Born in Glasgow, Simon studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1982 to 1987, remaining to complete his postgraduate studies there. He has painted professionally and exhibited publicly since graduating in 1988. Only three years later, he was given his first solo exhibition on Cork Street, London and, in the following decade, continued to hold solo exhibitions there, as well as in Scotland and Toronto.
While exhibiting at the Royal Glasgow Institute, Simon won the Ernst & Young Award (1990), the Scottish Craft Council Award (1991) and the Teachers Whiskey Travel Award (1992) and, in 1991, was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour. In 2000, Simon was also elected a member of the Royal Glasgow Institute. His work can be found in many notable private and public collections, including the permanent collections of the Contemporary Art Society, London, the Aberdeen Art Gallery, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, Unilever, London, TSB Headquarters, London, The Royal Bank of Scotland and the Scottish Football Association.
Simon’s paintings are typically inspired by everyday objects and the ever-changing Scottish landscape; they have been said to combine the purity and formalism of the St Ives School with the rich tradition of the Scottish Colourists. On first encounter they appear light hearted and joyous, both in their vibrant palette and choice of everyday items placed in jaunty juxtaposition. As with many painters of similar stature the rich decorative quality of each work belies a greater complexity. Simon is a very serious painter and his current approach is the culmination of several decades at his craft. Originally an abstract constructionist he produced monochromatic three-dimensional works before developing a more colourful series of found object boxed sculptures in the 1980s and 1990s. Since then he has returned to the flat surface, to paint and collage, to refine the ideas he had explored to the full in the constructions. These paintings are the culmination of that distillation process, the reduction of reality to simple form and colour.