Roger Walker began making his drawings over 20 years ago as a way to pass time. He started out with blank crossword puzzles that he would accurately fill in with ballpoint pen. When the puzzle was finished, he methodically covered the horizontal and vertical entries in repetitive diagonal strokes until the puzzle was completely covered and all that remained were pen strokes.
Wes Mills, a Missoula, Montana gallery owner, first encountered Walker making his drawings at the local library. At the prospect of an exhibition, his first at the age of 52, Walker began buying paper, but still used his trusted ballpoint pens of the office supply variety. Roger Walker was not formally trained as an artist and may fall into the category now termed “Outsider Art,” saying, “I’ve been doing these puzzle pages for twenty years,” he says, “before somebody finally called it art.”
Walker’s first solo exhibition, A Time Not Here, at the Farm Art Space in Missoula, Montana was quickly followed by his inclusion in a group exhibition with Emi Winter and Mala Breuer at James Kelly Contemporary in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2003.