Top 10 Ways to Survive The Polar Vortex: Artist's Edition

Hello Friend, if you know me, you know that I love lists.

Read on for my list of the top 10 ways I stayed warm this week, during Wisconsin’s Polar Vortex.



  1. MAKE PHOTOGRAPHS I didn’t venture outside this week, but some brave souls did. Some examples of what photographers saw this week are featured in this neat New York Times article, Life in the Polar Vortex’s Grip

Open Air Places Polar Vortex.jpg

2. READ every exquisite page from the the newest issue of SHOTS Magazine / Fading Light no. 142. This b/w quarterly publication features themes where readers can submit their images for free.

There are also wonderful retreat opportunities sprinkled over the last few pages for anyone seeking a photo-adventure this year.

Follow them on Instagram at @shotsmagazine when you’re done reading the magazine.

3. QUALITY TIME with someone you love my son turned 11 years old on Tuesday and we celebrated with homemade birthday cake coated in thick BLUE frosting, steaming mugs of hot chocolate + lots of quality time.

My son has asked me to make blue cakes for him every year since he was four. Which is how old he was in this photo.

Open Air Places Hug Someone.jpg

4. STUDIO HOURS where you can dive in with luscious colors that evoke crystal clear waters and sunbeams. My current series is about Islands and this is a detail from a painting on my easel. Winsor & Newton’s Cerulean Blue sings next to ochre fields of color.

Can you recognize what grouping of Islands I’m featuring in this painting?

Open Air Places Letters to My Places Unmet.jpg

5. BREW A POT OF COFFEE or tea and savor it in a handmade mug made by a local potter. Supporting local artists makes my heart happy!

This mug was made by my friend, Mr. Evan Hestekin, of Hestekin Pottery. If you want to go visit his summertime shop in Cornucopia, WI I can help you with a Unique Place to Stay in Bayfield.

Open Air Places Cup of Coffee.jpg

6. PACK A BAG FOR THE BAHAMAS where the weather report is 75 degrees and sunny. Yes, please and thank you because staying at a beautiful haven revitalizes my creativity. Some Vitamin Sea + Sunshine is so needed right now.

Most people don’t know that Grand Bahama Island is only a 30 minute flight from Fort Lauderdale, FL. Want to grab your passport and come with me?

Open Air Places Opposite of the Polor Vortex.jpg

7. LAYER UP with extra blankets my winter nest is dressed up with super soft sheets and a down comforter, plus two hand-woven blankets I brought home from my last trip to Guatemala. Browsing the stacks of textiles and admiring the murals at San Juan la Laguna, Lake Atitlan is one of my very favorite things to do in this world. I did some nice Instagram posts in September if you want to see more.

Open Air Places Guatemala Warmth.JPG

8. WRITE because it is good for the soul. I recently bought a copy of Nayyirah Waheed’s SALT and I’ve been paging through it and finding places in myself that I haven’t met yet.

we write from the body.

it remembers everything.

-melanin │ bone and soil

Open Air Places We Write From the Body Nayirah Waheed.jpg

9. MORNING MOVEMENT and yoga with Mary Beth LaRue and Tara Jae Winterhalter are the BEST part of my day.

Energy + Mood Boost Every. Single. Time. Yoga has been a life-changer for me and I can’t wait to see what this year brings for my practice.

Open Air Places Yoga Polar Vortex.jpg

10. NOURISH my body with one of the earth’s superfoods. Did you know that pomegranates have powerful anti-inflammatory effects? This is great for me as I still struggle with neck pain and don’t like using pain relievers.

This article shares all the high points! Let me know which one is your favorite.

Open Air Places Pomegranates .jpg


I’m JENNA ERICKSON Founder & Lead Travel Ambassador for OPEN AIR PLACES.  

I love serving the world by showcasing UNIQUE PLACES TO STAY, where artists can regenerate and be inspired.  I am passionate about nurturing the creative process in myself and others, and embracing authenticity whenever I can find it.

You can follow along with me on my journey by joining my mailing list below, or by interacting with me on Instagram at @openairplaces.