Averil Salmond MacKenzie GRIEVE
Born into a wealthy and distinguished family near Uckfield, Sussex, she grew up mainly in Castle Hill House, Torrington, Devon. Her private tutor, Francis James, was a flower painter and inspired her interest in art, and after the death of her father in 1918 she went to Florence to study at Marfori Savini's studio.
Accompanied by her mother, she returned to England as Fascism took hold in Italy, settling in St Ives where her interest in book illustration developed into wood engraving. At the 1924 Show Day in St Ives she was noticed for her 'very effective' wood engraving entitled The New Italy, showing Mussolini reviewing his troops. Having hoped to study under Alfred HARTLEY - his health at this time making it impossible - she attended the Walter SIMPSON School for a short time, but afterwards remarked "it was not the tuition I needed".
Primarily a wood engraver and author, she also exhibited illuminated work with fine lettering and decorative wooden boxes. In 1925 she married Cyril Drummond le Gros Clark in St Ives, and they travelled on postings to China and Sarawak. She exhibited in the 1928 Summer Exhibition at NAG under her married name Le Gros Clark, and showed three works: Rice Fields, The Poet Chu Yuan and Schloss Tauffers: Tyrol. Returning from the Far East in 1936, she continued to travel extensively, devoting more time to writing than art. Her husband was killed in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in WWII. She later married John Keevil, the medical historian.