An artist with a true dog-gone talent is adding a real classy touch to a Pauls Valley festival with an eye on man's best friend.

Eric Hanson from Dallas, Texas is lined up as one of the many features of the Bark in the Park event set for Saturday, Oct. 20 at Wacker Park.

The reason for that is Hanson has a talent for drawing portraits, specifically of dogs.

It looks to be a perfect fit for the third straight year of putting dogs and their owners at the center of this festival, which also honors Pauls Valley's late wildlife icon Phil Henderson.

“They're very cool paintings,” said Steve Freeman, one of the volunteers serving on committee organizing the festival.

“What I like is his paintings are so beautiful, full of color. They capture the dogs so well.

“It's so rare, I think, to see portraits of your dog this way.”

Freeman is quick to add Hanson is not really the kind of artist who does the portraits on the spot. Instead, he's apparently much more detailed with his follow-up work.

“The way he normally works is he takes a lot of pictures of a dog. He then goes back to his studio and works on the portrait there,” he said.

“He wants to draw interest and show what he does. For the actual portraits he takes the photos back to his studio.”

Adding to it all is Hanson will donate half of his proceeds to the cause, which is raising money for the Pauls Valley Animal Shelter.

All funds raised will be used to give dogs at the shelter the medical care needed to prepare them for adoption or transportation to a new home with some of them headed out-of-state.

“He knows what we're going here, so he was kind enough to donate 50 percent of what he makes back to P.A.W.S.,” he said referring to the PV Animal Welfare Society.

Freeman adds the dog portraits generally sell for around $200.

Inspired by the high volume of artwork produced by his then two-year-old daughter Georgia, Hanson decided to pursue fine arts in 2009.

When Klyde Warren Park opened in downtown Dallas, he and Georgia began making frequent visits. On some occasions, Hanson would bring his supplies and do some plein air painting, which would then generate commissions when he posted them to social media.

Eventually, he started painting more Dallas scenes and, later, other cities as well.

When people asked for paintings of personal subjects such as their homes and their pets, Hanson began taking commissions for those too.

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The Bark in the Park event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 20.

Events include a puppy trot, search and rescue demonstration, service dog demonstration, Howl-O-Ween Costume Contest, Best Trick Contest, a Blessing of the Animals ceremony and the grand opening of a new dog park on the west side of Wacker Park.

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