Bring on the Christmas Cookies! Drywell Art is on Holiday Break!

Drywell Art Christmas Tree Abominable

The packages are all out to the post office and on the way to happy food and booze lovers world-wide! While you can still place orders, any orders placed in my shop or on Etsy from now until January 4th will not ship until after January 5th.

Thank you again to everyone who finds a little joy in the silly drawings I make. Happiest of holidays to you all!  Bring it on, 2016!

Holiday Order Deadlines! 2015 Edition

Wow, the holidays really snuck up on us over here at Drywell HQ! Make sure you get your foodie, boozy art in time for Christmas, by ordering in time!

 

Drywell-holiday-order-deadlines-2015

Edible San Francisco

For the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of illustrating for the local magazine Edible San Francisco. I get a list of the Top 10 Eats for each issue, and whip up an illustration to accompany the article. Fun stuff.

Winter 2015

web-Edible-SF-Dec.-2014-alyson-thomas-300dpi

 

Spring 2015

 

web-Edible-SF-new-march-2015-alyson-thomas-300dpi

Summer 2015

web-Edible-SF-new-summer-2015-alyson-thomas-300dpi

 

Fall 2015

web edible sf winter 2015 alyson_thomas 300dpi

 

 

Holiday 2014 Order Deadlines

Make sure you get your prints, towels, and posters from Drywell Art in time for the holidays!

 

DRYWELL ORDER DEADLINES SQUARE 2014

2015 Salumi Calendar

Drywell Art Salumi Calendar

It’s been 2 years since I made a calendar, and I think this one is worth the wait! Serious hunger pangs were induced by painting over 20 varieties of salumi and cured meats. Eight made the cut and are sliced up just like they would be on your favorite charcuterie board.

 

Drywell Art Salumi Calendar

SALUMI PLATE small3 SALUMI PLATE small

Perfect for the meat lover, avid cook, or chef, this 2015 calendar features a selection of cured meat, worthy of any antipasto or charcuterie plate. The calendar features all original hand drawn watercolor illustrations of meaty goodness and even includes a key identifying all the salumi : Soppressata, Culatello, Mortadella, Salame Toscano, Bresaola, Pancetta, Zampone, and Lonza.

Print measures 13 x 19 inches.

Get ’em while they last! Right here.

 

Don’t Procrastinate – Renegade Craft SF This Weekend

Coming up for air to let all the San Francisco area people know that Renegade Craft Fair‘s holiday show is SUPER early this year. As in THIS weekend. It is usually a great chance for procrastinators to get their last-minute holiday shopping done. But this year, we all have the chance to be a bit more responsible and get our holiday shopping done before Thanksgiving!

There will be over 300 vendors, selling handmade food, art, clothes, and more. Come by and see me. I’m right down the middle aisle, near pals Etta + Billie, Lemon Bird Jams, and Nosh This.

2014-RCF-SF-Holiday-eflyer

Everything I Ate in Istanbul

In May, I went on a trip to Istanbul with my folks. I ate a lot. And then I illustrated it.

turkish foods in istanbul illustrated

turkish foods in istanbul illustrated

 

turkish foods in istanbul illustrated

turkish foods in istanbul illustrated

 

Works in Progress

August has been a very productive month for drawing and painting here at Drywell HQ. Must be the fact that Karl the Fog is keeping me indoors most of the time. Here are some recent progress shots shared over on my Instagram account. Final pieces to be revealed soon!

drywell art mystery cocktail diagram in progress sketch

BLT in progress by drywell art

BLT watercolor in progress by alyson thomas of drywell art

New Art and Renegade. Kablammy!

SF-e-flyer-2014-MSL

It’s time again for the “summer” Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco! Bundle up and come on out to Fort Mason. I’m in booth 137, right down the center aisle.

It should be a great time, and you can see some new Drywell Art for the first time in person. Consider this a sneak preview:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Making Chocolate with Dandelion

dandelion sketch eatretreat

How to Make Chocolate. © Alyson Thomas 2014

During the Eat Retreat weekend, our days were filled with food demonstrations, information sessions, and how-tos. One of the highlights was helping to make chocolate, from the cacao beans to bar, with the affable Todd of Dandelion Chocolate. They quite literally travel the world in search of the best cacao beans, which they then turn into chocolate bars at their factory on a now-hopping stretch of Valencia Street in San Francisco. What really makes this chocolate mind-blowingly awesome to my now blown-mind is that Dandelion only uses cacao and sugar in their delicious bars. No added cocoa butter, milk solids, or stabilizers.  Todd schlepped up some chocolate making equipment to do a small-scale demo of the chocolate making process for Eat Retreat. And since I draw food and such, I took notes like this:

Photo by Jen Pelka

Photo by Jen Pelka

Todd had us sort through the beans, discarding any oddballs or debris. Then the pile of beans was placed into a coffee roaster, and then into a toaster oven. This cracks the beans, allowing the outer husks to be removed from the nib. While the beans roasted, Todd passed around samples of three of their single-origin bars. I was one of the few fruity chocolate fans in the room, so I adored the Madagascar bar.  It had a lot of citrus flavors, with one attendee comparing it to a lambic beer. Dead on. And with an insanely long finish. (Immediately upon my return, I picked up a bar for Steve, who declared it “absolutely the best chocolate I have ever had.” So there’s that.) It was fascinating to have such different flavors of chocolate, all just coming from the beans and the fermentation process. At their cafe in San Francisco, you can get flights of brownies, each using a different chocolate varietal.

Photo by Lauren Chandler

Photo by Lauren Chandler

After roasting, the now amazing-smelling beans were cracked in a small grain mill used by home brewers. The papery husks were removed in a process called winnowing, using a shop vac. After that,  the beans are ground in a melanger for several days, with sugar eventually added in. This makes the final chocolate bar, after it is tempered and left to cool.

Photo by Lauren Chandler

Photo by Lauren Chandler

Photo by Lauren Chandler

Photo by Lauren Chandler

Photo © Jesse Friedman.

Photo © Jesse Friedman.

 

There are an insane amount of other details and variables that go into making chocolate as delicious as Dandelion’s – like where and how the cacao plants are grown, fermentation techniques at the farms, and roasting methods – but Todd showed us the basic process of bean to bar. For more info on all the other fascinating stuff, check out this article by fellow Eat Retreater and chocolate fanatic, Lesley Stockton.

They explain the process beautifully over at the Dandelion Chocolate site, and if you are in San Francisco, you can even go on a free tour, like a modern-day Charlie Bucket. And if you’re really into chocolate, you can even make a small-batch of your own chocolate with Dandelion or go on a cacao buying trip.