s onwards



  • An artist/designer’s intimate and loving sketches and notes from 50 years of visits to France and looking carefully at aspects of life there, both humble and grand
  • Looking carefully and noting in clear sketches what he sees, Olin presents France beyond selfies and tourism. Here one finds travel, observation, and affection for life and places familiar and off the beaten track well recorded
  • This book will appeal to all those who have travelled to France or have the urge to go, as well as to designers of all sorts, for Olin’s eye is equally tuned to interiors as well as the exterior of architecture, to parks as to streets and squares, to household objects and classical monuments
  • Over a hundred drawings are included from Olin’s many sketchbooks along with transcriptions of accompanying comments and notes

For centuries artists and designers have recorded places, people, and life in travel sketchbooks. Over a period of fifty years, Laurie Olin, one of America’s most distinguished landscape architects, has recorded aspects of France: its cities and countryside, streets and cafés, ancient ruins, vineyards, and parks – from humble to grand, things that interested his designer’s eye – taking the time to see things carefully. Paris in its seasons, agriculture in Provence and Bordeaux, trees, dogs, and fountains, all are noted over the years in watercolour or pen and ink.

Originally intended for the pleasure of merely being there as well as self-education, this personal selection from his many sketchbooks is accompanied by transcriptions of notes and observations, along with introductory remarks for the different regions included: Paris, Haute Loire, Provence, Haute Provence, Normandy, Aquitaine, and Entre des Meures.

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Book Reviews

Lead Review

Author: Tina Hartas

This is a lovely hardback coffee table book, a collection of sketches and drawings carried out by Laurie Olin over the last 15 years. He has travelled extensively, a true citizen of the world...

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