It's not always fun in the the beast´s belly of creation. Once in a blue moon it's doom and gloom. You always feel as good or bad as your last painting. When you have done a great job you feel invincible, then there is nothing to worry about. But once in a while you make something mediocre, no matter what you do. You feel miserable. Fear is lurking to be unmasked as a bungler, a charlatan. The strange thing is that this phenomenon of despair grows with you. If all goes well your quality as a painter improves with the years. But sometimes you realize that you might not reach the top that you had in mind for yourself. Winds of uncertainty. Then it's good to look back, and see what you have created in the past. On the occasion you see a piece again and it can be surprising. In such a way that you think: Did I make that? It's not really bad!
I recently came across this portrait, a commission that I made in 1999. The subdivision of the background may not be great, the person's ear is a bit fancy but the brushwork and the atmosphere surprised me. I wish I could paint that way again!