Category: paintings

Illustrated Recipe | Homemade Chai Tea Mix


Homemade Chai Tea Mix | Steph Devino

Fall is right around the corner and while Starbucks is busting out the pumpkin spice, I’ve been on a huge Chai Tea kick. Since June, I’ve been cutting back on my caffeine intake. I used to drink about two lattes a day, but turns out– your body changes when you get older! –and although I’ve drank a decent amount of caffeine throughout my life, it’s just starting to do bad things to my brain. Anyway, going cold turkey was not easy so like a patch, I started drinking tea instead. I’ve always been a fan of chai, but now that I can’t have my espresso, I feel like I need chai to satisfy my latte cravings.

Last year, Kaleb made this little recipe for me and I’ve been making it ever since! It’s super easy, quick, and you probably already have most of the spices in your pantry. Since Fall is just about here, I thought I would share it with you in this fun little illustrated form. Use the drawing above for cuteness, but for the full recipe see below.

    2/3 cups Granulated Sugar
    1 tsp Ground Ginger
    1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
    1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
    1 tsp Ground Cardamom
    1 tsp All Spice
    Chai Tea bags (I use Tazo)

1. Heat a cup of water and add one chai tea bag. For chai lattes, I like to let the tea steep for longer than I usually would other tea. At least 10 minutes, but longer is good too.

2. While your tea is steeping, combine all other ingredients in a small jar or tupperware and stir or shake to combine.

3. Add desired amount to tea (I recommend anywhere between 1 teaspoon to 1/2 tablespoon).

4. Add milk and enjoy it hot or poor into a glass, add ice, then milk for an iced latte!

The mixture keeps basically forever so store in your cupboard with your teas for as long as you wish. Another way to make this recipe is to add the sugar with equal parts water in a small sauce pan over the stove, heat slowly on low heat until sugar is dissolved, then add all of the spices. Once the mixture is combined, poor into a mason jar or other heat-safe container and use it as a chai syrup! keep it in the fridge for up to one week.

I hope you enjoyed this mini-recipe. Check back for more soon!

Tiny Travels | A Small Collection of Landscape Studies


Watercolor Studies | Steph Devino



Some of you may already know about Kaleb’s cruise ship adventures a couple years ago. When he first took the job, I have to admit, I was really worried. I never saw myself being in a long-distance relationship and I was concerned about the strain it might put on us. I won’t lie and say it was easy, because it definitely was not. But I do feel like it helped make us stronger. Obviously, he still takes jobs where he has to go away from long periods of time. He’ll be traveling for at least a year with the 20th Anniversary tour of Rent come September. But now it doesn’t seem so hard anymore. Especially now that he’s actually on land, and not out in the middle of the ocean all of the time like when he did Rock of Ages.

One of things that was so hard for me, when he first set sail, was the idea that he was getting to travel without me. I know that sounds really selfish and it is. I have a very complex relationship with traveling, because I simultaneously want to always be exploring new places and hiding in my bedroom under my blankets at the same time.

As an artist, I crave seeing new and beautiful places with new and beautiful people and new and beautiful landscapes. And as a normal human being, I generally crave the excitement and adventure that comes along with traveling. But unfortunately, I also suffer from deep travel anxiety. I consider myself very logical and down-to-earth, but all of that goes down the toilet when traveling is involved. I will always expect every possible thing that can go wrong to go heinously wrong. I will be convinced that I will, in fact, miss my flight even though I leave almost three and a half hours early for the airport. The airline will certainly lose all of my luggage even though it is obnoxiously neon blue and you can’t miss it even a mile away. I will most definitely get stomach flu right as I am boarding the flight and be doomed to the airport bathroom the entire travel time while angry passengers bang on the door waiting their turn. Even anxiety aids do little help me through something as modest as a four hour drive to Boston.

This creates a real struggle in terms of making travel dreams come true. But it’s something I’m working on and I’d like to say is getting better. But you can understand how this kind of anxiety caused a lot of depression, especially at a time when Kaleb was getting to see so many great sights and we were separated for so long. During all of this is when I came up with an idea of how I could satisfy a small amount of my travel cravings and get some much needed art therapy at the same time.

I had some watercolors stuffed in my desk drawer for years that I rarely used, and I decided I wanted to hone my watercolor painting skills a little. I’m typically a digital artist, and if I am using traditional media it’s usually oils or gouache, but never watercolor. In school I learned that if you’re not used to a medium, it’s best to start small. So I started this very small series of landscape studies. While he was on the ship, Kaleb and I weren’t able to talk on the phone, so our way around this was writing to each other. We wrote every week and when the ship docked on Sunday’s we would exchange letters. So once a week I did a new watercolor study on a 3″ x 4″ and slipped it in along with my letter. I couldn’t travel with him, but I could paint as if I were. (Does that sound lame? It’s fine.)

I picked a new place for each painting and honestly, just did my best. Some of them were not great. But it definitely helped me practice my watercolor skills and it made me feel a little less claustrophobic in my little New York City apartment. They’re not perfect, but I rarely do series in any form, and I enjoyed this these little adventures and wanted to share them.


Tiny Travels | Steph Devino




After MICA


I’ve been having a lot of discussions with my fellow artist friends lately about our lives after we graduate. We all have a lot of different things we want to do and we’re not sure about but there have been some similar things that have gotten brought too. I’m not exactly sure where I’ll end up but I did figure out a few things that I wanted to do. For one thing (and I’m terrified of saying this out loud, let alone posting it on a blog) I think I want to try to be a real artist. One thing that has scared me in school is that I haven’t been able to stick to one thing. I love so many different mediums of art and I was worried that that was a bad thing. Lately though, I’ve been looking at it as a positive thing. It makes me genuinely unhappy that there doesn’t seem to be almost any real art community in New Hampshire where I grew up. It’s becoming more and more of a dream of mine to change that. One thing I’d like to do later is to have a gallery there that has real art that is relative to today’s world. If that does well, or maybe if it doesn’t, I’ve considered opening an art store that that carries real supplies, unlike AC Moore.
The painting above is an unfinished piece from last year and it’s the kind of thing I’d like to do more of. I’d also like to create paper art with Eleni. We both love and it and it’s something I’d love to explore with her. Thirdly, I’m anxiously waiting to take a weaving class this summer and I’d love to make fibers a more prominent medium in my work.
Illustration and Graphic Design are amazing and I love them both, but there’s also a big fine artist in me.

© Steph Devino. 2017 All rights reserved.