Simon's mother, Faith, a deeply spiritual woman, nurtured her children in an environment where God, love, and beauty were very much at home. When Simon's father, Joseph (known as Joe to his friends) was not driving the bus to support his family, he could usually be found in his makeshift studio in the corner of the small family room perfecting a portrait. As Simon would watch his father's meticulous brushstrokes amidst the aroma of oil paints and the clutter of brushes, stretched canvases, and works in progress, something inside of him spoke of his own future. It was Joe's passion for his pastime that fostered within Simon the joy of creation for creation's sake, a true love of art, and an appreciation for the beauty of the human form. It was those early values that eventually guided Simon to follow in his father's footsteps as a portrait painter.
A gifted and dedicated student, Simon bypassed the counsel of his family and friends and left school at age seventeen to pursue his artistic dreams. He accepted an invitation to study at London art college but soon realized that the liberal values of big city art schools were too conflicting with his own. Simon decided to develop his talents with more of a hands-on approach and took a job as a corporate visual aids illustrator spending his spare time studying the work of his heroes Norman Rockwell, Harry Anderson, and Tom Lovell. While working in the heart of the city of London directly opposite the splendid St. Paul's Cathedral, Simon honed his artistic skills and quickly became recognized for his exceptional illustrating abilities. This led to a position as the sole illustrator in a small design firm where Simon learned to produce detailed paintings under tight deadlines.
My earliest memory of drawing was at the age of five-my father gave me an old roll of wallpaper and a pencil and told me to fill the entire thing with sketches. I went about my assignment with unwavering commitment, covering the complete roll with a continuous procession of every conceivable image that might enter into the world a five year-old boy.