Monday, August 1, 2011


Let me start by saying that when I think of all the privilege and blessings that I have in my life, I actually feel pretty guilty complaining about anything.
That said, I've been feeling pretty crappy lately. I've dealt with depression in one form or another for most of my life, but it's not been an issue for me for several years now.
Back in March of this year I completed my five years taking Tamoxifen (post breast cancer medication) and since going off it have been caught in a hormonal nightmare; everything from hot flushes, racing heart beat, insomnia and "fuzzy brain" to mood swings and depression. It looks and feels like menopause, but I'm not menopausal and it's like my body is desperately trying to re-balance itself after five years of medical hormone suppression.
Of course, when I asked my surgeon (who, let's be clear, has my eternal gratitude and admiration for saving my life) about possible side effects associated with stopping Tamoxifen 'cold-turkey', he told me there would be no problems with it apart from possibly a little 'anxiety'.
It's a frustrating situation to be in. As most of the physical symptoms have now passed or are passing, I'm hopeful that this black cloud too will lift. Work is definitely helping. I've cut back all of my extraneous activities (including my beloved zoo work) to focus solely on my artwork, which was in danger of being crowded out entirely by everything else that's been going on.
And so to melancholy blackbird of sorts. I was especially pleased with the shadows in these photos...I like the way they's very much how I've been feeling, trying to 'take off' with a black shadow hanging over my head. He's been constructed in my usual manner and his costume is black felt with pearl beads and silk thread. His wings are individually hand cut and wired 'feathers' made from stiffened and painted cotton. His stand is also hand-painted.
At the moment I'm working on a new piece to be sent over to the UK for an exhibition in October. The exhibition has a Nursery Rhyme theme, so I'm pretty excited....but more of that later.
I want to thank all of my friends who read this (far too infrequent, despite my best efforts) blog and who keep in touch via Facebook and e-mail, for your concern and support over the past few months.....I really do appreciate it so much, it's always amazing to me how many of us share similar experiences under different circumstances. Much love to all of you.
Till next time.


  1. Lorell, I can't even try to imagine what you've gone through and endured all these years. I went off anti-depressants last year and it was hell, but nothing like you have have my sincerest appreciation for being such a courageous and bold individual.

    Your creation is amazing....can't say much more than that. I'm overwhelmed by the craftsmanship and quality of your work. When I go through the ADO list of artists, I feel so humble being among so much talent...can't even come close to your work and so admire it.

    All I can say is that I hope the coming weeks will improve and you will find yourself no longer under that dark little cloud or shadows...hopefully soon, you'll enter back into the sunlight.


  2. Hi Lorell, Burdy is a Triumph!He is taking flight and soaring as you will be..So sorry things have been on the Dark Side- health wise.
    Your Art needs you, and you are happiest when just doing it.You've raised 4 Wonderful children, and have a Happy Home- that's ENOUGH to make anyone proud.Plus your Art..well, it has brought so much enjoyment to people over the years.It's what you're Meant to be doing- with a talent like yours.The rest takes you away from what makes you happiest.

  3. Hi Lorell,

    Only people who suffer from depression can understand how you feel. They usually misunderstand why we behave as we do. They think it's a question of laziness the fact that we don't want to go out or make the bed...

    I'm on anti-depressants now but just at the beginning of the treatment process so I've still got that guilty conscience and sadness on my mind.
    At least you can express yourself through art but I'm useless even to do the shopping.

    My doctor has told me we will laugh at this in no time, but it seems impossible to me at the moment.
    Only creations like yours make me forget for a while what I'm going through.
    I really thank you for that.

    Take care.

    Carmen A.

  4. OMG Lorell you have gone through a major de-tox and withdraw no wonder you have been feeling so low. Its good to hear that you are in the clear though.
    Your a really talented artist and the depression bug seems to go hand in hand with creativity. What I do when I get to that stage is look at a piece of work that I love the most. The one that gives me what I call 'tummy bubbles'.
    As I said on Facebook, Burdy is one of my favorite pieces of all time.
    I look forward to seeing what you create next.
    Love and light.
    Debie xxxxxxx

  5. What can I say Lorell? Your work always inspires me. I am so grateful that I stumbled across your blog those few years back. Yes, as was said emotionally roller coastering as I call it, is part of the creative landscape to a certain degree. I too am amazed at how so many of my creative friends have or are going through such debilitating emotional times. I have for months since this past winter and thought I would just throw in the art towel and give up. But, there was always this little spark of a voice that kept telling me to not give up.

    I am glad you are creating again even if it is painfully slow at first. I think it really helps.

    Can't wait to see your nursery rhyme piece. Much love to you.

  6. Lorell everybody is entitled to some down time, On the depression subject though, get some vitamin D it helps incredibly and chuck out any teflon cookware you have it makes my depression 100 times worse.
    On the subject of Dr's mine is at Stirling and she is a miracle worker.

  7. If this is what you make under a black cloud, then I can't wait to see what
    you are capable of when the sun peaks through.
    I think it is beautiful and only something a real artist could have created.
    Well done Lorell.

    Take Care.

  8. Don't ever feel guilty about feeling bad! You will only end up feeling lonely on top of depressed, and you keep the people around you who love you at arm's length at a time when you most need them. It's only when you reach out opening your heart, that others can reach back and hold you. Take your time and take care!

    To add to that, when your doctor mentioned "a little anxiety" I'd be very curious if he had any idea what that actually means. I went on hormonal medication once and started feeling (for me being generally very eventempered) quite hysterical to the point where I spent most of the day in tears. All the info leaflet mentioned were "mood swings", and I don't think that properly conveyed how bad it was. Hormones are very funny things that react in ways we can't predict. And sometimes another person (especially, I dare say, a man) can't really understand the impact they have on our sense of well-being. I'd contact him and tell him what happened, and see if he has anything to alleviate your symptoms.

  9. I love Burdy, I'm sure he has many things to whisper in an ear. I had no idea of what you had been going through, I had been popping by to look at you magickal creations, which are now all the more so. That you are able to create and create and keep yourself going through these dark periods has my respect. Take care Lorell, I wish you the best. Melanie