I was born in south-east London, the younger son of parents who commuted to work each day on the train. Like them I commuted on the train to school each weekday - and on Saturdays too, when I began classes at Camberwell School of Art aged about fifteen. In the sixth form I also attended evening life classes at Goldsmith's School of Art.
Leaving school in 1975 I went to the Slade School of Art for four years. After that I spent a year in Italy on an Italian Government Scholarship when I was enrolled in the Accademia delle Belli Arti's Scuola del Nudo in Florence. After a year or two trying to balance various jobs with painting in a SPACE studio that I had converted from an office building in Surrey Docks, I taught in an Independent boarding school for seven years. I had my first solo shows in Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire galleries and started showing with the Royal Watercolour Society in 1992.
I moved to Aberystwyth to take up an academic post as art tutor in 1992. Several artist residencies in Australia and the United States followed. I became an associate of the RWS in 2003, full member in 2007 and served as vice-president 2009-2012. In 2005 I was elected an artist associate member of the Alpine Club and in 2014 I became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. I retired from Aberystwyth University in 2016 to paint full-time. In 2018 I was elected an Honorary Member of the Australian Watercolour Institute (Hon. RWI).
Simon Pierse's work is in private collections in Australia, Europe, UK and USA and in the following public collections:
Alpine Club; Dunmoochin Foundation; Heritage Malta; La Trobe University;
MOMA Wales; National Library of Wales; Qingdao Art Museum; Royal Collection;
RWS Diploma Collection; School of Art Collection, Aberystwyth;
University College London