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The Sculptural Watercolour® artistic genre was devised by Prue Bishop in 1999.

She has studied the Alpine region for almost four decades.

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Upper Falls of the Reichenbach - Prue Bishop


The Upper Falls of the Reichenbach - Switzerland - Prue Bishop 2018
Sculptural Watercolour® in a box frame 80 x 60 x 8 cm

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Current Artwork

Prue Bishop has studied the Alpine landscapes of Europe for almost four decades, centred on the eastern part of France and extending into neighbouring Switzerland and Italy.

Very early in these studies she became interested in the travels through this region by a number of 19th century artists, notably JMW Turner. Her close study of the paintings and drawings of these artists became the point from which she eventually developed her unique Sculptural Watercolour genre. She combines a special way of applying water and pigment to paper then cutting and forming it to add sculptural relief and arrive at a unified picture.

Her selection and use of pigments comes from considerable experimentation, taking her technique into entirely new territory.

Her artwork covers the full range from abstract to representational. Every work has a clear origin and subject and each is best studied by the viewer engaging in a process of interaction.

One of the important strands in her work is her strong sense of innovative design that is apparent everywhere in her life. She started out as a Registered Industrial Designer, then a teacher, lecturer, wife and mother, before picking up once more on her childhood love of watercolour painting passed on from her grandfather.

Many have expressed surprise when viewing flat prints of her artwork that an illusion of the third dimension is so often retained. Nevertheless, one should view the original Sculptural Watercolours to fully appreciate their uniqueness.

So far she has covered the Chartreuse Mountains in France, Chamonix Mont Blanc and into the Aosta Valley as well as a large part of Switzerland. Planned work will both revisit these locations and add new ones. Alpine landscapes are central to a great deal of her work.

Through her Sculptural Watercolour™ and associated lectures, she wishes to bring the exciting world of 21st century watercolour not only to artists, but more broadly to those that wish to experience art centred on tradition, skill, intellect, interaction and innovation.

Turner Research

In the process of studying locations for her Sculptural Watercolour® paintings, Prue Bishop has recognised the subjects of many JMW Turner sketches and watercolours for the first time. To this task too, she has brought her usual impressive thoroughness, by studying at first hand many hundreds of his sketches and watercolours from the Turner Bequest that this foremost of European artists left to the public.

Publication: The results of her Turner 1802 Chartreuse research is published in the Summer 2015 issue of the British Art Journal. Included are many photographs comparing Turner's 1802 sketches with the same scenes as seen today. The subjects of several sketches are identified for the first time, along with where he stayed and his precise route.

Publication: The results of her Turner 1844 Northern Switzerland research is published in the Spring 2016 issue of the British Art Journal. For the first time, she provides firm dates for this part of his tour, including a surprising finding that he spent a week in Baden Switzerland in a topmost spa-hotel. And she also proposes a solution to a 173-year-old rhyming riddle that Turner left in one of his sketches that refers to a book highlighting the shortcomings of certain Oxford University students - that could be interpreted as something of a put-down for the then recently-graduated John Ruskin.

Publication: Based on over 2 years of  detailed research, Prue Bishop suggests revising the subject of JMW Turner's so-called 'Heidelberg' in Germany to 'Susa' in Italy. In the current January issue of the British Art Journal she explains how each part of this oil-painting masterwork communicates to her a key moment in the development of Europe. The scene in the left of the picture recalls King Desiderious capitulatiing to Charlemagne in the year 774, with this moment in history being celebrated in the centre of the picture in Turner's own time by a happy crowd of Susa inhabitants. She suggests that the castle in the painting is imaginative and could recall the destruction of the New City of Suaa: the once internationally renowned Fort of La Brunatta that took Napolean's troops 2 years to turn to rubble.

She has also uncovered firm dates and other facts about Turner's Continental travels that could be published should there be interest.

Summaries of her published research findings are here.


This is a non-commercial web site based in the United Kingdom.

However, please contact us should you wish to exhibit a selection of Prue Bishop's Sculptural Watercolour® paintings.

Revenue generation is available to sponsors of exhibitions through the sale of items related to original works.

Archived by The British Library in the United Kingdom and The Internet Archive in the USA.


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Last updated on January 23rd, 2018

Sculptural Watercolour is a Registered Trademark [ ® ]
Patent Office Intellectual Property Office No. UK00003201825

© Prue and John Bishop 2002 - 2018
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