Simon was born in London in 1956, and studied at The Slade School of Art and Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence. He has also been Artist in Residence at Melbourne Grammar School, Australia and Glen Arbor Arts Association, Michigan USA, as well as holding an Artist Fellowship at La Trobe University, Melbourne and an Artist Residency at Dunmoochin, Melbourne, Australia.
In 2005 Simon was elected Artist Associate of the Alpine Club. Although originally trained as an oil painter, since 1990 Simon Pierse has worked predominately in watercolour and mixed media on paper. His subjects are mainly landscape, and he is best known for his paintings of Ladakh, central Australia and the Italian Alps. He is also an art historian and author of Australian Art and Artists in London 1950-1965, published by Ashgate.