Roger Walkup didn't plan to make art, he planned to be a pirate or bank robber. Fortunately, those plans fell through. His imagination, which can run on fumes, was fueled by comic books during the mid-1960s until the mid-1970s. He spent hours copying the work of such luminaries as Jack Kirby, John Buscema, and Jack Davis. He had to leave his beloved comic book collection behind when his family moved from Fairbanks, Alaska to Nairobi, Kenya in 1974. He set up camp in the Nairobi Public Library and drew copies of film stills of old horror and gangster films. Unfortunately, he also became hyper self-critical and stopped. For 19 years.
During this time, Roger graduated from secondary school, enrolled in university, dropped out of university, got married, did two enlistments in the US Navy, and returned to university. Fortunately, he was able to re-kindle his love of making visual art while taking a painting class to fulfill the aesthetic experience requirement at the University of Wisconsin - Superior. He began his second art life as a painter, but switched to print making during graduate studies. Seeking greener pastures after graduation, he and his wife moved to the East Coast. They have made their home in Baltimore, Maryland since 2011.
His primary medium is hand-pulled prints, both woodcut and intaglio. He loves the smell of wood and the sculptural nature of carving a woodblock. He also loves the fact that, although each image within an edition is quite similar, each image is unique since ink can never be applied to the block in exactly the same way or transferred from the block to the paper in the exact same way. The size of each edition is between 3 and 20.
His influences include medieval art, particularly Carolingian and Gothic, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Velazquez, Kathe Kollwitz, Munch, Degas, E.L. Kirchner, Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, comic books (the first art he saw), music, and coffee.