Creswell has always been a traveller. His adventures started almost the moment he was born in the British Embassy in Helsinki. His father, Sir Michael Creswell, a great traveler and linguist, was HM Ambassador to Finland, Yugoslavia and Argentina. The young Alexander's travels were following in his parents wake, taking him from the southern most town in the world, Tierra del Fuego in Chile to the northern most, Hammerfest in Norway. Creswell totted up 32 transatlantic flights by the age of 12 when commuting alone between prep school in Dorset UK and Buenos Aires. Air sickness and many hundreds of miles peeping out of the back of his parents car thick with pipe smoke and grownup chatter might have deterred some but out of these experiences Alexander's love of cars and spirit of adventure were born along with a lifelong desire to explore other countries, their cultures, landscapes, architecture, music and food.
His adventures began in a succession of cars which he 'restored' and drove across Europe. An old Lincoln Continental was Creswell's partner as he crossed the United States on his first solo-adventures. Soon the cars were joined by 'Gafita', a 36ft wooden ketch and together they sailed back and forth across the English Channel, on long painting trips around the Channel Isles coasts of Britain and France, returning to overwinter on the Thames. Gafita was home, mission central and Creswell's studio. In time he took Gafita through the French canals and down to the Mediterranean for two years painting and exploring.
Creswell is passionate about his subjects for his paintings and those who come across him on his travels cannot fail to become caught up in his enthusiasm for his work and the lengths to which he will go in pursuit of his subjects; he has lived with the Bedouin in Petra, driven across South Africa, sailed the Nile, spent weeks sketching Islamic Cairo, sort the approval and trust of peoples of many faiths to paint their places of worship in Egypt, North Africa, the Middle East, Russia and Europe.
Creswell's love of Italy is as intense today as it was when he first discovered its art and architectural treasures and beauty as a school boy. Since then he has painted extensively throughout the country. Enjoying many long happy road trips from home on down through Italy making extensive studies of Turin and down to Venice and the Veneto, Rome, Pulgia and down to Sicily. Adventures in Europe have been a strong theme revisited throughout his career with particular highlights such as arriving in Prague just after the velvet revolution in an old battered Bentley to celebrate culture and the love of great architecture in the resulting paintings, being quite alone to explore the palaces of St Petersburg in sub-zero temperatures, and recent road trips down through France but particularly those with good friends and great cars through staggering landscapes. The days of touring alone are happily over; now Creswell tries to include his family as much as possible on these trips. His 3 children are used to flying around bends in the road in pursuit of a subject, or early morning trips across the lagoon in Venice in Creswell's sanpirota fishing boat to paint a monastery at first light before the searing heat of the day. The whole family armed with sketch books.
Family and friends are often the entry point and guides in new places such as momentous trips in China, Malaysia, and recently UAE and Oman, and new friends are made on every journey. In the last few years Creswell has added the pursuit of the great yachts to his architecture and landscapes. 45 knots has become a familiar speed as Creswell chases around British waters, the Mediterranean, Caribbean and US and sketching at a slightly more steady 18 knots has become second nature!
Recent adventures... RWD auto tour