HEMPEL STUDIOS Year in Review- 2023

2023 was a year of adventure, travel, and football. Football? That’s right, The Baltimore Ravens have sponsored an all-girls flag varsity football league in our county and my daughter made the team as a starting center. I never imagined I’d be a football mom, but there I am with my team spirit swag cheering for our team. What I love about doing a Year in Review is that even when day-to-day a year does not seem grand, it is easy to see how exciting it really was when we view it in hindsight.

I used to overload my schedule each day and feel like a flop for failing to complete all of the tasks, But now I add only 3-5 things and try to focus my energy on long-term projects, doing a little bit at a time. It’s amazing how it adds up.

“Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in a month. We overestimate what we can do in a year, and underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade.”

-Matthew Kelly


Model for a Monument to Dante
“Intergenerational Religious Design” with moderator Michael Crosbie

Worked on Dante Sculpture

January is one of my favorite months. The stress of the holidays has died down and there’s so much optimism in the air.

I was also a part of a panel discussion for the ACLS with Dr. Michael Crosbie.


A visit with Maryland Delegates Kerr, Fair, and Simpson in Annapolis.

A Visit to the Capitol

Southwest Liturgical Conference where I was the Zoom panel host about the history of Baptismal fonts with Dr. Johan de Parys.

I went to Annapolis as a guest of Delegate Karen Simpson, District 3.

Jazz concert in DC and Busboys and poets.


Grace and Sarah in Paris, 2023

Cancer free and Nous Voyageons à Paris!

March is a rough month for me. It is the anniversary of my beloved grandmother’s death as well as the anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. This year, however, I celebrated 6 years since my diagnosis. This is great news as it means that I no longer require biannual CT scans!

Wellspring Artist-Mother Panel

What’s more, this March I traveled to Paris with my best friend of 25 years!


Chateau d’Orquevaux from the bottom of the hill
The artist in her studio at Château Orquevaux with her Sally Forth Co. apron.

Château d’Orquevaux

I spent the entire month in the French countryside at Château d’Orquevaux with 20 incredible artists.

Chateau Life

The beauty of this place cannot be understated.


A gorgeous spring at Culler Lake in Frederick

Re-Entry is hard

I spent much of the month re-adjusting to normal life, taking walks, and marveling at the beauty of spring in Frederick.


We built a dry stream bed with the help of some teenagers from church.



Sweet 16!

My daughter turned 16 this year and we celebrated with friends at the Hofbräuhaus in Pittsburgh.

A Rainbow over the Studio on West 5th Street

New Studio!

I spent nearly the entire month cleaning out the new space and moving my stuff into it. It was well worth it for this gorgeous new studio with a garage bay, windows, and a sink!

Antonio Canova
Adam and Eve Mourning the Dead Abel, c. 1818–1822

Canova at the National Gallery of Art

I love how close I am to Washington, DC and all of the wonderful museums. An exhibition of Antonio Canova’s works in clay opened in June. I went down for the opening lecture and to see the show.


Burr Oak State Park

A Cabin in the Woods

We enjoyed some time with friends in the forest at Burr Oak State Ohio. Highlights included stargazing, walks in the woods, campfires, boating on the huge lake, and lounging about with books and quiet.


Art or science at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum

End of Summer

August is mostly about being hot and finding ways to keep cool. We spent time with friends at the pool and eating frozen treats.

We did manage to have some fun with friends who were visiting all the way from New Zealand. We went to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, the National Zoo and the National Gallery of Art to see the Canova exhibit again.

Wednesday Night Lights

Football Season

I’m a football mom now.


102*F Cleaning Claire Photo Courtesy Chrissy Miller of Szemerephoto

Cleaning Claire

Bronze statues need regular maintenance, so I waited for extremely hot temperatures and had the city haul over some ladders. I washed and waxed for two days and now Claire looks good as new!


Halloween is the very best holiday.

Erik & Sarah as Crowley & Aziraphale from Good Omens


A toast at Vinny’s Cafe in Dundalk

Happy Birthday to Me

My daughter had a football district championship game at the UnderArmour training facility. Her team lost the first game, but they decided to stay and watch the other games. Since it was my birthday, we drove over to Dundalk for a dinner at Vinny’s Cafe, a Baltimore Classic.


Christmas Eve in New Jersey

Merry Christmas

We celebrated Christmas Eve at the beautiful historic Hillsborough Reformed Church at Millstone, New Jersey. The music was incredible with a handbell choir, brass, organ and amazing singers. We followed it with our traditional dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

Unfortunately, we also all came down with covid-19. We managed to avoid it for nearly four years, but could not outrun it forever. So, we went home and hid under the covers. So much for a Happy New Year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


A figurative sculptor for over 20 years, Sarah tells monumental stories in clay, bronze, and stone.

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